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Cardiovascular Diseases and Critical Care

Jacques Genest, MD, FRCPC
Stella Daskalopoulou, MD, MSc, DIC, PhD 

The Cardiovascular Disease and Critical Care Axis is dedicated to the understanding and treatment of cardiovascular diseases, which represent a major cause of death and disability worldwide. Research axis are: lipoprotein metabolism and cardiovascular genetics, atherosclerosis, vascular biology and response to inflammatory stress, cellular and mathematical models for the study of cardiac electrophysiology, congenital heart diseases, valvular diseases, arterial stiffness, and assessment of technologies in cardiovascular health. 
Health information research networks have enabled knowledge translation from basic, to clinical, to outcomes research, resulting in significant impacts on policy and on the quality of cardiovascular care nationally and internationally. The major goal of the axis is to produce new knowledge in order to improve the health of patients with complex multisystem conditions.
Methodologies used by researchers range from molecular cellular biology, to integrative physiology, to clinical and epidemiological studies. Research in this axis continues to benefit from large annual patient volume and the number of medical procedures conducted in the MUHC's cardiology and critical care department. Every year, it treats 40,000 out-patients, and performs more than 3,600 cardiac catheterization procedures and 1,200 open heart surgeries, thus providing a wealth of vital clinical material to researchers.
The Clinical Unit, which already includes cardiac catheterization laboratories and a Coronary Care Unit, now has a new non-invasive laboratory with two state-of-the-art echocardiology machines dedicated to the study of vascular function. This cutting-edge technology will allow for the study of large populations of specific metabolic or genetic disorders in a non-invasive fashion.
The Critical Care division remains an active participant in the highly successful Canadian Critical Care Trials Group (CCCTG), a collegiate group dedicated to the advancement of critical care research in Canada.