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Institute for Cardiovascular Disease Research

  • Researcher concentrates on a vial in the lab

Research Projects

Cardiovascular dysfunction accounts for some of the most common and devastating diseases in the country, as well in the institute's home state of South Carolina. This research promises to uncover new understandings and breakthroughs to reduce mortality and morbidity rates due to cardiovascular disease.

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A Holistic, Interdisciplinary Approach to Understanding Cardiovascular Disease

The Institute for Cardiovascular Disease Research is a multi-primary investigator undertaking, with highly regarded experts in the field leading novel and unique research contributions within the four-year institute plan. We seek to provide a new understanding of the ways that body inflammation plays a part in high blood pressure and identify new treatments to reduce the frequency and impact of cardiovascular disease.

High Blood Pressure Associations with Chronic, Unpredictable Stress

The chronic, unpredictable stress that comes with the everyday realities of modern life leads to widespread inflammation in the body, which causes dysfunction in the brain, vascular system, kidneys and heart along with elevated blood pressure and, eventually, cardiac failure. 

Targeting the cause of inflammation, or inflammasomes, leading to cardiovascular dysfunction may uncover important high blood pressure triggers that originate in the nervous system, and open doors to new treatment strategies.

Targeted inflammasomes: NLRP3 (nucleotide-binding domain, leucine-rich–containing family, pyrin domain–containing-3) and AIM2 (absent in melanoma 2)

Focus of the institute: Neurogenic hypertension associated with chronic unpredictable stress

Research vision: A new understanding of the molecular mechanisms of inflammation in hypertension and identify new therapeutic targets to reduce morbidity and mortality in these common and devastating illnesses


Areas of Focus

By taking an interdisciplinary approach to cardiovascular health, we will advance our understanding of how stress leading to high blood pressure impacts the brain, kidneys, blood vessels and heart causes disease that ends with cardiac failure.

The highest impact research today involves leveraging multiple perspectives, skillsets and areas of expertise to come up with the most comprehensive possible understanding of or solution to a significant issue.

Julius Fridriksson, USC Vice President for Research
Head shot of Julius Fridriksson

Institute for Cardiovascular Disease Research

    Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.