Every organ – indeed, life itself – depends on the unobstructed flow of blood to tissues. Preventing and treating cardiovascular disease – reducing high blood pressure, eliminating plaques of cholesterol, and calcification of blood vessels – is the key to good health. With more effective treatments and a better understanding of how the vascular system functions, premature death could be held at bay, and prevention and recovery from heart attacks and strokes could be improved.
Vascular health touches all aspects of human well-being, from heart and kidney disease to arthritis and dementia. Lowering blood pressure and improving the vasculature is critical to slowing the progression of these conditions and arresting the damage they inflict.
“Modern, cutting edge research is a hugely complex undertaking,” said
Dr. Ernesto Schiffrin, Physician-in-Chief of the Jewish General Hospital and
head of hemovascular research at the LDI, where an internationally renowned
team of scientists are exploring all aspects of
Investigators in the program are concerned with the vascular system and with the blood that it carries to nourish tissues and organs. They are working to understand how heart attack- and stroke-causing plaques form within the vessels. As well, efforts are underway to find new approaches to controlling high blood pressure. The brand-new Centre of Excellence in Thrombosis and Anticoagulation Care (CETAC) integrates patient care, training, and research activities into blood clots in veins, a very common cardiovascular condition (after high blood pressure, heart attack, and stroke), and a significant cause of complications in patients. The LDI is also a leader in developing new treatments for primary pulmonary hypertension, a rapidly fatal condition that strikes relatively young individuals, including the cutting edge use of stem cells, genetically manipulated and reinjected into patients, to improve the function of the vasculature of the lungs.
“Competition is fierce for funding and to recruit the most talented scientists,” Dr. Schiffrin affirms. “Especially in difficult economic times, it is essential to secure continuity of funding to allow for our work to progress uninterrupted. We cannot afford to lose the highly qualified scientists that we have succeeded in attracting simply because we cannot support their work at the LDI. Years of effort will be lost if a project loses funding.”
He commends the JGH for assembling a world-class roster of researchers and clinicians. Dr. Schiffrin’s own accomplishments have done much to secure the LDI’s international reputation, as President of the International Society of Hypertension and editor of a major journal in the field. Through recruitment of the best scientists and affording them the best facility at which to conduct their science, the LDI has established an enviable reputation for excellence.
The Hemovascular Research Axis is concerned with all facets of cardiovascular disease and with promoting good heart and vascular health.
The Hemovascular Research Axis conducts inquiries into cardiac disease and hypertension, blood clots, vascular development, and blood diseases. The axis is led by Dr. Ernesto Schiffrin who, in addition to being Physician-in-Chief of the JGH, directs the Hypertension and Vascular Research Unit of the LDI and the Cardiovascular Prevention Centre of the Hospital. He is an expert in the field of hypertension and vascular disease.
The lab bench research activities of the hemovascular group extend to the clinical arena, with investigations that are carried out at the JGH addressing coronary heart disease and heart failure, hypertension and vascular disease, atherosclerosis, and pulmonary hypertension. These studies cut across numerous disciplines, and involve molecular biology and gene regulation, understanding of host factors, innate and adaptive immunity, epidemiology, and drug development. The program is state-of-the-art and stands out as an example of success in lab-bench to bedside translation.
The hemovascular group publishes actively in the scientific literature. At least 30 or more publications per year originate from the labs of the Hemovascular Axis at the Lady Davis Institute, many in the top-ranking journals of the field.
Support the work of Dr. Schiffrin and his fellow researchers in the Hemovascular Research Axis in the Lady Davis Institute and contribute to the search for novel solutions in preventing and treating cardiovascular disease.