USF Heart Institute

Basic Science

The research activities of the Heart Institute will evolve along selected complementary paths that include basic science, translational science, clinical research, and technology transfer, all of which are aimed at the practical application of fundamental knowledge gained in the research environment. The establishment of core facilities and laboratories to support research, the development of new research programs, and the hiring of new personnel and research scientists will contribute to the growth and success of a number of new Centers of Excellence described below.



  •   Atherosclerosis: We will probe new fundamental molecular mechanisms that contribute to heart attacks, strokes, kidney disease, and high blood pressure to detect blood vessel damage very early and then prevent ongoing damage to arteries and veins that leads to plaque buildup and clotting
    • We will establish a new state of the art microscopy laboratory for study of individual vascular cells that are affected by disease processes at the highest resolution and greatest sensitivity and outfit a “Laboratory for Microarchitectural Analysis (LMA)”
  •   Cardio-Metabolic Syndromes: We aim to better understand and treat disorders of metabolism that lead to heart failure and accelerated atherosclerosis such as diabetes, hyperlipidemia, and obesity
    • We will establish a “Center For Cardiometabolic Disorders (CCMD)” that will be outfitted with state of the art nuclear magnetic resonance imaging and spectroscopy systems and mass spectrometry systems for high-resolution high-sensitivity profiling of the cardiac metabolome to discover new relationships among biochemical energetic pathways that will help to choose individualized drug therapy
  •   Genetic Profiling: We seek to discover and map new genes that drive atherosclerosis and heart failure that can be targeted for development of new highly selective drugs with reduced side effects
    • We will attract and support the work of internationally renowned scientists with expertise in bioinformatics and genomics of the cardiovascular system to establish and outfit a new “Center for Cardiovascular Genomics (CCVG)”
  •   Drug Discovery: We will create new methods to turn off the expression of harmful genes that will reduce the risk for heart attack and stroke using potent nanotechnology approaches to deliver therapeutic gene targeting agents to specific cell types to achieve Precision Medicine therapies
    • We will attract and support internationally-renowned PhD chemists with expertise in nanomedicines applied to the cardiovascular system to establish a new “Center for Cardiovascular Drug Development (C2D2)”
  •   Stem Cell Therapy: We will develop improved approaches to treating heart damage that occurs after heart attack with the use of cardiac stem cells that can restore the hearts contractile (pump) function
    • We will attract and support internationally renowned scientists with expertise in stem cell biology applied to cardiovascular disease to establish and outfit a new “Center for Cardiovascular Stem Cell Therapeutics (CCST)”