Center for Vascular & Inflammatory Disease
Dudley K. Strickland, PhD
Professor, Departments of Surgery and Physiology
Toni Antalis, PhD
Director for Basic Research, Professor, Department of Physiology
David Scott, PhD
Director for Translational Research and Professor, Departments of Surgery and Microbiology & Immunology
Bartley Griffith, MD
Director of Clinical Research and Professor, Department of Surgery
Jeffrey Winkles, PhD
Director of Vascular Biology and Stroke Program and Professor, Departments of Surgery and Physiology
Achsah Keegan, PhD
Director of the Immunity and Inflammation Program and Professor, Department of Microbiology & Immunology
Despite significant advances in research and in the development of therapeutic strategies to assist patients with cardiovascular disease, thrombotic diseases such as myocardial infarction and stroke remain major public health problems in the United States. It is clear that immune-mediated inflammation is linked to both thrombosis and atherosclerosis. Inflammation results as a response to tissue damage, and normally initiates a wound-repair process that results in healing. In certain cases such as atherosclerosis, the response to injury can contribute to the disease rather than lead to it's healing. In this instance, chronic inflammation in the artery leads to endothelial dysfunction, which in turn can result in an advanced, complicated lesion in the artery. Therapeutic advances in these areas require multidisciplinary approaches to give insight into vascular, cardiovascular and inflammatory diseases, leading to effective translation of advances for the clinic.
The Center for Vascular and Inflammatory Disease (CVID) is comprised of 21 faculty members from various departments whose overall mission is to promote research at the University of Maryland that advances knowledge of vascular and inflammatory diseases, and to interface with clinicians to promote translation of the basic discoveries into novel therapeutic applications that will ultimately improve the health of patients. The longterm goal of the CVID is to establish and maintain a center of excellence and international recognition which integrates basic molecular and cell biology with applied and clinical sciences, specifically in the areas of biochemistry, vascular biology, inflammation, immunology, and hematopoiesis as they relate broadly to cardiovascular and inflammatory diseases.
The CVID is housed in 30,000 sq ft. of contiguous laboratory space located on two floors that occupy a brand new, state-of-the-art facility in Biopark I that opened in July of 2005. Several core facilities provide services to CVID investigators. These include flow cytometry, histology, confocal and live-cell microscopy, protein sequence analysis and measurement of protein-protein interactions.
Basic research in the CVID is focused in two major areas. The first area of research focuses on Vascular Biology and Stroke. Investigators in this Program are defining the molecular mechanisms that regulate the vascular injury response, identifying mechanisms that regulate new blood vessel formation (angiogenesis), and investigating mechanisms that regulate thrombosis. Studies are also underway to investigate mechanisms involved in disruption of the blood-brain barrier that occurs during stroke, especially focusing on the contribution of proteases and cytokines and their respective cellular receptors that contribute to this process.
Studies in a second area of research focuses on Immunity and Inflammation. Immune regulation involves homeostatic control of lymphocyte production and proliferation, the elimination of autoreactive cells (tolerance), cytokine balance and management of cell death processes (apoptosis and necrosis). All of these areas are studied extensively by scientists within this program, whose major goal is to understand regulatory mechanisms in the immune system in order to apply this information to the regulation of undesirable responses in transfusion medicine, transplantation, and autoimmunity.