Cardiac Physiology and Disease

Blockages in arteries (atherosclerosis) can lead to chest pain, heart attacks, and stroke. Although we know that smoking, diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and genetic factors influence a person's risk for atherosclerosis, how they do so is not well understood. The Cardic Physiology and Disease program focuses on the normal functioning of blood vessels in both the lungs and the rest of the body, and how abnormalities in blood vessels function can eventually lead to blockages. We use a range of techniques, including molecular studies, cells grown in tissue culture, isolated vessels, intact animal models, and genetics to study vascular function and reactivity. We are also studying how the metabolic abnormalities in diabetes and obesity influence cardiovascular disease.