Our faculty conducts clinical research to better understand the causes of and best treatments for hypertension and vascular disease.
Clinical Research Training
Our team develops programs for medical students and residents/fellows interested in learning about ongoing clinical research and trial opportunities. We offer training in diagnostic tests for vascular compliance, central pressures, indices of autonomic function and 24-hour ambulatory blood pressure monitoring.
Interested undergraduate, graduate, post-doctoral fellows and transfers are exposed to three areas of clinic activities:
- Clinical research protocols
- Data management
- Community outreach programs
For those with an interest in clinical research, our training program includes:
- Training sessions for protocol development and implementation
- Shadowing research coordinators for recruitment and patient scheduling
- Experience with legal and ethical aspects of clinical research
- Experience in non-invasive hemodynamic testing of vascular health and autonomic function. (Clinical investigators have access to these tests for patient management and research studies.)
We are not satisfied with performing the latest and best treatments. We believe our team also has a responsibility to be actively involved in cardiovascular research and vascular and heart clinical trials through the following areas.
- We are the only hospital in country evaluating kidney function in patients with renal and mesenteric artery disease. Our work in this area helps us determine whether treatment such as surgical revascularization will be effective.
- Using shared decision-making techniques, we are exploring ways to increase our patients’ involvement in decisions about their care. Cardiovascular research has shown that this type of open dialogue can lead to better outcomes.
- Specialists in cardiology and cancer (cardio-oncologists) are studying heart conditions associated with certain cancer treatments in order to find new treatments using drug therapies.
Our cardiovascular research has played key roles in advancing the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of cardiovascular disease:
- Our cardiac anesthesiologists are using cardiovascular research findings to make heart surgery safer. Because of this work, our patients are less likely to experience complications, such as blood transfusions, during their procedures.
- We are one of a few clinical sites in the country examining gene therapy treatment for patients with complex forms of vascular disease who cannot have surgery.
- Wake Forest is one of a select number of hospitals testing the safety and effectiveness of new technology for treating heart valve disease. Our participation in the Medtronic CoreValve® heart clinical trial means that we can offer patients non-surgical, less-invasive techniques for implanting and replacing heart valves
We are exploring new methods for detecting early signs of cardiovascular disease:
- Applying findings from landmark studies such as the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute’s WISE (Women’s Ischemia Syndrome Evaluation) Study, we are exploring new techniques to properly diagnosis certain forms of heart disease in women.
- Our cardiovascular research in Cardiovascular Imaging techniques is helping predict and prevent cardiovascular events, such as heart attack.
- We are the first hospital in the country to offer cardiac rehabilitation. Our work in this area helps patients prevent future complications. Hospitals around the world are using our findings to develop rehabilitation programs of their own.
Cardiovascular research at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center is helping us learn more about complex cardiovascular conditions which include:
- Deep vein thrombosis
- Peripheral artery disease
- Carotid disease