The Kovacic Laboratory, launched in the fall of 2011, is one of the newest research facilities to be added under the umbrella of the Cardiovascular Research Center at the Icahn School of Medicine in New York City. Building on prior research successes, our laboratory is dedicated to making new and game-changing discoveries related to cardiovascular disease and to blockages of the heart arteries (coronary artery disease) – the leading cause of mortality in the United States and the world.
The importance of our research was recently acknowledged by our being awarded a major federal grant from the National Institutes of Health through the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. One area of particular focus includes gaining a better understanding of atherosclerotic plaques. These plaques occur due to build-up of cholesterol and fats in the arteries, and can cause heart artery blockages, heart attacks and even strokes. Understanding how atherosclerotic plaques form and what makes them grow larger is of critical importance for helping to prevent and treat cardiovascular disease, and we have generated pivotal new data to indicate the precise cells that are involved in this process.
Under the leadership of Dr. Jason Kovacic, who is also a practicing interventional cardiologist at Mount Sinai, the Kovacic Laboratory has initiated a major project at Mount Sinai to investigate the genetics of important cardiovascular conditions. In particular, we have a major interest in fibromuscular dysplasia (FMD), and are actively investigating the cellular and genetic problems that cause this disease. This research involves identifying patients with FMD and other unexplained blockages in their arteries, and then investigating the cell, stem cell, and gene problems from which these patients suffer. Together, through these and other studies, it is our long-term scientific goal to make meaningful inroads into the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease.
Dr. Jason Kovacic is an Assistant Professor of Medicine, jointly appointed at Mount Sinai Hospital and the Cardiovascular Research Center of the Icahn School of Medicine. Dr. Kovacic graduated from the University of Melbourne Medical School in 1994, and then undertook residency and cardiology specialty training at St. Vincent's Hospital in Sydney, Australia. Becoming a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians in 2003, Dr. Kovacic then completed a PhD in cardiovascular medicine investigating regenerative vascular therapies for refractory heart disease at the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute. In 2007, he relocated to the United States, and to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland. At the NIH, Dr. Kovacic spent two years working with Dr. Elizabeth Nabel, former Director of the NHLBI, investigating the vascular healing response and the molecular pathways underlying this process. He then moved to the Cardiovascular Research Institute at The Icahn School of Medicine in New York. In parallel with his practice as a clinical interventional cardiologist at Mount Sinai Heart, Dr. Kovacic leads a growing and busy research laboratory.
Dr. Kovacic has enjoyed high-level success at both clinical and basic cardiovascular research. He has over 30 lead author peer-reviewed scientific publications, with ten of these during 2012 alone. He has served as organizing committee and panel member for the NIH/NHLBI Symposium on Cardiovascular Regenerative Medicine, funding reviewer for numerous agencies including the NIH/NHLBI, and acts as manuscripts reviewer for several of the world's leading cardiovascular journals.
Blake A. Adair
Icahn School of Medicine
Cardiovascular Research Center
One Gustave L. Levy Place, Box 1030
New York, NY, 10029