Everyone knows someone who is battling heart disease. It is the leading cause of death in the US and the developed world. And it is increasing rapidly in the developing world as well. But Dr. Ralph Shohet, Director of the Center for Cardiovascular Research at the John A. Burns School of Medicine, is optimistic that new scientific insights will help us treat and prevent heart disease in the future. Dr. Shohet has just received two large grants from the National Institutes of Health, one for Core laboratories and another for training young investigators.
These two grants will bring in more than $6 million over the next five years to pay researchers and staff and help cover related university expenses, too. Learn more in our video report.
(If you want to read on, and watch later, here is the story.)
The John A. Burns School of Medicine has three designated “Centers for Biomedical Research Excellence”, laboratories the federal government is investing in to expand research here.
The Cardiovascular Research Center is one of them and it’s director Dr. Ralph Shohet loves coming to work.
Dr. Shohet, Endowed Director of the Center for Cardiovasclar Research : “There is nothing more exciting than exploring biology and especially human disease biology with the tools of molecular science these days, because we are understanding at a basic level how our heart works and how it goes wrong and how to prevent or treat problems which develop in what is the leading cause of death and disability in our population. Those discoveries are really what drive us and keep us tap-dancing into work each morning.”
There’s new reason to love the job these days. The Cardiovascular Research Center recently received five more years of funding from the National Institutes of Health as a Center for Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE). They also just received a training grant from the Heart Lung and Blood Institute, called a “T-32”, which supports graduate students and post-doctoral fellows. Both of these large grants help to fuel Hawai`i’s economy, too.
Dr. Shohet: “So the COBRE program will bring about $700,000 a year for salaries. It will support three skilled technicians and about a half dozen other people who will get some salary support while working in our center.
The training program starts out with three students and moves up to five by the third year and is a total of about a million dollars over five years. So that will pay the salaries of those students as they are learning about basic cardiovascular mechanisms and insights that will help us understand heart disease.”
Dr. Shohet: ”It energizes all the investigators in the laboratory to have a sense that they are participating in a sort of global effort to understand these important problems with these very powerful new techniques that we have available to us.”
And with cardiovascular disease Hawai`i’s leading cause of death, understanding, treating and preventing it would be the best investment of all.
To contact our Center for Cardiovascular Research, email: email@example.com