Partner with Us
Become a strategic partner by starting an applied research project with us, funding the research or collaborating with us on the work.
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.
Project 1: Vascular System and Stress
High blood pressure and the vascular damage it does—leading to cardiovascular disease—is an enormous emotional and financial burden on patients with chronically elevated blood pressure.
Project 2: Brain and Stress
Stress has a profound impact on the brain, mood and body including causing or affecting a number of cardiovascular and other diseases and disorders. Yet, an overwhelming majority of adults report experiencing daily stress.
Project 3: Kidneys and Stress
Patient populations with higher prevalence of autoimmune disease—like women and those of the female sex, veterans and underrepresented communities of all kinds—are also at higher risk for cardiovascular disease.
Project 4: Heart and Stress
Patient populations with higher prevalence of autoimmune disease—like women and those of the female sex, veterans and those suffering from trauma and Black and African American communities—are at higher risk for cardiovascular disease.