Keith L. March, M.D., Ph.D., FACC, has dedicated his career to bringing new medical approaches to patients. His publications include more than 150 manuscripts. He was the editor of the first book dedicated to cardiovascular gene transfer. Dr. March’s research has resulted in more than 55 worldwide (20+ U.S.) patents, with others pending. He invented the Closer, a widely-utilized patented suture-mediated closure device, used to close the puncture wound in an artery following heart catheterization. This device allows a patient to “walk off the table” after a catheterization without requiring prolonged bedrest. In 1999, Abbott Vascular, an affiliate of Abbott Laboratories, acquired the company that developed this technology, and the Closer approach has been used worldwide to treat more than 8,000,000 patients. He has served as a scientific advisor to numerous pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and medical device companies. Most recently, he co-founded NeuroFx, Inc., based on a patented platform of technology originating in his laboratory that establishes the therapeutic factors secreted by stem cells as powerful therapeutics for critical medical needs, including degenerative and ischemic diseases of the nervous system. With FDA input, NeuroFx is pursuing this off-the-shelf approach to markedly reduce stroke and prolong quality life in ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease), as two near-term goals.
His laboratory focuses on vascular biology, with a particular emphasis on the function and translational study of stem cells found in the adipose (fat) tissue, which his laboratory identified as cells with critical roles in blood vessel growth and control of inflammation. Dr. March is recognized as a leading expert in the field of adult stem cell research, particularly that involving adipose-derived stem cells. From 2008-2012, he was Chair of the National Institutes of Health Data and Safety Monitoring Board that oversees cell therapy trials in the areas of heart, lung, and blood diseases. In 2012, his center was selected as one of the seven Cardiovascular Cell Therapy Research Network (CCTRN) centers in the USA which would work together to conduct NIH-sponsored cell therapy clinical trials during a 7-year period. He has obtained FDA approval to conduct U.S. trials employing one’s own adipose-derived stem cells: one of these to avoid amputations in legs of patients with severe circulatory disease, and another to avert knee replacements in patients with severe arthritis.
In addition to his research roles, Dr. March has served as the President (2007) of the International Federation of Adipose Therapeutics and Science (IFATS), and as the Chief Medical Advisor for the Cell Therapy Foundation. He continues to serve on the IFATS Board. In these affiliations, he has worked to advance collaboration as well as public awareness about the significance of adult stem cells.
In 2017, Dr. March joined the University of Florida as Director of the University of Florida Center for Regenerative Medicine. This multidisciplinary center is working to bring regenerative therapies to patients with unmet medical needs.