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Cardiovascular Signalling Group
The Centre for Cardiovascular Biology and Medicine was established in 1996 by John Martin and Ian Zachary. Our overall objective is to perform research into the biological mechanisms that control the function of the blood vessel wall and its cellular constituents in health and disease, and wherever possible, translate this knowledge into treatments for cardiovascular and other human disease. A major focus of research in this centre, led by Professor Ian Zachary, is Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF). Work in this Centre discovered a novel role for VEGF as a protective factor for the vessel wall, and this has led to a clinical trial of VEGF gene therapy for treatment of proliferative disease of the vessel wall in grafts. We are currently investigating the signalling mechanisms mediating key biological functions of VEGF and its receptors using a diverse palette of approaches including cellular and in vivo models of angiogenesis and cardiovascular disease, zebrafish, and genetically altered mice. Dr Jean McEwan’s research is developing novel approaches for effective delivery of therapeutic molecules to the blood vessel wall with potential applications in the treatment of cardiovascular disease. An important interest of the Centre and a major part of our translational research effort, being led by Professor John Martin, is the use of stem cells for treating heart disease. The Centre received the first grant awarded by the UK Stem Cell Foundation to perform a clinical trial of autologous stem cells and repair of the heart immediately after a heart attack. If successful, this trial may have a considerable impact on NHS practice in the treatment of heart attack patients.
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University College London - Gower Street - London - WC1E 6BT Tel:+44 (0)20 7679 2000

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