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Center for Vascular and Heart Research

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About the Center for Vascular and Heart Research

The Fralin Biomedical Research Institute Center for Vascular and Heart Research serves as a nexus for cardiovascular research teams exploring basic research questions about the heart. With heart disease the nation’s leading killer, these teams are working to understand how the heart develops, how it becomes damaged, and, ultimately, how it can be repaired. They are also mapping out fundamental properties of the heart, such as how it conducts electricity. Together, they are delving into new strategies for healing the heart.

On Oct. 9-10, the center will host its second Vascular and Heart Symposium to bring together experts in cardiovascular fields from across the Mid-Atlantic region and foster interdisciplinary projects in vascular and cardiac studies to encourage functional comparisons and forge new collaborations.


Center Contacts

  • Arrhythmia: Irregular heart beat
  • Acute Ischemia: Heart attack
  • Cardiac Conduction: Heart beats
  • Cardiomyopathy: Thickened heart tissue
  • Infection: How viruses affect cellular function and signaling in the heart
  • Ephaptic Coupling: Electrical channels that connect heart muscle cells across a vat of fluid
  • Gap Junctional Coupling: Signaling channels that structurally connect two cells
  • Sudden Cardiac Death: When cardiac conduction fails
  • Vascular Microbiology: How blood vessels grow and respond to injury



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    Chappell Lab
    Chappell Lab , home

    The Chappell Lab studies how the blood vasculature develops during early organ formation and during certain diseases such as tumor progression and neurological disorders.

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    Gourdie Lab
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    The Gourdie Lab studies subunit proteins called connexins, which are located in gap junctions that enable direct communication between cells.

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    Johnstone Lab
    Johnstone Lab , home

    The Johnstone Lab focuses on understanding how healthy blood vessels are altered in disease and defining effective pathways to therapeutically target vascular disease.

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    Mishra Lab
    Mishra Lab , home

    The Mishra Lab studies the molecular signaling perturbations associated with metabolic syndrome.

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    Pfleger Lab
    Pfleger Lab , home

    The Pfleger Lab studies the molecular mechanisms of cardiovascular disease.

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    Poelzing Lab
    Poelzing Lab , home

    The Poelzing Lab studies the electrical activity of the heart through cardiac myocytes and proteins and how abnormalities are linked to sudden cardiac death.

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    Sassi Lab
    Sassi Lab , home

    The Sassi Lab focuses on studying the role of non-coding RNAs, coding RNAs and cyclic nucleotides pathways in cardiac health and disease, pulmonary arterial hypertension and pulmonary fibrosis.

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    Smyth Lab
    Smyth Lab , home

    The Smyth Laboratory studies cardiomyopathy at a subcellular level, searching for potential targets for therapeutic interventions to help restore normal cardiac function to diseased hearts.

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    Warren Lab
    Warren Lab , home

    The Warren Lab studies the mechanisms underlying metabolic reprogramming in the failing heart.




Presented by the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute and co-hosted by the Center for Vascular and Heart Research