The CVRI plans a major effort to identify the genes and biomarkers that predict individuals’ risk for developing cardiovascular diseases and to determine how this information can be best translated into disease prevention. Researchers are creating novel model systems based on mice, zebrafish, and fruit flies to discover genes that govern the processes involved in cardiovascular diseases. Engagement of physician-scientists adds an uncommon level of sophistication to development of such models and will aid in the translation of findings to humans. Scientists are using the results of such studies to guide candidate-based genetic studies in human subjects as well as genome wide association studies in an effort to identify genetic differences that specify an individual’s risk.
Physiologists and physician-scientists will work with experts in proteomics, metabolomics, and imaging to design optimum studies seeking new biomarkers associated with cardiovascular disease in humans. In addition to predicting risk, these biomarkers may help uncover the mechanisms of cardiovascular disease, accelerate drug development, and guide prevention.