The Heart & Vascular Research Center (HVRC) conducts a comprehensive research program encompassing basic, pre-clinical and clinical research designed to discover and understand the basic mechanisms underlying blood vessel formation (angiogenesis) and to develop novel therapeutic strategies for treatment and prevention of ischemic heart and vascular diseases. The program integrates research and development efforts in basic molecular and cell biology in conjunction with an extensive animal physiology program which provides a variety of models for testing and analysis of promising small molecules or molecular targets. An ongoing, active and comprehensive clinical program allows immediate testing of promising therapeutic modalities in patients with coronary disease. These activities are supplemented by an imaging program that focuses on physiologic assessment of tissue function and perfusion.
This comprehensive approach to the study of coronary angiogenesis has already allowed Center investigators to discover and test a number of unique molecules which play an important role in the control of heart vessel development, to develop several novel animal models of cardiac angiogenesis, and to organize and conduct the first Phase I/II clinical trial of coronary angiogenesis in the United States.
The HVRC staff includes 8 faculty members and 21 post-doctoral fellows, research associates and graduate students. The Center maintains close research links with Sections of Cardiology, Vascular Surgery and the Department of Radiology with faculty and fellows in these Departments playing an active and important role in the Center's activities. In addition, many research activities include close collaborations with Dr. Mark Post's laboratory at the University of Maastricht.
The HVRC activities are supported by a number of grants from the National Institutes of Health, American Heart Association, private foundations and research agreements with biomedical and pharmaceutical companies.
The HVRC maintains a regular series of Vascular Biology Seminars and Work in Progress (WIP) meetings.