About the Vascular Medicine Institute
The Vascular Medicine Institute at the University of Pittsburgh (VMI) was founded in 2008 with the support of Vitalant (formerly ITxM) and the Hemophilia Center of Western Pennsylvania. It is part of the Department of Medicine in the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. Each of the multidisciplinary team of scientists have appointments in the Division of Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care Medicine, the Division of Hematology/Oncology, the Division of Cardiology, the Department of Pharmacology & Chemical Biology, and the Department of Pathology. In 2013, the VMI expanded into cardiovascular medicine, partnering with the UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute to create the Pittsburgh Heart, Lung and Blood Vascular Medicine Institute.
The mission of VMI is to perform rigorous, cutting edge basic and translational research in vascular biology, guided by a systems biology view of the vasculature, where blood flow is regulated by the vessel, circulating molecules and blood cells. The research is driven by scientists with expertise in hemostasis, red blood cell biophysics, transfusion medicine, cardiovascular biology, mitochondrial biology, and nitrite-nitric oxide-reactive oxygen species biochemistry and signaling. Training the next generation of scientists in bench-to-bedside translational research is very important to the mission.
The VMI will harness inter-disciplinary teams of researchers in hemostasis, red blood cell biophysics, transfusion medicine, cardiovascular biology, mitochondrial biology and nitrite-nitric oxide and reactive oxygen species biochemistry to expand our understanding of the control of blood flow to organ systems and the development of novel therapies for diseases such as pulmonary hypertension, sickle cell vasculopathy, atherosclerosis, hypertension and heart disease.
1) Determine the molecular mechanisms underlying clinically important biomedical problems of hemostasis, thrombosis, transfusion medicine and vascular biology.
2) Develop novel, rationally designed therapies targeting diseases of hemostasis, thrombosis, transfusion medicine and vascular biology to improve the quality of life for patients affected by related disorders.
3) Foster the development of a multidisciplinary training environment for graduate and medical students, residents, clinical and postdoctoral fellows , with an emphasis on hemostasis, thrombosis, transfusion medicine, and vascular biology.
4) Enhance the reputation and recognition of Vitalant and HCWP regionally and nationally as active participants in laboratory-based basic and translational research.
The VMI will use three main strategies to achieve its goals:
Multidisciplinary approach: Bring together experts in translational human subjects research, physiology, biochemistry, molecular biology, pharmacology and biophysics.
Translational Research: Define mechanisms of disease, identify novel molecular and biochemical therapeutic targets, establish phase 0, I and II drug development programs, create new intellectual property.
Training: Develop and define a novel training program in translational medicine in the areas of vascular biology, hematology, cardiology and pulmonary medicine.