About RION

Atta Behfar, MD., PH.D.


Dr. Behfar uses state-of the-art technologies developed at Mayo Clinic to understand heart disease at its most elemental level.

With this understanding, Dr. Behfar and his colleagues are doing cardiovascular regeneration research with the aim of developing novel therapies to prevent and cure chronic heart conditions. Specifically, the group led by Dr. Behfar focuses on the development and use of both stem cells and exosome-based therapies to reverse injury caused by lack of blood flow or chronic inflammation.

Dr. Behfar's focus is to utilize genomics and proteomics technologies to achieve systems biology deconvolution of pathways that provided the foundation for restoring the regenerative function of patient-derived stem cells. This work has led to the development of several regenerative technologies including cardiopoietic stem cells, which completed phase II/III trials in Europe, and was approved by the FDA for phase III pivotal testing. More recently, his emphasis has shifted from stem cell growth and differentiation toward design of novel biomatrices, exosome and RNA platforms to augment the retention of regenerative biologics to facilitate cell-free endogenous repair. These new technologies serve as the basis for Rion and with an eye toward developing technological platforms that fundamentally change the approach to regenerative medicine, by delivering low cost and off-the-shelf therapies in a broad array of medical applications.

Dr. Behfar's professional highlights include:

  • Winner, Herman K. Gold Young Investigator Award — American College of Cardiology, 2010
  • General Mills Foundation Fellow — Clinician Investigator Program, 2009-present
  • Presidential Award — American Society for Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics, 2005