In 1998 Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University formed the Cardiovascular Research Group, to bring together researchers (clinical and basic) with interests in topics related to cardiovascular biology and disease. The founding leaders of the group were Drs. Steven Houser and Kenneth Margulies (now at the University of Pennsylvania). The original members of the group came from the School of Medicine with the common bond being overlapping interests in cardiovascular research. The group was given renovated space (an entire floor of the Medical Research Building) within the School of Medicine and the funds to establish core laboratories to broadly support collaborative research. In 2003, the University formed the Cardiovascular Research Center (CVRC) with Dr. Houser as the Director. The Center has been expanded beyond the founding members with the recruitment of three new basic science faculty members (Drs. Eguchi, Sabri and Rizzo) and the arrival of a new Chairperson of Pharmacology (Dr. Nae Dun). The missions of research within the CVRC are to further the understanding of the normal cardiovascular system, to define cellular and molecular defects that cause or contribute to cardiovascular diseases, to develop new approaches to detect and reverse these abnormalities in animal models, and to translate these discoveries into new treatments, initially in animal model systems and eventually in humans.
The CVRC has been designed to support and promote multidisciplinary research. All CVRC faculty members have academic appointments within a basic science or clinical department, and primarily perform their research in the CVRC. CVRC faculty members come from the following departments:
- Anatomy and Cell Biology
- Microbiology and Immunology
- Cardiothoracic Surgery
Any interested faculty member can join the CVRC and utilize its core facilities. The majority of the CVRC basic science faculty members come from the Departments of Physiology and Anatomy and Cell Biology.
Students will enroll in the Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program, will choose the Organ System and Translational Medicine Cluster, and will simultaneously join the CVRC training program and conduct their PhD thesis research with a CVRC faculty member. In addition to the Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program requirements, students and fellows will be expected to make annual presentations in both the seminar and journal club programs. These will be opportunities for trainees to develop their oral presentation skills. There will be a monthly work-in-progress session for all students and fellows within the program. These sessions will be lead by the different members of the faculty and are meant to give the trainees the opportunity to discuss their findings with their peers and with a faculty member. These types of opportunities are beyond those (such as laboratory meetings) that will be going on regularly. The work-in-progress sessions are a specific means to promote collaborations between trainees (and their mentors). These sessions broaden the scope of the training experience for all students and fellows by encouraging them to perform collaborative research that goes beyond the confines of the major laboratory in which they are conducting the core components of their research.
The purpose of the Cardiovascular Research Center is to provide pre- and post-doctoral fellows with the highest quality training in a collaborative interdisciplinary environment with a focus on topics that lead to a greater understanding of the normal and diseased cardiovascular system. Students and fellows will have regular interactions with and be mentored by faculty members from multiple basic science and clinical departments. The program is designed to provide both training and career guidance through a mentoring program that will involve multiple CVRC faculty members. Our goals are to attract highly qualified students and fellows with an interest in interdisciplinary cardiovascular research and train them to investigate important questions with potential for significant clinical impact using a collaborative “team” approach. This training program is expected to help trainees obtain first rate post-doctoral positions (for pre-doctoral trainees) or entry level positions in academia or the private sector (for post-doctoral trainees).