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Interdisciplinary cardiovascular research associated with the Institute for Medicine and Engineering (IME) crosses over many departments, Institutes and Centers at Penn. Quantitative studies needed both for clinical diagnosis (e.g., MRI angiograms, ultrasound) and fundamental mechanistic studies (e.g., hemodynamics, mass transport, pharmacogenetics) are conducted in the clinical departments of Medicine, Surgery, Pharmacology, and Radiology, and the Institute for Medicine and Engineering. Vascular repair is the focus of the Division of Vascular Surgery. Penn has recently pioneered a new procedure for replacing an abdominal aortic aneurism from the inside. Pediatric heart valve surgery and associated cell and molecular research, as well as cardiac development research is conducted at the Joseph Stokes Junior Research Institute of the Childrenís Hospital of Philadelphia. Pennís Department of anesthesiology also conducts extensive basic cardiopulmonary research.

Interdisciplinary cardiovascular research is focused upon the molecular mechanochemistry of vascular cells and the biophysics of cell membranes designed to manipulate cell behavior related to the treatment of disease. Objectives of this research include:

  • Physiological control of blood vessels diameter
  • Hemodynamic signal transduction and gene regulation in the localization of atherosclerotic lesions
  • The development of interventional strategies in aberrant vascular cell biomechanics
  • Treatments for diseased vessels using gene therapy
  • Definition of safer and more effective use of blood clot-dissolving enzymes
  • Investigations of cell replacement therapies
  • Manipulation of cell behavior for the treatment of diseases through receptor and cytoskeletal molecules.
A detailed understanding of membrane biophysics and the forces involved in membrane-protein interactions together with the quantitation of solute and fluid transport is essential for these studies. Studies include membrane biophysics, biomechanics, the molecular biology of virus-cell interactions, leukocyte interactions with vascular cells, erythrocyte biology, and atherogenesis.

For more information please visit the following sites:

Institute for Medicine and Engineering, http://www.med.upenn.edu/ime/

Department of Radiology, http://www.rad.upenn.edu/

Cardiovascular research at the Joseph Stokes Junior Research Institute of the Childrenís Hospital of Philadelphia http://stokes.chop.edu/

Department of Bioengineering, http://www.seas.upenn.edu/be/index.html

Department of Surgery, Division of Vascular Surgery, http://www.med.upenn.edu/surgery/clin/vascsurg.html

Department of Anesthesia, http://www.med.upenn.edu/dripps/

Department of Pharmacology, http://www.med.upenn/pharm/

The Center for Experimental Therapeutics, http://www.med.upenn/CET/

Department of Medicine, http://www.med.upenn/medicine/

"Heart Sense": Computer Games May Be Good For Your Health - Shifting Healthcare Behavior Via Virtual Reality Simulators.     For more information, please visit http://www.seas.upenn.edu/~barryg/heart/

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Biological Engineering Network at the University of Pennsylvania
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