Medicine & Dentistry-Pharmacology
University of Alberta
Summary of research:
Damage to endothelial cells, the single layer of cells lining all blood vessels, is a major contributory factor to the clinical manifestations of cardiovascular disease such as high blood pressure, blood clot formation and coronary artery disease. These are in turn are associated with significant risk of disability and death. Currently there are no effective treatments to overcome the consequences endothelial damage. Our over-arching aim is to explore the potential of drugs that open a specific pore on endothelial cells to determine if they can improve the way endothelial cells work and so enhance cardiovascular health. We are interested in all aspects of cardiovascular disease including the link between pregnancy complications and maternal cardiovascular health. Conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure during pregnancy are associated with damage to endothelial cells in the mothers blood vessels. Women who experience these complications in turn have a higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease at an earlier age than women who have normal pregnancies. Thus, we are interested in whether targeting the pore on endothelial cells may reduce this risk.