Pulmonary Systems and Cardiovascular Research at PCOM
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Maintaining Heart and Lung Function

Cardiovascular and pulmonary systems research at PCOM

Pulmonary Systems and Cardiovascular Research

Cardiovascular and pulmonary systems research focuses on exploring the heart, blood vessels and lungs to better understand their function and related diseases. These two systems are vital for delivering oxygen and nutrients to the human body and removing waste products.

Researchers in this field investigate various components to improve our understanding of tissues and cells  to develop better diagnosis and treatment methods.

About Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Systems Research

The cardiovascular system of the human body is made up of the heart, blood, arteries and veins. Scientists study how the heart functions and how blood vessels deliver oxygenated blood throughout the body. Researchers investigate conditions such as coronary artery disease and heart failure to identify risk factors, causes and treatments. Researchers explore both medical and surgical interventions, including medications, stents, bypass surgeries and transplant options to improve outcomes for patients with cardiovascular diseases.

The pulmonary system encompasses the lungs and body's airways. Research in this field aims to understand how the lungs function, how they exchange oxygen and carbon dioxide and the characteristics behind various lung diseases. Scientists explore conditions like asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), pulmonary fibrosis, lung cancers and more. They investigate the role of genetics, environmental factors and lifestyle choices in the development and progression of pulmonary diseases. Researchers also focus on developing new medications, inhalers and treatments such as pulmonary rehabilitation and lung transplantation to improve lung health and improve patients' quality of life.

Cardiovascular and pulmonary systems research also explores the intersection between these two fields. Many diseases, such as hypertension, can affect both the heart and lungs simultaneously. Scientists aim to unravel the complex interactions between these systems to better understand how diseases develop and progress.

Moreover, researchers investigate preventive strategies to promote heart and lung health. They study the impact of lifestyle choices, such as exercise, diet, smoking and tobacco use may have on cardiovascular and pulmonary diseases. They also examine potential risk factors such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, obesity and diabetes.

Cardiovascular Research at PCOM

Precise spatial and temporal interactions between molecules and cells are required for the development of tissues and organs within the cardiovascular and pulmonary systems. Regulation of flow through blood vessels is necessary for providing tissues with nutrients and oxygen.

Disruption of these regulatory mechanisms causes congenital defects and diseases that subsequently impact normal organ function. A pathologic consequence of inadequate perfusion is tissue and organ ischemia that leads to fibrosis. PCOM faculty study the development and functions of the cardiovascular and pulmonary systems with the goal of elucidating therapeutic interventions that may prevent and limit disease.

Our Faculty Researchers

Additional Faculty Researchers

Biomedical sciences student Nnedi Osuji is working with PCOM's Dr. Cathy Hatcher to research genes and proteins that affect infants born with congenital heart defects. The goal of their lab is to develop a better understanding of why congenital heart defects occur, what can be done to prevent them, and identify treatments.

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Infant Congenital Heart Defect Research portrait

Research at PCOM

PCOM aims to develop innovative approaches to promoting health through basic, translational, clinical, behavioral, education and community research projects.