The Medical College of Wisconsin has received a four-year, $1.7 million grant from the National Institutes of Health’s National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute to study the mechanisms and agents influencing blood flow to the heart.
Coronary artery disease, which results in abnormalities of the small blood vessels that supply blood and oxygen to the heart, is the leading cause of death in the United States of both men and women.
Dr. David Gutterman, M.D., Northwestern Mutual Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine, is the grant’s primary researcher.
In this project, Medical College researchers will attempt to determine the mechanisms involved in vascular homeostasis (the balance between blood vessel injury and repair) in health and disease. That information will in turn lead to increased knowledge about factors involved in the transition from a healthy cardiovascular system to disease.
There is little understanding of the changes in vascular function over time and with the onset of disease in humans. By learning how the small blood vessels are dysfunctional in heart disease, it is hoped that improved heart function might be possible.