Gazes Cardiac Research Endowment
The scientific focus of the Gazes Cardiac Research Institute is an understanding of cardiac growth in the adult. This is because when presented with an increased demand, such as occurs during hypertension or after a heart attack, the heart responds by increasing its mass, thus compensating via a larger pump for the increased cardiac workload. This hypertrophic cardiac growth is in this way initially beneficial. However, when sustained for long periods cardiac hypertrophic growth leads to maladaptive processes which interfere with normal cardiac function; this eventuates in heart failure and death. Congestive heart failure has remained the number one killer of Americans for many years. It is our goal to understand the basic mechanisms of cardiac growth so that we can prevent heart failure by retaining the beneficial aspects of cardiac hypertrophy while averting the dystrophic features that cause this initially compensatory process to fail.
The goal of the Gazes Cardiac Research Endowment is to provide an operating budget for the Institute sufficient to supplement that funding available from our very aggressive and successful acquisition of external grant support. Data are available which allow a realistic estimate of income required from the Endowment. These data are based upon the addition to the current faculty of new scientists who would expand the breadth of scientific expertise of this highly collaborative and scientifically diverse research group. This current research group, which is focused on Heart Failure, comprises 8 faculty with an additional 35 associated students, postdoctoral fellows, and technicians. The Gazes Cardiac Research Institute laboratories are located in a newly completed state-of-the-art research facility. A strong commitment by the Cardiology Division, the Medical University of South Carolina, and the Department of Veteran Affairs has provided the necessary infrastructure of physical space and extensive basic research equipment required to perform cutting-edge cardiovascular research. Our research budget of approximately 3 million dollars annually is derived almost exclusively (87%) through extramurally funded research initiatives supported by the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and the American Heart Association. The majority of the remaining budget is generated from the Gazes Cardiac Research Institute Endowment, which currently has about four million dollars in assets that generate $200,000/yr in operational monies.
Before the recent advent of managed care, the Cardiology Division was able to provide ~50% of the Gazes Cardiac Research Institute's annual budget. This generous philosophy and resultant funding allowed us to develop from scratch a research institute having very high national and international stature in less than a decade. Unfortunately, the strictures of managed care have reduced the Cardiology Division's financial support to a small fraction of that needed for those aspects of the Institute's expenses that cannot be covered by external grants. It is our goal for the Gazes Cardiac Research Institute to become a self-sustaining entity. To do this, we need to increase the total Institute Endowment to 25 - 30 million dollars. This would generate more than one million dollars in annual income that would be used to implement long-term research programs, develop junior faculty, and purchase state-of-the-art equipment. This in turn would allow the Gazes Cardiac Research Institute to become and remain one of the premier cardiovascular research facilities in the world. In order for us to accomplish this goal, we will need the assistance of private sponsors.
To receive additional information regarding private sponsorship of the Gazes Cardiac Research Institute, please contact George Cooper, M.D., Director, Gazes Cardiac Research Institute.