Cardiovascular disease remains the leading cause of death worldwide and developing novel therapies to treat and cure the disease remains a high priority in the healthcare research community. Adult stem cells were successful in entering numerous clinical trials over the past 15 years in attempts to regenerate the heart. First-generation adult stem cell therapies for myocardial regeneration were highly promising in small animal models but realized benefits in humans were far more modest. Consequently, second-generation therapeutic approaches in early implementation phases have focused on enhancing cellular properties with higher survival and regenerative potential. Genetic programming dictates cellular fate, so understanding genetic composition and responses at the gene level to influence the outcome of the cell is essential for successful outcomes in regenerative medicine. Genetic editing is at the forefront of scientific innovation and as basic scientific research continues to expand upon understanding eukaryotic regenerative themes, a clearer vision of the possible future therapeutic approaches can be realized. Ultimately, enhancing biology and manipulating evolutional selection of cellular properties will be critical to achieving clinically relevant and biologically meaningful cardiac regeneration.