Cardiovascular Research Center

Message from the Director

It is an exciting time for novel therapies in heart failure and many of the most impressive strides in diagnosis, treatment, and prevention are happening right here at the Cardiovascular Research Center housed within the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Cardiovascular gene therapy once seemed little more than an unsubstantiated promise, but today we are using genomics to create potential therapies that heal the failing heart, and improve the lives of the most severely afflicted cardiac patients.

Cardiovascular diseases remain the number one cause of death around the world, and the key to mitigating the problem lies at the intersection of early prevention, sophisticated diagnostics, and more refined therapies. At our Center, we are expanding our studies of the basic mechanisms of cardiovascular disease, and exploring personalized medicine based on identifying genomic predictors. The unique and collaborative resources found across the entire Mount Sinai Health System  create an environment for translational research at its finest -- patient driven, responsive, and deftly targeted.

The Center has a team of lead investigators and researchers working across platforms to investigate stem cell biology, tissue engineering, vector biology, electrophysiology, vascular diseases, diabetes, imaging, and clinical trials. The collaboration and shared vision has led us to novel therapies and a new depth of inquiry that is translating into real progress in the field. Our team of investigators is setting a new legacy for the understanding and treatment of cardiovascular disease.

Our Center is home to the world's first clinically tested platform for gene therapy vector for the treatment of heart failure known as AAV1.SERCA2a. This vector based therapy enables the precise delivery of therapeutics to damaged heart tissue, and introduces a new realm of treatment modalities for advanced heart failure patients. Additionally, our scientists are also exploring the use of novel gene therapy vectors to target various forms of heart failure, ventricular arrhythmias, pulmonary hypertension, and myocardial infarction.

Building upon this groundbreaking work, our team has also discovered a powerful small molecule that enhances the contractile function of heart muscle cells, and allows the heart to pump more efficiently. Our researchers are also exploring signaling pathways that lead to heart disease in the aging heart to improve cardiac function. We hope to elucidate new ways to halt or reverse these cardiac pathologies.

Targeted therapy for heart failure is my passion, and I am lucky to have a world-class team of scientists and collaborators who share this vision. I invite you to explore our site, learn more about our current projects and investigators, and see how you can contribute to the groundbreaking discoveries happening at the Cardiovascular Research Center to prevent and reverse heart failure.

Sincerely,

Roger J. Hajjar, MD
Director of the Cardiovascular Research Center
Arthur and Janet C. Ross Professor of Medicine