Penn leaves Cleveland Clinic for Summa

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Marc Steven Penn, MD, PhD, is leaving his post at Cleveland Clinic to become director of research for Summa Cardiovascular Institute and professor of medicine and integrative medical sciences at NEOMED, both of which are located in Akron, Ohio.

Penn and his research team of five scientists will be joining Summa Health System and NEOMED to conduct basic science and clinical research. Penn's team focuses on helping the heart repair itself after acute injury such as heart attack or while the patient is facing chronic diseases including heart failure.

In addition to his research, Penn will participate in the care of patients in the coronary care unit at the Ann and David Brennan Critical Care Center at Summa Akron City Hospital. He also will provide care on an outpatient basis as a member of Northeast Ohio Cardiovascular Specialists/Summa Physicians – Cardiology.

Penn previously served as a cardiologist in the department of cardiovascular medicine in the Heart and Vascular Institute of Cleveland Clinic. Since 2006, as director of the Bakken Heart-Brain Institute, he has collaborated with Medtronic Founder Earl Bakken to further develop the field of heart and brain medicine. In 2007, his laboratory was named the Skirball Laboratory for Cardiovascular Cellular Therapeutics, and, in 2008, he become the first director of the Center for Cardiovascular Cell Therapy at Cleveland Clinic after serving as medical director of the coronary intensive care unit. Since 2001, Penn also has served as the director of the experimental cardiology lab at Cleveland Clinic.

Penn focuses on developing diagnostics and drug delivery systems for the treatment of cardiovascular disease, including strategies for gene and stem cell therapy for the regeneration of myocardial tissue. His work has led to several patents and patent applications, the rights of which reside at six companies. Penn is an adviser to several companies and venture funds in the area of innovative heart research. He is moving some of his work to the Austen BioInnovation Institute, also located in Akron, Ohio.

"What I find most exciting about Akron is the collaborative environment," Penn said. "As someone who does bench research, clinical work and takes on entrepreneurial endeavors, Akron offers a unique environment with fluidity from one to the next."