Purpose

The Cardiovascular Sciences Center (CVSC) provides key coordination and support services for Wake Forest School of Medicine investigators engaged in cardiovascular science research to foster innovation and new discovery. There is a special emphasis on primary and secondary cardiovascular disease prevention and prevention of heart failure as this aligns with the Strategic Plan and heart and vascular service line priorities. The CVSC strives to foster the success of the next generation of cardiovascular science investigators involved in research and medicine and to strengthen the connection between outstanding research faculty and clinical care providers. Our commitment to multidisciplinary team research capitalizes on several existing programmatic efforts where prevention is a key concept, and we will continue to foster integration of this theme into new initiatives.

A large group of diverse people stand together and look up toward a camera for a group shot

CVSC membership serves as program director, faculty and mentors in a number of research training programs focused on increasing diversity in the biomedical sciences and health professions. Pictured are PREP, IMSD and IRACDA trainees, mentors and faculty from the Mid-Atlantic programs at a meeting in 2019.

Goals and Future Directions

  • Communication – including communication within the Center, the rest of the Wake Forest Baptist Health, our regional patients and partners and the wider cardiovascular scientific community
  • Research Facilitation – including scientific, statistical, operational, financial and administrative support designed to generate new knowledge and to use this knowledge to enhance the treatment and prevention of cardiovascular disease
  • Early Career Development – the sustainability of our clinical and scientific cardiovascular enterprise requires a continuous pipeline of new scientists and clinician investigators committed to an academic career

All of our activities directly relate to one or more of these themes. 

Key Research Attributes

There are more than 120 faculty, trainees and staff members of the Cardiovascular Sciences Center who represent more than 45 departments, centers and institutes. Members are extremely productive in terms of grant awards and publications.

Bar chart representing member totals, departments/centers represented, awards and publications involved with the Cardiovascular Science Center

Multi-PI or programmatic-funded thematic research areas with a cardiovascular focus (e.g., P01s, center grants, donor funding, training grants and trials) illustrate a critical mass of collaboratively focused investigators with existing international reputations that parallel clinical areas of cardiovascular excellence and with diversity in their funding portfolios. Specific to the CVSC focus on heart failure and prevention, we have an emphasis on these topics in numerous existing clinical trials and population studies (MESA, ARIC, CHS, WHI, SPRINT, ACCORD, LookAHEAD, etc). 

A group of men and women, all wearing black, stand in front of a large red heart symbolOther institutionally recognized programmatic areas include:

  • Cardiovascular genomics
  • Heart failure-cardiac structure
  • Hypertension and vascular
  • Lifespan
  • Nutrition
  • Lipid sciences and atherosclerosis
  • Population health
  • Stroke
  • Women’s cardiovascular health
(Photo right: Dr. Cheng's lab group at the 2019 American Heart Association Scientific Sessions)