Category: Prediction and Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease


John P Kane, M.S., M.D., Ph.D.

Kane

Research Interests:
Structure and function of lipoproteins; genetic determinants of arteriosclerosis

Summary:
The Kane laboratory focuses on the discovery of the native structures of lipoproteins ( proteins that carry cholesterol so that we can better understand how they are involved in the development of heart disease and stroke. We are also active in the discovery of alterations in genes that lead to heart disease and stroke.

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Yuet W Kan, M.D. , D.Sc.

Kan

Research Interests:
The mechanisms of globin production and exploring novel ways of inserting genes into mammalian cells; investigating newer approaches for fetal diagnosis of genetic disorders

Summary:
Sickle cell anemia and thalassemia are the most common genetic diseases and affect people of African, Mediterranean, Middle Ease and Southeast Asian origins. Our laboratory has pioneered the diagnosis of these conditions by DNA tests and is currently investigating the use of patient specific stem cells for their treatment.

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Guo Huang, Ph.D.

Huang

Research Interests:
Comparative study of heart development and regeneration, ischemic heart diseases, stem cell, cardiomyocyte proliferation, regenerative biology

Summary:
The ability to regenerate damaged or lost tissues varies dramatically across organisms and developmental stages. For example, heart regeneration is robust in adult zebrafish and newborn mouse while very limited in adult mouse and human. This presents a particular problem for patients with a heart attack who suffer from a significant loss of heart muscle cells and subsequent life-threatening functional deterioration of the heart.

By taking a comparative approach to study regenerative versus non-regenerative heart repair processes in zebrafish and mouse, we seek to uncover ancestrally conserved injury responses and more importantly, to identify the signals blocking regeneration in the mammalian heart and consequently new treatment strategies for heart diseases.

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Jeffrey R Fineman, M.D.

Fineman

Research Interests:
Endothelial regulation of the pulmonary circulation during normal development and during the development of pediatric pulmonary hypertension disorders. Endothelial dysfunction in pediatric pulmonary hypertension

Summary:
Pulmonary hypertension, high blood pressure in the lungs, is a serious disorder in subsets of neonates, infants, and children. These include newborns with persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN), children with congenital heart defects, and teenagers and young adults with primary pulmonary hypertension. The vascular endothelium (the cells that line the blood vessels in the lungs), via the production of vasoactive factors such as nitric oxide and endothelin-1, are important regulators of the tone and growth of pulmonary blood vessels. We utilize an integrated physiologic, biochemical, molecular, and anatomic approach, to study the potential role of aberrant endothelial function in the pathophysiology of pulmonary hypertensive disorders. To this end, we utilize fetal surgical techniques to create animal models of congenital heart disease, and investigate the early role of endothelial alterations in the pathophysiology of pulmonary hypertension secondary to congenital heart disease with increased pulmonary blood flow. Our clinical research interests include the use of pulmonary vasodilator therapy for pediatric pulmonary hypertension, and the use of peri-operative BNP levels as marker of outcome following repair of congenital heart disease.

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Michael S Conte, M.D.

Conte

Research Interests:
Aortic reconstruction, carotid artery disease, lower extremity arterial occlusive disease, diabetic vascular disease

Summary:
Our laboratory studies the healing process in blood vessels which currently limits the long term success of procedures like angioplasty and bypass surgery. Our goals are to develop new drug and molecular therapies to prevent failures due to vessel re-narrowing, and to better identify patients at increased risk.

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Elias H Botvinick, M.D.

Botvinick

Research Interests:
Nuclear medicine, nuclear cardiology, PET/CT, MRI, CT, cardiac cardiology, echocardiology, nuclear magnetic resonance, cardiovascular imaging, stress testimg, heart, myocardial perfusion, scintigraphy, coronary, sychrony, sychronization

Summary:
My research centers on a collaborative effort to develop noninvasive imaging methods for the identification and evaluation of cardiac anatomy and pathophysiology, and apply them to the diagnosis, risk stratification and monitoring of clinical disease. The work is centered on nuclear medicine methods, PET and SPECT, as well as echocardiography, MRI, and CT.

 

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Ethan J. Weiss, M.D.

WeissE

Research Interests:
Coagulation, thrombosis, hemostasis, fibrinolysis, genetics, platelet, sexual dimorphism, growth hormone signaling, fatty liver disease, regulation of energy metabolism and obesity

Summary:
Our group has two main interests. The first is to understand the mechanisms underlying the regulation of energy metabolism by growth hormone. Growth hormone is well-known to promote lipolysis as a means of mobilizing energy from stores in the form of free fatty acids. To accommodate tissues and organs with increased energy needs, fatty acid uptake is also regulated by growth hormone. The precise molecular mechanisms driving these two processes remain unclear. With an aim toward understanding mechanisms of obesity and related conditions, we use a molecular and cellular approach combined with mouse genetic models to understand how growth hormone regulates lipolysis and the uptake of fatty acid by cells and tissues.

Our second interest is in defining novel mechanisms of thrombosis susceptibility. Our group has had a long interest in thrombosis. Recently, we have focused on understanding ways to modulate thrombosis risk without increasing the risk of bleeding. Here, we also use molecular, cellular, and mouse genetics approaches.

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Prescott G Woodruff, M.D., M.P.H.

Woodruff

Research Interests:
Genomics, Asthma, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, Stereology, Epidemiology, Clinical Trials, Medical Education

Summary:
My research relates to two common lung diseases, asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and falls into three specific categories: 1) the identification of molecular sub-phenotypes of these diseases, 2) the elucidation of mechanisms of inflammation and remodeling in these diseases and 3) clinical trials of novel therapies.


Brian L. Black, Ph.D.

Research Interests:
Cardiac and skeletal muscle development, differentiation, and function

Summary:
Tissues and organs form during mammalian embryonic development through the integration of numerous signaling and transcriptional pathways. Our major goal is to define pathways controlling organ formation to understand normal development, the molecular basis for congenital defects, and potential mechanisms for organ regeneration and repair.

We use a combination of gene knockouts, transgenic reporter assays, biochemical, computational, and genomic approaches to investigate basic developmental mechanisms. We primarily use the mouse as a model system, but several current projects also use cultured cells or zebrafish as models to understand developmental gene regulation. Current work in the lab is focused primarily on cell autonomous mechanisms underlying gene regulation, tissue specification, organ formation and metabolic control during cardiovascular, craniofacial, and neural crest development.

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