Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in industrialized countries. Better understanding of the molecular and pathophysiological mechanisms underlying cardiovascular disease requires the elaboration of translational research programs.
The GIGA-Cardiovascular Sciences research Unit is made up of a multi-disciplinary team. Scientists, specialists in cardiology, experts in imaging, cardiovascular surgeons, and engineers collaborate in the framework of a “bedside to bench“ and “bench to bedside” approach with the ultimate goal of translating the developed knowledge into patient benefits. To achieve their goals, basic and clinical researchers participate in the establishment of research networks with internationally recognized Centres. The Unit aims at reaching leadership and singular excellence in research and training.
Research projects span over a broad theme of cardiovascular diseases. Correlations between clinical and biological parameters are studied in patients. Relevant and novel animal models are being developed in order to identify new pathophysiological mechanisms and potential therapeutic targets. The main ongoing studies focus on disorders of haemostasis, endothelial dysfunction, atherosclerosis, arterial thrombosis, ischemic heart disease, valvular heart disease, vascular wall disorders, ventriculo-arterial coupling, heart-lung interaction. These studies are mostly based on integrative physiology, cellular and molecular biology, gene expression analysis, hemodynamic evaluation, cardiac imaging techniques and mathematical modelling.
Prof Patrizio Lancellotti, Dr Cécile Oury, Dr Alain Nchimi and their team (GIGA-Cardiovascular Sciences) published a study in Circulation Cardiovascular Imaging on the impact of cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) on peripheral lymphocyte DNA integrity.This study was the subject of an Editorial written by an expert in medical imaging. They prove, for the first time, the causal relationship between DNA double-stranded breaks and CMR scanning in clinical setting, thereby filling an important gap of knowledge in the field.