UPMC, Pitt Commit $30 Million to New Heart, Lung, Blood, and Vascular Medicine Institute

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UPMC and the University of Pittsburgh are investing $30 million over the next five years to support existing and new research with the creation of the Pittsburgh Heart, Lung, Blood, and Vascular Medicine Institute (VMI). Partnering with the University of Pittsburgh Vascular Medicine Institute and UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute (HVI), the new institute’s mission will be to carry out cutting-edge basic and translational research in the heart, lung and blood systems. The VMI was created only five years ago with support from the Institute of Transfusion Medicine and the Hemophilia Center of Western Pennsylvania and already houses 20 investigators involved in vascular, blood and hematology research. The new expansion into cardiovascular medicine represents a major role for this Institute in multidisciplinary research in Pittsburgh.

“Heart, lung and blood disorders remain the number one cause of morbidity and mortality in society, despite important advances in research and treatments, said Steven Shapiro, M.D., executive vice president and chief medical and scientific officer for UPMC. “This commitment by UPMC and Pitt will build on the strengths of our existing heart and vascular medicine research to speed discovery and innovation to address these significant health problems.”

“This endeavor will accelerate bench-to-bedside translational research solutions for many heart diseases, including valve disorders, atrial fibrillation and heart failure, as well as lung and blood disorders,” said Arthur S. Levine, M.D., Pitt’s senior vice chancellor for the health sciences and the John and Gertrude Petersen Dean of the School of Medicine. “In addition, the multidisciplinary and systems biology approaches that are the core of VMI will enhance our training of the next generation of leading physician-scientists in these fields.”

The VMI will be led by Mark Gladwin, M.D., chief of the division of pulmonary, allergy and critical care medicine in the Department of Medicine, and director of the VMI. Dr. Gladwin also has been named a co-director of the HVI, with a focus on research. Current HVI co-director Joon Sup Lee, M.D., recently was appointed division chief of cardiology in Pitt’s Department of Medicine.

Victor Morrell, M.D., vice chair and director of cardiovascular services at Pitt’s Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, and Michel Makaroun, M.D., chief of the vascular surgery division in Pitt’s Department of Surgery, also are HVI co-directors.

HVI will continue to develop new models of care, including ongoing efforts in catheter-based and minimally invasive treatments for valvular disease, comprehensive atrial fibrillation disease management, coordinated decision-making in coronary artery disease protocols with the Heart Team, and telemedicine-based approaches for outpatient heart failure management.

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About the University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences

The University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences include the schools of Medicine, Nursing, Dental Medicine, Pharmacy, Health and Rehabilitation Sciences and the Graduate School of Public Health. The schools serve as the academic partner to the UPMC (University of Pittsburgh Medical Center). Together, their combined mission is to train tomorrow’s health care specialists and biomedical scientists, engage in groundbreaking research that will advance understanding of the causes and treatments of disease and participate in the delivery of outstanding patient care. Since 1998, Pitt and its affiliated university faculty have ranked among the top 10 educational institutions in grant support from the National Institutes of Health. For additional information about the Schools of the Health Sciences, please visit www.health.pitt.edu.