Cardiovascular Pathobiology

Dwight Towler to lead Pathobiology Program

Dwight Towler to lead Pathobiology Program

Dwight A. Towler, M.D., Ph.D. has joined Sanford-Burnham's Lake Nona campus as professor and director of the Cardiovascular Pathobiology Program.

Heart hormone helps shape fat metabolism

Heart hormone helps shape fat metabolism

A study at Sanford-Burnham suggests that the heart plays a role in breaking down fat. Sheila Collins, Ph.D. and colleagues observed how hormones released by the heart stimulate fat cell metabolism.

The many flavors of diabetic heart disease

The many flavors of diabetic heart disease

The diabetic heart is different from the non-diabetic failing heart in that it is filled with fat.

What is cardiovascular pathobiology?

The Diabetes and Obesity Research Center Cardiovascular Pathobiology Program (CPP) emphasizes the study of heart failure, heart attack, hardening of the arteries, stroke, and poor circulation – in sum, the disease biology responsible for the number one cause of morbidity and mortality in our society.

What is the focus of our program—What questions are
we asking?

Thematic strengths within the Diabetes and Obesity Research Center CPP surround muscle fuel metabolism – i.e., the way the heart and other muscles obtain energy to support their strength and function throughout life. The hormones that control muscle (heart, skeletal, and smooth muscle) health, regeneration, and mitochondrial function also represent important research emphases—with diagnostic potential that can help guide individualized approaches to cardiovascular disease treatment.

How will our research help patients?

Diabetes and obesity impair heart muscle pump function, skeletal muscle strength, and blood flow, thus causing fatigue, weakness, stroke, heart attack, kidney failure, and poor circulation that conveys risk for foot amputation. The goal of the Diabetes and Obesity Research Center’s CPP is to utilize a fundamental understanding of muscle fuel metabolism as a mechanism to discover new molecular targets and therapeutics that preserve or restore cardiovascular health. In this way, we seek to develop personalized strategies that reduce cardiovascular frailty in order to maintain patient mobility, vitality, productivity, and autonomy.


Recent Developments

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Dwight Towler to lead Sanford-Burnham’s Cardiovascular Pathobiology Program

Dwight A. Towler, M.D., Ph.D., will join Sanford-Burnham at Lake Nona as professor and director of its Cardiovascular Pathobiology Program. As program director, Dr. Towler will lead the Institute’s research into fundamental and early translational aspects of cardiovascular biology, physiology, and disease.  Read More...

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