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Mechanisms of Cardiovascular Diseases

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This is an application for competing renewal of a Ruth L. Kirschstein Institutional National Research Service Award (T32) entitled Mechanisms of Cardiovascular Diseases. Initially funded in July 1989, this application pertains to years 21-25, 7/1/09-6/30/14. The mission of this program is to provide postdoctoral training in cardiovascular research. The long-term goal is to equip trainees with the concepts, experiences, and skills required to initiate and sustain successful long-term independent research careers. The past 25 years have witnessed a veritable explosion in the application of cell and molecular biology and mouse and human genetics to the study of the cardiovascular system. In recent years, there has been considerable merging of these newer disciplines with classic biochemical, biophysical, physiological, pharmacological, and pathological approaches. The integration of these modalities makes it possible to begin to understand the precise molecular, and in some cases, atomic mechanisms involved in complex processes such as congenital heart disease, atherosclerosis, ischemic heart disease, cardiac hypertrophy and failure, and arrhythmias and sudden death. Over 20 years ago, the Albert Einstein College of Medicine established one of the first Molecular Cardiovascular Programs in the nation to facilitate fundamental and translational cardiovascular research. This program has been very successful, leading to its expansion to 20 trainers working in 4 major areas: (1) Myocyte Growth, Differentiation, and Death; (2) Cardiovascular Development; (3) Intercellular Communication and Ion Channels; and (4) Vascular Growth and Response to Injury. This training grant supports Ph.D.s, M.D.s, and M.D./Ph.D.s pursuing conventional post-doctoral training and physicians in the Cardiovascular Disease Fellowship Program who intend to pursue full-time investigative careers. As a result of this program, dialogues among scientists working in fundamental areas of biology, basic cardiovascular scientists, clinical cardiologists, cardiothoracic surgeons, and population scientists have been enhanced, leading to productive collaborations and cutting-edge research. This program is truly institution-wide cutting across 11 departments and 1 center. Thus, this training program plays a critical role in bringing the considerable scientific depth and breadth of our institution to bear on problems of cardiovascular relevance.
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