UVA Surgical Care Projects
We seek to elucidate the role of inflammatory mediators during the genesis of ischemia/ reperfusion injury. An interdisciplinary approach is used to integrate advanced surgical techniques with cardiovascular physiology and pharmacology. Recently knockout mice were used to evaluate the effects of endogenous IL-10 and poly (ADP-ribose) synthetase on myocardial infarction. Transgenic and knockout mice can help define the various inflammatory pathways that contribute to the myocardial injury induced by ischemia and reperfusion. We are currently extending our research focus from myocardial infarction to encompass the post-infarction state of heart failure. Reliable models of heart failure have been established in mice and rats. These animal models are currently being validated using cardiac MRI. The longterm goal of this research is to test innovative new therapies for the prevention of heart failure. We are also working in collaboration with other faculty to optimize methods for delivering genes directly to the intact myocardium of rats and mice. The ultimate aim of these efforts is to maintain cardiac function after myocardial infarction by using gene therapy to inhibit the inflammatory responses that exacerbate heart failure.