Cardiovascular and Metabolic Disease

The Signature Program in Cardiovascular and Metabolic Disease includes basic, clinical, and translational research, as well as population based outcomes research and community outreach activities.

The MISSION of the CVMD Signature program is to support and enhance the activities of investigators at the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center who are pursuing important, clinically relevant research questions focusing on Cardiovascular and Metabolic Disease. This program aims to enhance the collaborative inter-disciplinary scientific interactions within the institution, to increase the level of junior faculty mentorship and support and to promote the development of new areas of research strength.

Programmatic Goals

  • To establish an electronic database of cardiovascular and metabolic disease investigators at the University of New Mexico which will serve as an information resource for investigators within and outside of the program.
  • To support new and emerging areas of research related to cardiovascular and metabolic disease through the establishment of a pilot project grants program that will lead to expanded extramurally funded research programs.
  • To facilitate the exchange of information and ideas between investigators in the program through a regular CVMD research seminar series.
  • To maintain an up-to-date CVMD webpage with links to relevant CVMD research initiatives.

Key Areas of Research Focus

This program is structured to include basic science research, clinical/translational research and population/outcomes research and community outreach activities.

Cardiovascular Disease:

I. Vascular Remodeling and Altered Vascular Reactivity in conditions such as Hypertension, Sleep apnea and other hypoxic disorders, Diabetes, Aging, Heart Disease, Chronic kidney disease and Stroke.

II. Improving the diagnosis and treatment of vascular alterations in Cerebrovascular, Cardiac and Chronic kidney disease.

III. Population/Outcomes Research and Community Outreach studies focused on vascular disease surveillance, intervention and education, the prevention of cardiovascular disease (CVD).

Metabolic Disease:

I. Clinical/Translational studies focusing on diabetes diagnosis, management and treatment.

II. The mechanisms and treatment of diabetic complications including retinopathy, nephropathy, peripheral vascular disease, heart disease and stroke.

III. The mechanisms, diagnosis and treatment of chronic kidney diseases including the role of inflammation and cellular stress.

IV. Basic science investigations of lipoprotein catabolism, adipocyte differentiation and atherosclerosis.

V. Population/Outcomes Research and Community Outreach studies focused on diabetes surveillance, intervention and education, the prevention of obesity and the promotion of healthy lifestyles: nutrition and physical activity.

Program Highlights

The various components of the program are supported by grants and contracts from a variety of sources including the NIH, CDC, EPA, American Heart Assn., American Diabetes Assn, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), and various pharmaceutical companies. Many of these grants are interdisciplinary and involve multiple faculty members from across the Health Sciences Center and the scientific community at large.

The Clinical and Translational Science Center and the Clinical Trials Center (CTC) is heavily used and supports many of the clinical/translational studies carried out by investigators in this program.

The Prevention Research Center is a long standing center at UNM with extensive outside support from NIH, CDC, USDA and other sources for conducting community-based intervention trials, surveillance and translational research addressing the prevention of diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Education and training includes community and university-based activities.

Project ECHO (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes) is an innovative healthcare program developed to treat chronic and complex diseases in rural and underserved areas of New Mexico. Through the use of technology, ECHO bridges the gap between urban healthcare specialists and providers in rural settings.

Research partnerships with Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute (LRRI) are important collaborations that have been advancing understanding of cardiopulmonary disease for the past 20 years. Several LRRI investigators are adjunct faculty members at UNM and important members of the CVMD Signature Program.

The training activities of the basic science component of the program in Cardiovascular Disease are supported by an NHLBI training grant in its 15th consecutive year of funding that includes 19 faculty mentors from the School of Medicine, College of Pharmacy and The Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute.

Program Steering Committee

  • Laura V Gonzalez Bosc:  Steering Committee Chair, Department of Cell Biology and Physiology
  • Nancy Kanagy: Department of Cell Biology and Physiology
  • Matthew Campen: Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences
  • Meilian Liu: Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
  • Tione Buranda: Departments of Pharmacy Practice and Internal Medicine