New center to improve heart health

Dec. 1, 2012

Dr. Xander Wehrens
Dr. Xander Wehrens

Heart health research, patient care and education are the focus of the newly established Cardiovascular Research Institute at Baylor College of Medicine.

The new center was established with the goal of organizing research activities, promoting collaboration, translating research into innovative patient care and educating new doctors and scientist focusing on heart health.

"From Dr. Michael E. DeBakey to the many other physicians and researchers that are here now, Baylor College of Medicine has a long history of groundbreaking research in cardiovascular medicine. We plan for this center to continue that tradition," said Dr. Xander Wehrens, professor of molecular physiology at BCM and director of the Cardiovascular Research Institute. "This new center will allow us to coordinate more efficiently and pool resources to streamline our research."

In the near future, the CVRI will hold planning retreats to identify key opportunities around five current major cardiovascular research programs – coronary artery disease, atherosclerosis, and myocardial ischemia; chronic heart failure and cardiomyopathy; cardiac arrhythmias and electrophysiology; congenital heart disease; and aortopathy and valvular heart disease.

"As these cardiovascular initiatives progress and clinical programs are expanded concurrently, we will define a plan to integrate these efforts into a comprehensive cardiovascular program for BCM," said Dr. Adam Kuspa, senior vice president for research at BCM. "This is an exciting opportunity to advance scientifically as we rebuild excellence in cardiovascular sciences and grow into a comprehensive center of excellence in the near future."

Associate directors of the CVRI are Dr. John Belmont, professor of molecular and human genetics, and Dr. Biykem Bozkurt, professor of medicine – cardiology.

Those interested in becoming members of the Cardiovascular Research Institute can find more information and a membership form on the CVRI website.