About the Gazes Cardiac Research Institute
When the heart struggles to pump blood against an increased load, cardiac muscle cells respond by growing. Unfortunately, these enlarged cells often become abnormal, resulting in a major step on the road to heart failure, a problem facing up to four million patients in the United States, resulting in an economic burden that exceeds $11 billion each year.
Understanding the subtle mechanisms that cause the cells to become abnormal has been the focus of long-running MUSC research efforts that helped attract more than $3 million in federal grants last year, making the Gazes Cardiac Research Institute one of the nation's leading centers for heart failure research. These grants also contributed to the growth of the university's overall research budget to more than $234 million, placing MUSC among the top 100 research institutions in the country.
Named in honor of Peter Gazes, M.D., the institute operates within the adult cardiology division, headed by Michael R. Gold, M.D., Ph.D. Included among its faculty are both physician investigators ( Terrence O'Brien and Michael Zile) and basic investigators (Drs. Amy Bradshaw, Dhandapani Kuppuswamy, Paul McDermott and Donald Menick).
The institute is housed in the first three floors of the Strom Thurmond/Gazes Cardiac Research Institute building. Work on the first floor is focused on the evaluation of new treatment modalities in patients with heart failure. On the upper floors, the basic research laboratories of MUSC and the Ralph Johnson Veterans Administration Medical Center concentrate on the altered cardiac properties that cause heart failure. The goal of these efforts is a tightly integrated attack on heart failure, including discovery of the critical molecular changes in the failing heart as well as the application of this knowledge in the prevention and cure of the disease.