Our mission is to develop novel therapies to target against atherosclerosis (arterial blockages) and its consequences – heart attack and stroke.
Our treatment mission is to bypass arterial blockages by stimulating new blood vessel growth, to restore blood flow to affected regions.
Our central purpose is to develop therapies to treat atherosclerosis and promote cardiovascular regeneration. Such work will be performed in collaboration with the Clinical, Translational, Inflammation and Immunobiology Groups within the HRI, drawing upon their expertise in these areas of research.
What impact will this research have?
By reducing atherosclerotic plaque build up, we aim to reduce death and disability associated with heart and lower limb arterial disease. Also, by stimulating the growth of new blood vessels in patients with arterial blockages, our work aims to reduce symptoms associated with insufficient blood supply to the heart and legs.
Current Projects and Goals
VEGF inhibition and plaque vulnerability
Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) inhibitors are widey used in the treatment of cancer and diabetic eye disease, however population studies have suggested off target adverse cardiovascular events. In this study, we aim to characterise their putative pro-atheroscerotic properties
Inflammation and atherosclerosis
Building on our previous findings, we aim to characterise novel inflammatory mediators in patients presenting with heart attacks, as well as study the effects of anti-inflammatory drugs in this setting. These studies will be conducted in the cardiac catheterisation laboratory, where invasive cardiac blood sampling will be performed
Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) and therapeutic angiogenesis.
iPSCs and induced endothelial cells (iECs) are a novel stem cell type that are generated via reprogramming of mature fibroblasts. Our group has expertise in generating these cells and seeks to test the angiogenic potential of these cells in animal models of arterial blockage. These studies are performed in close collaboration with Professor John Cooke’s group at Houston Methodist Research Institute