Translational Laboratory for Cardiovascular Imaging and Therapy

Our laboratory focuses on the study of myocardial diseases, ranging from ischemia/reperfusion to heart failure. Our studies span the molecular origins of disease and their manifestations at the macro-anatomical and physiological levels, and our group includes experts in molecular biology, clinical cardiology and cardiovascular imaging. Our evaluation of experimental animal models makes use of advanced imaging techniques that can also be applied to humans, strengthening the translational potential of our research. To exploit this potential, we work on multidisciplinary programs in close collaboration with hospitals and clinical researchers.

A major interest of the group is cardioprotection during myocardial infarction (MI). We have established models of MI in rodents and large animals, and we are using these to study the mechanisms underlying the beneficial effects of various cardioprotective strategies, mainly related to modulation of the adrenergic system. We are pioneering the use state-of-the-art magnetic resonance imaging to beter characterize the post-infarcted myocardial healing, combining large animal with clinical studies. In parallel with the development of clinical trials, for the last years we have been working on the cellular and molecular mechanisms responsible for the protection seen in humans. For that endeavor we make use of in vitro and genetically modified small animal approaches. We are opening new fields of research focused on the metabolism of heart failure and the study of nutritional approaches to treat this severe condition.

We are also interested in chronic heart failure at the mechanistic and clinical levels, ranging from dilated cardiomyopathy to right ventricular heart failure in response to pulmonary hypertension.