The Cardiovascular Research Institute at Fletcher Allen and The University of Vermont is dedicated to reducing the incidence, morbidity, and mortality of heart and vascular diseases through improving prevention, diagnosis, and treatment. Through utilizing the clinical capabilities and facilities of Fletcher Allen and The University of Vermont, the intellectual strength of our academic environment, and extensive scientific resources, the Cardiovascular Research Institute is dedicated to the elucidation of the causes and consequences of cardiovascular disease from the molecule to the patient.
Research is spearheaded by members of each of the Cardiovascular Research Institute’s sections. By bringing to bear significant expertise in sub-specialty areas such as cardiovascular imaging with magnetic resonance and positron tomography; cell imaging; thrombosis, fibrinolysis, and platelet biology; pharmacology; myocardial biology, and vascular biology, the Cardiovascular Research Institute is able to acquire the knowledge needed to enhance prevention, diagnosis, and treatment. Under the umbrella of the Cardiovascular Research Institute, the work of each section is integrated to attack specific problems with profound public health impact. The strengths of each section are utilized to facilitate acquisition of the new knowledge needed for ensuring progress.
The specific objectives being addressed by the Cardiovascular Research Institute are:
- elucidation of cellular and molecular mechanisms responsible for impairment of function of heart muscle underlying clinical syndromes such as heart failure and cardiogenic shock and utilization of the specific molecular targets identified for improvement of prevention, diagnosis, and treatment with an emphasis on cardiomyocyte implantation and stem cell constituents (replacement of irreversibly injured heart muscle cells with cellular biologic, percutaneous, and surgical techniques);
- elucidation of cellular and molecular mechanisms responsible for the evolution of coronary atherosclerotic lesions particularly prone to rupture and known to underlie acute coronary syndromes such as unstable angina, acute myocardial infarction, and sudden cardiac death and utilization of cellular and molecular targets identified for improvement of prevention, diagnosis, and treatment. Emphasis is placed on the role of insulin resistance and derangements of synthesis of proteinases and their inhibitors acting within the coronary arterial wall; and
- elucidation of cellular and molecular mechanisms responsible for altered coagulation, fibrinolysis, and inflammation including the impact of mediators and markers of inflammation on coagulation and fibrinolysis and the progression of coronary artery disease and its sequelae such as acute coronary syndromes including heart attack.
Mission and Structure
The mission of the Cardiovascular Research Institute is to:
- encourage critical thinking,
- facilitate collaborations with scientists both locally and nationally,
- promote the challenging of assumptions,
- sustain excellence in clinical practice, and
- coordinate innovative research through targeted programs and development and acquisition of leading technology and equipment.
The Cardiovascular Research Institute is a non-profit organization that does not have operating budget responsibility for clinical programs and does not bill for any clinical services. It functions as a pivotal constituent of both Fletcher Allen and The University of Vermont. Both institutions support the Institute through collaboration and sharing of staff, participating physicians, facilities, and equipment in order to reduce the toll of heart disease on patients, families, and the community.
The work of the Cardiovascular Research Institute is guided by an external advisory board. The Institute comprises several sections. Section leaders participate in the Institute’s governance.