Institute for Cardiovascular Research

Mission: to search for scientific solutions to cardiovascular disease.

Research Programs

The normal heart and the transition to heart failure are studied at the molecular and cellular level, at the cardiac muscle level and at the level of the heart as a whole, in terms of muscle contraction and pump function. The major aim is to reduce the suffering from cardiac failure.

long-term vascular dysfunction, mostly of unknown origin, is studied in diverse pathologies. Focus areas of esearch are diabetes mellitus and obesity, pulmonary arterial hypertension, and atherosclerosis.

Dr Nazha Hamdani: ‘New opportunities for heart-failure patients’

Dr Nazha Hamdani combines her job at ICaRVU with a position at Ruhr University Bochum, Germany. ‘In both of my jobs, I am working on the problem of diastolic heart failure, which affects half of all heart failure patients.’

Viagra for the heart
‘We have found a promising mechanism for the treatment of such patients, whose survival rates have shown no improvement in recent years. It appears that diastolic heart failure patients lack a specific enzyme that causes the giant protein titin in the myocardial cells to relax. We discovered that this enzyme can be activated with the drug sildenafil, commonly known as Viagra. So the evidence indicates that this enzyme can be influenced by a readily available, low-toxicity
pharmaceutical agent, which may provide these patients with a novel therapeutic opportunity.’

Fundamental solutions
‘Working at ICaR-VU provides me with the challenging opportunity to get involved in the forefront of a highly relevant clinical problem. Up until now, all that we have been able to do for this large group of heart failure patients is to relieve their symptoms. Now, this leading research project is finally opening the door to a more fundamental solution.’

Lees meer over het onderzoek op het gebied van Cardiovascular Sciences bij VUmc en AMC op de website van het onderzoeksinstituut ACS.