There has never been a more pressing need for cardiovascular research.
At New York Medical College, waging and winning this battle is the underlying principle behind two research program project grants, significant NIH awards that support a broadly based, multifaceted research program with a specific objective. Translational studies pair collaborators from basic science and clinical departments to wage an attack from the flanks.
In Physiology: Vascular Endothelial Cells
In the Department of Physiology, Gabor Kaley, Ph.D., professor, is a principal investigator of the program project to explore “The role of vascular endothelial cells in the regulation of cardiovascular function in a variety of physiological and pathophysiological states.”
He and his colleagues study the diverse roles of and interactions with endothelium-derived mediators—namely, nitric oxide and oxygen free radicals—in the regulation of vascular smooth muscle functions. Dr. Kaley is seeking to reverse vascular aging in mice by a variety of methods in order to regain control of small blood vessel function.
Michael S. Wolin, Ph.D., professor, studies how reactive oxygen and nitric oxide control signaling systems that affect contractile function in coronary arteries. Thomas H. Hintze, Ph.D., professor and chairman of physiology, examines the pathophysiologic relevance of increasing and decreasing nitric acid production on the development of heart failure.
In Pharmacology: Blood Pressure Regulation
Hypertension sufferers are three times more likely to develop coronary artery disease and seven times more likely to suffer strokes; high blood pressure forces the heart to work harder than normal and speeds up the process of atherosclerosis in arteries.
Alberto Nasjletti, M.D., professor, is principal investigator of the program project grant in the Department of Pharmacology that explores “Hormonal Regulation of Blood Pressure.” The goal is to understand what regulates blood pressure using a genetic approach to identify the mechanisms of hypertension.
The four-part Program Project has been assembled to characterize the vascular and renal mechanisms of blood pressure regulation-under normal and hypertensive conditions. Michal L. Schwartzman, Ph.D., professor and chair of pharmacology, is focusing on the metabolism of arachidonic acid, a prostaglandin precursor from which 20-HETE (20-hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acid) is derived.
Dr. Nasjletti is involved with the carbon monoxide produced by arterial vessels to determine if it has any functional significance in blood pressure regulation, while Wenhui Wang, M.D, professor of pharmacology, is characterizing the interactions among nitric oxide, carbon monoxide and 20-HETE as they relate to renal function.
Mairead A. Carroll, Ph.D., professor of pharmacology, examines the regulation of a recently discovered class of hormone-like factors, generated from arachidonic acid by cytochrome-P 450 enzymes, that affect blood vessel function and sodium transport in the kidney. Her team conducts experiments that probe the effects of cardiovascular hormones on levels of arachidonic acid and their derivatives in the kidneys. Their studies aim to clarify the role of arachidonic acid in the regulation of sodium excretion and the development of hypertension.
Epidemiological studies have shown that even in the absence of other risk factors, advanced age itself significantly increases of death from heart disease and cerebrovascular disease.
Akos Koller, M.D., Ph.D., professor, is studying the regulation of vasomotor tone of microvessels that are essential in the maintenance of tissue perfusion and blood pressure. He aims to reveal the early mechanisms responsible for the development of dysfunction of resistance vessels in order to find the optimal therapeutic strategies aiming to prevent and reduce microvascular complications in hypertension. The present focus of my investigation is the potential role of the altered the activity of the renin angiotensin system (RAS) in the microvascular wall.
Serving as the clinical link in cardiovascular research is William H. Frishman, M.D., professor and chairman of medicine, an internationally recognized clinical pharmacologist. He has completed more than 300 research protocols funded by the N.I.H. and private industry, and taken part in developing more than 100 cardiovascular drugs.
Michael S. Goligorsky, M.D., Ph.D., professor of medicine and of pharmacology and director of the Division of Nephrology, collaborate with John McClung, M.D.’75, and Stephen Peterson, M.D., professors of medicine, to study vascular complications in cardiovascular diseases such as diabetes and hypertension.
Thomas Hintze, Ph.D., professor and chairman of the Department of Physiology, examines the pathophysiologic relevance of increasing and decreasing nitric acid production on the development of heart failure. He also collaborates with Julian Stewart, M.D., Ph.D., professor of pediatrics, to study the effect of nitric oxide on the autonomic nervous system in orthostatic intolerance.
Anthony L. Pucillo, M.D., associate professor of medicine, is conducting a multi-center trial to contrast the relative efficacy of carotid artery stenting versus carotid endarterectomy in preventing stroke, myocardial infarction and death in a 30-day peri-procedural period, and stroke ipsilateral to the study artery over the follow-up period.
Romeo B. Mateo, M.D., assistant professor of surgery, is studying whether the endovascular repair of small abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAA) using the AneuRx AAA Stent Graft is superior to serial imaging surveillance with respect to the frequent AAA rupture or AAA related death over a three-year follow-up period.
John A. McClung, M.D., professor of clinical medicine, and Melvin B. Weiss, M.D., professor of medicine, are conducting a multi-center study to establish the clinical benefit and safety of Vytorin (Ezetimibe / Simvastatin) vs. Zocor (Simvastatin) monotherapy in high-risk subjects presenting with Acute Coronary Syndrome.
Warren D. Rosenblum, M.D., associate professor of medicine, is conducting a multi-center study evaluating the efficacy and safety of Nesiritide administered in addition to standard care vs. placebo administered in addition to standard care in patients with acute decompensated heart failure. Dr. Rosenblum is also conducting a randomized, placebo-controlled study of oral lixivaptan in the management of hyponatremia in subjects with NYHA Class III/IV heart failure and volume overload.