Molecular and Cellular Basis of Cardiovascular Disease

Investigator: Shaun R. Coughlin, MD, PhD
Sponsor: NIH National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

Location(s): United States


Cardiovascular disease remains a major cause of morbidity and mortality in the U.S. and is increasing worldwide. Application of modern cell biology, genetics, and other technologies is producing remarkable progress in our understanding of basic processes related to cardiovascular diseases, and the need for broadly trained scientists who can adopt innovative technologies, assemble tools from different disciplines, and bridge basic and clinical science is greater than ever. The overall goal of UCSF's postdoctoral Training Program in the Molecular and Cellular Basis of Cardiovascular Disease is to train investigators who will be at the cutting edge of cardiovascular research. The Program aims to: 1) Capitalize on a strong multidisciplinary environment to provide outstanding training within research programs that use approaches ranging from structural, molecular, cell, developmental and chemical biology to model system and human genetics, animal models and patient-based research to illuminate cardiovascular biology and disease. 2) Attract talented Ph.D.s and M.D.-Ph.D.s programs to cardiovascular research and 3) Attract talented M.D.s from UCSF's Cardiology and other Clinical Fellowships, provide them with rigorous research training and aid them in their transition to independence. The Program brings together 48 outstanding mentors with a common interest in cardiovascular biology within UCSF's Cardiovascular Research Institute, a multi- departmental and multi-disciplinary research organization. It places trainees in remarkably productive and interactive laboratories that are largely co-located in the Smith Cardiovascular Research Building. Multidisciplinary faculty affinity groups in the areas of signaling, cell and chemical biology; developmental biology, tissue regeneration and congenital anomalies; ion channels and arrhythmias; vascular biology, inflammation and atherothrombosis; metabolism, obesity and metabolic diseases; myocyte biology and heart failure; and genetics, biomarkers and disease prevention provide an environment rich in collaborations and co-mentoring designed to promote translational research. A new Patient-Based Research Pathway that includes courses leading to a Master's in Clinical Research and a new Early Independence Pathway designed for exceptional MSTP graduates will enhance recruitment and training of physician-scientists; these and location of a new clinic for patients with cardiovascular diseases within the Smith Building will help drive integration of laboratory and patient-based research. Lecture and laboratory courses are tailored to individual needs. Project Narrative Cardiovascular diseases remain one of the main causes of premature death and disability in the U.S. and are of increasing importance in the rest of the world. Technologies and approaches to determine the basic mechanisms that cause disease are increasingly powerful but increasingly specialized. Multidisciplinary efforts that bring together investigators with complementary knowledge, tools and skills and integrate laboratory and patient-based research will be required to make progress. This Training Program offers an exceptional faculty in a strong multidisciplinary, collaborative environment at UCSF, a top biomedical research institution, to train future leaders in cardiovascular research.