Heart Disease

The maladaptive effects of wood smoke on abdominal aortic aneurysms

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death worldwide. Approximately 80% of all aneurysms that form within the aorta (the major blood vessel that deliveries oxygenated blood to the body) occur in the abdominal region. These are classified as abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAA). AAA is associated with progressive weakening and, ultimately, rupture of the vessel wall, causing rapid and extreme blood loss and a high rate of mortality. Sadly, aneurysm rupture is often the first sign of the disease and many die before reaching a hospital.

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2017
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Development and validation of blood-based biomarkers for improved heart failure management

Heart failure (HF) is a progressive condition wherein the heart is unable to fill its chambers and/or pump sufficient blood into the arteries. While there are many causes of HF, it usually presents in two major forms: HF with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF; ‘stiff’ heart), and HF with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF; ‘baggy’ or ‘weak’ heart). 

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2017
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Cardiovascular genetics: Phenotypes, genotypes and cellular mechanisms

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death of Canadians, and is strongly influenced by genetic factors. Integrating basic biomedical research into how specific gene variants influence the function of cardiac cells, with clinical research of patients and families with early onset CVD, will lead to important advances in translating the results of genetics research to improved care for patients and families with CVD.

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2017
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Developing personalized anti-arrhythmic drug therapy for atrial fibrillation

Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common heart rhythm disorder. With an aging population, the number of people with AF is expected to rise dramatically. People with AF are twice as likely to die, are five times more likely to have a stroke, can develop worsening heart muscle function, and have a lower quality of life. We have learned that a person's genetic makeup, or DNA, has a major impact on their risk of developing AF; but we have a limited understanding of why, or how to use this information to treat people in a safer and more effective way.

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Year: 
2017
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TEC4Home: Telehealth for emergency-community continuity of care connectivity via home monitoring

Patients with long term medical conditions like heart failure or chronic lung diseases typically get admitted to and discharged from hospitals frequently because their conditions fluctuate. For example, one out of four patients older than 65 with heart failure often needs to return to hospital within one month of a previous emergency room or hospital stay. Today, using electronic monitors, patients can measure their own blood pressure, weight, and blood oxygen from home, and send their measurements to doctors or nurses so they can supervise the patient's state of health.

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Year: 
2017

Mechanisms of cardiovascular disease in children with mental health conditions

Prescriptions of second-generation antipsychotic  (SGA) medication for children in British Columbia increased 22-fold from 1996 to 2010. These medications treat the underlying mental health issues (e.g. psychosis, depression, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder) but often come with side-effects, including metabolic syndrome.

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2013

ATP-sensitive potassium channels: electrical signaling of cellular metabolism

Many types of rare inherited genetic disorders profoundly affect children and their families. While disorders like Anderson syndrome, Bartter's syndrome, and DEND (Diabetes with Epilepsy and Neuromuscular Defects) affect different organ systems and manifest with different symptoms, these diseases are all caused by genetic mutations in the KIR family of proteins. Mutations in KIR proteins can also be involved in less severe symptoms, including cardiac arrhythmias and vascular defects. The KIR proteins are a family of ion channels known as inwardly rectifying potassium channels.

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2011

Endothelial cell regulation of T cell responses

Organ transplantation is a life-saving procedure for many individuals. Unfortunately, the long-term success of this procedure is compromised by the rejection of the transplanted organ(s) by the recipient's immune system. T cells are specialized cells of the immune system that protect against infections but that recognize and damage transplanted organs. Understanding how T cell responses are controlled will help to develop new methods to increase the long-term and specific acceptance of transplanted organs.

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2011
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Innate immunity and its influence on cardiovascular function

In Canada, severe infection, or sepsis, is the most common acute illness causing death. Patients with severe infections can go into shock as a result of progressive cardiac collapse and can die within 24 to 48 hours. The mortality rate of sepsis is 40%. The fact that this rate has not changed in the last 30 years illustrates that very little is known about how infection causes cardiovascular dysfunction and that very little is known about the best ways to prevent this from occurring.

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2011

Sex differences in patients presenting with acute myocardial infarction or chest pain without angiographic evidence of coronary disease

Although heart disease is a leading cause of death for men and women, sex/gender differences in the disease have only recently received attention. Evidence suggests there are sex/gender differences relating to prevalence, presentation, diagnosis, treatment and outcomes of heart disease, but little is known about the underlying causes. An emerging area of interest is the fact the magnitude of the sex/gender difference in outcomes following a heart attack (favoring men) is much greater among younger women and men than among older patients.

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2008
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Structural dynamics of hERG potassium channel gating studied using voltage clamp fluorimetry

Ion channels are cardiac membrane proteins that control the flow of ions like sodium and potassium in and out of heart cells, regulating both cardiac electrical impulses and the contractions associated with the heart beating. Voltage-gated potassium channels, such as the human ether-a-go-go related gene (hERG). are a class of ion channels that open and close – an action known as gating – in response to changes in the electrical potential across the cell’s plasma membrane. In the heart, hERG channels play a crucial role in regulating heart rate and rhythm.

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Year: 
2008
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The exploration of genetic conditions affecting the health of aboriginal people

Canadian aboriginal people have shorter life spans and an increased burden of disease compared to their non-native Canadian counterparts. As in all populations, complex disease—both genetically and environmentally determined—plays a significant role. For example, among the Inuit of Baffin Island, the prevalence of one type of congenital heart defect is four times as high as in other populations.

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2006
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The James Hogg iCAPTURE Centre for Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Research

This unit brings together a multidisciplinary group of researchers, in the UBC departments of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Medicine and Pharmacology & Therapeutics, whose efforts are directed at developing effective strategies and interventions to prevent, detect and treat heart, lung and blood vessel diseases. The researchers are particularly interested in discovering how interactions between genetic and environmental factors lead to the development of particular disease manifestations, including variations in susceptibility to these diseases, severity of symptoms and the rate at which symptoms progress.

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Year: 
2003
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