The Joseph J. Jacobs Center for Thrombosis and Vascular Biology was founded in 1993. Edward Plow, Ph.D., Chair, Molecular Cardiology, is Head of Research and Steven Nissen, M.D., Chair, Cardiovascular Medicine, is Director. The Center is composed of eleven Faculty members and has a total staff of 62, who have appointments in various in the Lerner Research Institute and in the Heart and Vascular Institute.
Targets of research range from basic molecular and cellular mechanisms, the manipulation of these mechanisms in animal models, analyses of the genes and gene products in cardiovascular disease, and clinical research that seeks to improve diagnosis and therapy for patients. Research programs include studies of the cells and molecules involved in thrombosis, hemostasis and thrombolysis. As specific examples, our studies seek to define the molecular basis for platelet and endothelial cell responses and then extend these into patients to determine whether newly identified mechanisms can be targets for diagnosis, prevention and treatment of cardiovascular diseases. With recent patient studies emphasizing the importance of inflammation in atherosclerosis and restenosis, the mechanisms that govern the recruitment of inflammatory cells are being investigated. Research efforts also include analyses of cardiovascular risk factors, seeking to define the basis for pathogenic activities. Such insights may become the basis for new diagnostic and therapeutic strategies. Additionally, how other diseases, such as diabetes, influence vascular responses and therapies are being evaluated. The scope of research in the Center also includes approaches to salvage damaged heart tissue with progenitor cells and how angiogenesis (formation of new blood vessels) can be manipulated to restore blood flow to damaged heart tissue. Overall, the Center seeks to implement a comprehensive approach to define the basic mechanisms of cardiovascular disease and to translate these insights to patient care.