Cardiovascular medicine faculty members are actively engaged in cardiovascular research, with projects ranging from NIH-sponsored basic science studies of vascular biology to multi-center clinical trials examining the efficacy of new cardiovascular treatment modalities.

The division is assigned 4,000 square feet of basic laboratory space within the combined University Hospital/Harry S. Truman Memorial Veterans’ Hospital. Division faculty members currently participate in more than 20 active randomized clinical trials, which are supported by three full-time research nurses.

William Fay, MD, has a laboratory, located in the University of Missouri Center for Diabetes and Cardiovascular Research, that conducts experiments examining the roles of the blood-clotting system in the pathogenesis of arterial thrombosis and vascular remodeling. These studies, funded by the National Institutes of Health, focus on the roles of plasminogen activator inhibitor-1, vitronectin, tissue factor and C-reactive protein in vascular disease.

Hongmin Sun, PhD, studies the role of the blood-clotting system in human disease. An underlying concept of her research program is that the blood-clotting system appears to function not only to prevent bleeding but also to contain bacterial pathogens. Using a variety of cutting-edge molecular-genetic approaches, Dr. Sun and her research team are attempting to identify new compounds that can be used to treat or prevent streptococcal infections. Streptococci are a major cause of human disease, ranging from simple infections, such as streptococcal pharyngitis (strep throat), to rheumatic fever, an important cause of human valvular heart disease. Dr. Sun’s research is funded by the National Institutes of Health.

Greg Flaker, MD, is world-renowned for his research in atrial fibrillation. He is particularly interested in anticoagulation and atrial fibrillation. Another research interest is the arrhythmogenic potential of tasers.

Martin A. Alpert, MD, continues his research on obesity and the heart. Recent studies include the relation of morbid obesity to ventricular repolarization.

Anand Chockalingam, MD, conducts research on left ventricular outflow tract obstruction and on alternative methods of cardiac rehabilitations for patients living in rural areas.

Kul Aggarwal, MD, continues his research interest in coronary artery disease in patients with chronic kidney disease.

In addition to studies performed by Cardiovascular Medicine Division faculty, a wide range of cardiovascular research takes place at Mizzou, performed by investigators within the following departments or centers:

Role of Fellows

Cardiovascular Disease Fellows are strongly encouraged to participate in research during their fellowship, either by working with faculty on ongoing research or developing their own research with the assistance of faculty mentors. Fellows are provided up to six months of protected time for research. A 12-month research track is available for those who seek in-depth experience in basic or translational cardiovascular research. The division pays for attendance at national meetings for fellows whose research abstracts are accepted for presentation. Since 2008, our fellows have published more than 160 articles or book chapters. Many of these are research articles, and in many cases fellows have served as lead investigator and first author.