Centre for Cardiovascular Biology and Medicine
Centre for Cardiovascular Biology and Medicine was established in 1996 by John
Martin and Ian Zachary. Our overall objective is to perform
research into the biological mechanisms that control the function of the blood
vessel wall and its cellular constituents in health and disease, and wherever
possible, translate this knowledge into treatments for
cardiovascular and other human disease.
major focus of research in this
centre, led by Professor Ian Zachary, is Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor
(VEGF). Work in this Centre discovered a novel role for VEGF as a
protective factor for
the vessel wall, and this has led to a clinical trial of VEGF gene
treatment of proliferative disease of the vessel wall in grafts. We are currently
investigating the signalling mechanisms mediating key biological functions of
VEGF and its receptors using a diverse palette of approaches including cellular
and in vivo models of angiogenesis and cardiovascular disease, zebrafish, and
genetically altered mice.
McEwan’s research is developing novel approaches for effective delivery of
therapeutic molecules to the blood vessel wall with potential applications in
the treatment of cardiovascular disease.
An important interest of the Centre and a major part of our translational research effort, being led by Professor John Martin, is the use of stem cells for treating heart disease. The Centre received the first grant awarded by the UK Stem Cell Foundation to perform a clinical trial of autologous stem cells and repair of the heart immediately after a heart attack. If successful, this trial may have a considerable impact on NHS practice in the treatment of heart attack patients.