Fixing the heart from within
Dr. Justin Deniset, PhD, recently joined the Libin Cardiovascular Institute. His work focuses on how the immune system contributes to normal heart function and how it modulates the healing response in the heart following infection or injury, such as a heart attack.
According to Deniset, an assistant professor in the departments of Physiology and Pharmacology and Cardiac Sciences at the Cumming School of Medicine, it’s an important area of research, because more people are developing heart failure, due to an increased rate of survival of heart attacks and other heart conditions.
It's all in the data
Using data from tens of thousands of patients to pinpoint diagnosis, best treatment and likely outcomes for individuals might sound like something out a science fiction novel, but researchers are doing just that.
Dr. Joon Lee, PhD, a health data science and machine learning researcher at the University of Calgary’s Cumming School of Medicine (CSM), is passionate about using artificial intelligence (AI) technology in health care to improve lives.
Researcher focuses on restenosis
Angioplasty, stenting and other similar procedures done to open occluded arteries save thousands of lives each year. But these revascularization procedures also have side effects.
About 40 per cent of people who undergo angioplasty, which involves removing build-up in the heart’s arteries using a balloon-like device inserted through a catheter, suffer from restenosis, a gradual re-narrowing of the artery after a blockage has been treated. Restenosis occurs because of tissue growth (scarring) at the site of treatment.
Stenting, done in conjunction with angioplasty, reduces the risk of restenosis to almost 20 per cent of patients. That number is also high, according to the clinician-scientist, Dr. Ramin Zargham, PhD, who recently joined the Libin Cardiovascular Institute.
Combatting CV conditions caused by cells that line the walls of arteries
When you think about the cardiovascular system, what may immediately come to mind is the heart and large arteries, like the aorta, that are responsible for moving large volumes of blood throughout the body. But the cardiovascular system is also made up of tiny blood vessels, about the size of a hair, that are not only responsible for carrying blood within tissues and organs of the body but are also critical in controlling blood pressure and regulating blood flow within these tissues.
It’s these resistance arteries, and in particular, the endothelium, the layer of cells that line the walls of the arteries, that are of interest to Libin Cardiovascular Institute researcher Dr. Andrew Braun, PhD.