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UCLA Cardiovascular Discovery Fund

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Cardiovascular disease remains the leading cause of disability and premature death in American men and women. Almost every adult has had at least one family member or close friend affected, and while progress has been made, much more needs to be done.

The best way to advance cardiovascular medicine is by integrating stellar scientists and clinicians who develop cutting-edge interventions and technologies for patient care. However, limitations in conventional funding processes - particularly government agencies - can paradoxically slow the rate of testing truly new ideas. The UCLA Cardiovascular Discovery Fund (CDF) has been established to facilitate synergy with traditional research funding that will optimize the generation and testing of new hypotheses.

The objective of the CDF is to target promising, novel research strategies that will expedite the acquisition and translation of basic science results into clinical applications for patients with cardiovascular disease. Once germinated through CDF resources, the best new medical advancements in heart and other blood vessel disorders will progress into traditionally funded research programs. The UCLA Cardiovascular Discovery Fund is pleased to announce funding for two awards effective July 2015. Dr. Tamer Sallam, MD PhD has been named the Lauren B. Leichtman and Arthur E. Levine CDF Investigator for his study of "Defining the function of MeXis in physiology and metabolism."  Arjun Deb, MD and JinZhu Duan PhD have been selected Jim Easton CDF Investigators for their project "Targeting a novel progenitor population to reduce chronic heart scar tissue."

Past recipients included Dr. Thao Nguyen for "Stabilizer Cells: A Novel Twist of Gene Therapy for Cardiac Arrhythmias", Dr. Michael Nivala on the project "Computational Modeling of the Spatiotemporal Dynamics of Cardiac Metabolism", Dr. Nicholas Wisniewski "Novel Approaches to Gene Expression Profiling for Multi-Organ Dysfunction in Heart Failure", and Dr. Ali Nsair evaluating strategies to reprogram cells derived from pig tissue into potentially viable xenografts for cardiac stem cell transplantation. To date, the CDF has raised more than $2.5 million through the generous support of its donors who believe in its important mission.

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