Membranes of the endoplasmic reticulum (green) and actin stress fibres (red) in a spread epithelial cell.
Membranes of the endoplasmic reticulum (green) and actin stress fibres (red) in a spread epithelial cell.
Courtesy of M. Opas

Cardiovascular

How does the heart and vascular system develop and how do these systems respond to physical and biochemical stresses during disease development? Our researchers answer these pivotal questions by studying the influence of hemodynamics, inflammatory and thrombotic mechanisms in atherosclerosis. They also investigate the remodelling of the extracellular matrix and signalling between cells and matrix in vascular disease. Research is conducted at the molecular, cellular, organ and organism level using models ranging from zebrafish to mice and ultimately to humans. We foster collaborations within the department and encourage basic and clinical scientists to translate their research into new discoveries and potential treatments.

Faculty Involved in Cardiovascular Research

Lecturer

As a devoted electron microscopist, I am interested in the utilization of advanced EM methodologies in the study of disease. These include analytical energy dispersive x-ray spectrometry, cryomicroscopy, immunogold labelling, morphometry and electron tomography. As a consequence I have been able to identify changes in diseases I have been studying that might not have been detected using conventional approaches.

Khosrow Adeli
Professor

Molecular and cellular biology of lipoprotein metabolism in insulin-resistant states such as obesity and diabetes, and the link with cardiovascular disease.

Michelle Bendeck
Professor

I run a cardiovascular biology lab investigating molecular and cellular mechanisms of atherosclerosis and fibrotic heart disease.

Associate Professor
Jagdish Butany
Professor
Assistant Professor
Professor

Current genetic evaluation of stillbirths is based on clinical grounds (autopsy, examination of tissues) and laboratory testing (karyotype, microarray analysis). For 25-65% of stillbirths the etiology cannot be determined by current standard investigations. Our current research is aimed towards finding single gene disorders assocaited with fetal abnormalities by using whole exome sequencing (WES) and in the future whole exome sequencing.

Professor

Biomarker investigation in subjects with or at risk for diabetes and renal disease.  Basic mechanisms of the lactonase, paraoxonase 1 in atherosclerosis and inflammation. 

Professor Emeritus / Emerita

In the basic science sphere our studies focus on the role and function of pulmonary neuroendocrine cells particularly their cellular and molecular mechanisms of O2 /CO2 sensing ; in the clinical research our studies focus on molecular mechanisms of congenital enteropathies,disorders of surfactant metabolism and  novel forms of cardiomyopathies

Professor

Our research focuses on initiation of atherosclerosis, specifically regional differences in the normal arterial intima that predispose it to atherogenesis, intimal dendritic cells and monocyte recruitment and myeloid cell proliferation in early lesions.  Another focus is functions of alpha-4 integrins in leukocyte recruitment to sites of inflammation.

Professor

Research in the Drucker lab is focused on understanding the biology of the glucagon-like peptides. Specific projects include physiological analyses of GLP-1 and GLP-2 action, understanding the biology of glucagon action, and elucidation of the functional control of GLP-1, GIP, and GLP-2 action through studies of their respective receptors.

Assistant Professor

The leading cause of death worldwide is cardiovascular disease. We focus on the role of immune cells (macrophages and dendritic cells) in cardiac injury and tissue regeneration. Using a variety of cardiac injury models (ischemia, hemodynamic strain & viral infection), we explore how individual immune subsets control the balance between protective and pathological healing, both in mice and in patients with cardiovascular disease.

Associate Professor

The Fish lab investigates the molecular mechanisms that control endothelial cell biology. We are seeking to decipher the signaling pathways and downstream transcriptional mediators that control responses to differentiation signals (e.g. artery/vein specification and angiogenesis) as well as pro-inflammatory factors. We have identified key roles for noncoding RNAs such as microRNAs in modulating signaling pathways in endothelial cells.

Professor

I am a cardiovascular pathologist with expertise in the study of cardiac valve disease and atherosclerosis.  I am interested in understanding the pathogenesis of these human diseases in order to propose therapeutic targets that prevent, detect and/or treat these conditions.

Assistant Professor

I am a forensic pathologist by training and qualifications.  My primary research area is human body, autopsy of adult and pediatric cases and designing forensic medicine web-based teaching modules.

Professor

My research evolved around genetic diseases of connective tissues and pathology of extracellular matrix.  I have pioneered bioengineering of human articular and ear cartilages and addressed pathomorphology and therapy of cardiac and vascular diseases. I also aim at induction of new elastic fibers formation and aleviation of collagenous fibroses.

Professor

Molecular regulation of vascular smooth muscle cell proliferation & differentiation.  Tissue-specific transgene regulation informs molecular pathophysiology.  Genetic & experimental models of cardiovascular disease.  Clinical & experimental cardiovascular imaging.  Acute cardiac care.

Professor
Assistant Professor

1.  The functions of resident CD11c+ myeloid cells in healthy mouse aorta and in the initiation of atherosclerosis. 
2.  The role of oxidized lipid loading on TLR-induced inflammatory gene expression in primary macrophages and dendritic cells.
3.  Mechanisms regulating basal NF-kappaB homeostasis in endothelial cells.             

Professor

Role of sequence and domain arrangement of tropoelastin in assembly of the elastic matrix.  Self-alignment and polymeric assembly of recombinant human elastin and other elastin-like proteins. Sequence/structure/function and evolutionary relationships between elastins and elastin-like proteins in cartilage and other matrix proteins of lower vertebrates and invertebrates.

Associate Professor

My lab has an interest in how microvascular endothelial permeability is controlled. A number of projects examine how the host-pathogen interaction affects endothelial permeability.  In addition, we are investigating how the movement of critical proteins and hormones across the endothelium is regulated.

Professor

Ren-Ke Li’s research focuses on translational research to apply new insights discovered through basic science research to clinical applications for heart regeneration and repair after myocardial infarction. Research areas are: 1) Cell transplantation into damaged tissue to regenerate myocardium and restore heart function. 2) Tissue engineering to create a muscle graft using stem cells and biomaterials for repair of cardiac defects.

Professor

Dr. McCulloch has defined critical signaling systems that regulate periodontal and cardiac connective tissues. The ultimate goal of his research is to define new therapies for periodontal and cardiovascular disorders. Since 2006, Dr. McCulloch has trained >50 undergraduate and graduate students, and generated over 70 peer-reviewed publications, has two patent applications and has won several major scientific awards.

Professor Emeritus / Emerita
Associate Professor

To investigate the mechanistic role of cellular cholestero and lipidsl in the development of diabetes, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and cardiovascular diseases using transgenic mouse models

Professor

We investigate the role(s) of adhesion molecules (in particular the beta3 integrin & GPIb alpha complexes) involved in clot formation & their implications for hemostasis (incl. bleeding disorders) & thrombotic diseases (ie heart attack & stroke). We study allo- & autoimmune diseases related to bleeding disorders such as immune thrombocytopenia (ITP) & fetal & neonatal alloimmune thrombocytopenic purpura (FNAIT).

Professor

We study the role of calreticulin, a ubiquitous calcium-binding chaperone of the ER/SR, which affects calcium homeostasis and gene expression, in ES cell choice of fate.  We discovered that calreticulin acts as a switch either promoting (bone) or suppressing (fat) stem cell differentiation, while it seems to deregulate cardiogenesis. 

Lecturer

My areas of research interest include medical education, and patient safety.

Assistant Professor
Associate Professor

My research interests are in transfusion medicine as it relates to cardiovascular surgery and maternal fetal medicine, hematological disorders disorders of pregnancy and evidence based practise guidelines.

Assistant Professor

Dr. Sholzberg combines her clinical, laboratory and clinical epidemiology knowledge to uniquely address her research area of focus. Dr. Sholzberg's research interests include inherited and acquired disorders of hemostasis. Currently, she is involved in the study of: prediction tools for perioperative bleeding, the appropriateness of coagulation testing and new treatments for immune thrombocytopenia.

Lecturer

I am working in clinical diagnostic labratories and interested in the proper utilization of various diagnostic testings for proper patient care.  I am not doing any basic research.

Professor
Assistant Professor

Our group is investigating adipose tissue biology - how does adipose tissue grow (fat expansion) and what is the origin of adipocyte (adipocyte precursor cell) by using multiple transgenic mouse model system.

Assistant Professor

Our research focuses on utilizing and developing tissue engineering approaches to address cardiovascular problems

Professor

Research interests currently are in:  1) the role of chloride channels in the cell membrane of cardiac muscle cells in cell volume regulation and the pathophysiology of myocardaial ischemia/reperfusion with a focus on therapeutic potential of these channels; 2) preclinical evaluation of drug eluting coronary artery stents and catheter based radiofrequency renal sympathetic nerve ablation for hypertension treatment.

Assistant Professor