Research

Heart Failure, Cardiomyopathy

Master
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Theme Leaders

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Biykem Bozkurt, M.D., Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Medicine-Cardiology
Chief of Cardiology, Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center
CVRI Associate Director
Research Interest - Heart failure, biomarkers, pro-inflammatory cytokines

Thomas Cooper, M.D.
Professor – Pathology
Research Interest - Alternative splicing in cardiac development and disease

Mark Entman, M.D.
Professor – Medicine-Cardiovascular Science
Research Interest - Molecular mechanisms of cardiac injury and repair, inflammatory signaling

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Current Clinical Project(s)

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Not Applicable

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Current Basic Research Project(s)

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The Cardiovascular Sciences laboratories operate the experimental, surgical and instrumentation core which provides development of disease models and or calibrated stress in surviving mice as well as techniques for serial following of cardiovascular function.

The investigators in cardiovascular sciences focus on the cellular and molecular mechanisms of cardiac injury and repair. Our current projects deal primarily with mesenchymal plasticity as it effects various populations of fibroblasts in both scar formation and adverse remodeling. The same technology is being used to extend these observations to the kidney in collaboration with members of the Renal Division. The strategy and technology utilized in the laboratory are primarily focused on exposing immunologic mechanisms and our work has now extended into examining inflammatory-based fibrotic reactions in other organs as well. Our studies indicate that inflammation-based fibrosis involves an interaction between myeloid-derived fibroblasts and fibroblasts arising from endogenous mesenchymal stem cells in the heart. The myeloid fibroblasts are induced by dysregulation of chemokine and cytokine mechanisms associated with chronic inflammation; the mesenchymal stem cell derived fibroblasts arise from functional abnormalities of TGFb signaling. Recent studies suggest both mechanisms exist in the chronic inflammation associated with the aging heart as well as defects in cardiac repair in the aging heart.

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Research Faculty

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David Aguilar, M.D. - Congestive heart failure, diabetes, metabolic syndrome

Marie Elena Bottazzi, Ph.D. - Chagas disease, vaccine development

Robert Bryan, Ph.D. - Cerebrovascular circulation, EDHF in cerebral arteries, traumatic brain injury, K channels

William Craigen, M.D. - Genetic disorders, metabolic disorders, mitochondrial function

Moreshwar Desai, M.D. - Cirrhotic cardiomyopathy, pediatric cardiomyopathy, bile acids

Anita Deswal, M.D., MPH - Heart failure Mary Dickinson, Ph.D. Role of fluid-derived mechanical forces in vascular remodeling and heart morphogenesis

Tony Eissa, M.D. - Autophagy, innate immunity, cellular regulation of misfolded proteins

Mike Heffernan, Ph.D. - Adjuvants/delivery systems for vaccines against tropical diseases including Chagas disease

Jeffrey Jacot, Ph.D. - Regenerative therapies for congenital heart disease

Choel Kim, Ph.D. - Protein kinase A, crystallography

Kenneth Mattox, M.D. - Cardiothoracic surgery; trauma

Joel Morrisett, Ph.D. - Carotid atherosclerosis, MRI and microimaging

Vijay Nambi, M.D. - Peripheral arterial disease, vascular imaging, cardiac prevention

Lavannya Pandit, M.D. - Pulmonary hypertension

Frank Peacock, M.D. - Acute myocardial infarction, acute heart failure, clinical trials

Daniel Penny, M.D., Ph.D., MHA - Cardiovascular hemodynamics in children with congenital heart disease

Laura Petersen, M.D., MPH - Outcomes studies for CV diseases

Corey Reynolds, Ph.D. - Animal models of heart disease, CV imaging

Kevin Roy, M.D. - Pediatric critical care

Rolando Rumbaut, M.D., Ph.D. - Microvascular thrombosis, leukocyte trafficking

Zeenat Safdar, M.D. - Pulmonary hypertension

George Taffet, M.D. - Age-related changes in heart and vasculature, calcium handling, diastolic heart failure

JoAnn Trial, Ph.D. - Origins of fibroblasts in cardiac injury healing

Jesus Vallejo, M.D. - TLR3/TLR4 in acute myocarditis, signal transduction pathways

Salim Virani, M.D., Ph.D. - Cardiac prevention, cholesterol management

Matthew Wall, M.D. - Cardiothoracic surgery; trauma

Xander Wehrens, M.D., Ph.D. - Atrial fibrillation, calcium handling, inherited arrhythmias and cardiomyopathies, heart failure