The objective of our Phase IIl Center of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE) program is to continue to provide the strong infrastructure, core laboratory support, and collegial scientific environment necessary to mentor outstanding investigators and foster collaborations within the multidisciplinary and interdepartmental effort i cardiovascular biology at the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center-New Orleans (LSUHSC-NO). One of the top priorities of our Phase I and Phase II COBRE program has been to increase the number of NIH-RO1 grants in cardiovascular biology by transitioning Junior Investigators from COBRE support to RO1-funded status and to launch these individuals on a successful research career path. This effort has been one major step to a broad institutional initiative to develop a Cardiovascular Center of Excellence at LSUHSC. Over the last 10 years of funding, we built three scientific core facilities that have been instrumental in advancing the scientific programs of COBRE and fellow researchers at LSUHSC. We have matriculated 16 outstanding Jr. Investigators through our program. Of these, 14 received extramural grant awards from NIH and/or the American Heart Association stemming from their COBRE projects. Thus, Phase III support is required to sustain the strong infrastructure and mentoring environment we have developed over the past 10 years as we finalize the transition of our program from COBRE to Institutional support. The following are the Specific Aims of the Phase III program: 1) To provide support to sustain and enhance the infrastructure and use of COBRE Core Facilities, which have been pivotal to the function of our Center's cardiovascular research mission at LSUHSC, 2) To further increase the critical mass of investigators at LSUHSC with research programs in the area of cardiovascular disease through the support of COBRE Pilot Projects and the mentoring mission of our Center, 3) To expand the thematic, multidisciplinary and interdepartmental research program in cardiovascular biology which fosters collaborative relationships between basic and clinician-scientists, 4). To finalize the transition from a COBRE supported program to a nationally recognized, interdisciplinary Center of Excellence with state and federal funding.
Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in both men and women in the United States, and is a major cause of death throughout the world. This Center of Biomedical Research Excellence sponsors research and training that involves in vitro analysis of molecular processes that alter vascular cell function and animal models of disease progression, which ultimately guide translational research to understanding how cellular and molecular changes lead to cardiovascular disease progression in humans