Translational Laboratory for Cardiovascular Imaging and Therapy

Our laboratory focuses on the study of myocardial diseases, ranging from ischemia/reperfusion to heart failure, including that associated with cancer therapy-induced cardiotoxicity. 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 the study of cardiac metabolism in the context of different conditions, such as myocardial infarction and heart failure of different etiologies. We are pioneering the use state-of-the-art magnetic resonance imaging to better characterize in vivo the anatomy, function, tissue composition and energetic status of the myocardium in different conditions. To this aim, we combine 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 endeavour we make use of in vitro and genetically modified small animal approaches. More recently we opened a new line devoted to the study of anthracycline-induced cardiotoxicity (AIC). Funded by the European Commission (ERC, H2020 Health,and ERA4HEALTH demographic change and wellbeing programs), we are studying the mechanisms leading to AIC, we are developing novel early diagnostic markers of AIC, and testing new therapies to prevent AIC from experimental models to clinical trials. We are also interested in the study of nutritional approaches targeting cardiac metabolic substrate utilization as new means to treat heart failure.

Our group is leading international randomized clinical trials in the fields of MI and AIC, including the REBOOT, RESILIENCE, MAIDEN and HF4HF studies.