40 high school and undergraduate students recently shared the research projects they have spent eight weeks working on in summer programs held at LSU Health Shreveport.
Letter from the Director
Established in 2013, the Center for Cardiovascular Diseases and Sciences (CCDS) attained the status of “Center of Excellence” from the Louisiana Board of Regents in 2018, making it the third Center of Excellence on the LSU Health Shreveport campus. The CCDS investigators play a major role in the mission of LSU Health Shreveport through training medical and graduate students, conducting clinical trials that enhance local cardiovascular treatments in the region, and developing nationally-renowned biomedical research programs with the potential to change the treatment of cardiovascular disease for future generations.
Cardiovascular disease research represents a considerable strength of the LSU Health Shreveport campus. CCDS faculty have tripled their extramural NIH funding over the past three years, accounting for 90% of the increase in NIH funding to LSU Health Shreveport over this time. Starting in 2018, the NIH Center of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE) in Redox Biology and Cardiovascular Disease provides significant funding to CCDS faculty seeking their first R01 award. This COBRE grant also provides access to state-of-the-art core facilities for Animal Phenotyping and Histology and for Redox Molecular Signaling. The CCDS recently expanded its core facilities to establish the Surgical Models Core, the Virus Production Core, and the Electrophysiology Core, and we continue to provide a variety of intramural research grants for training, project development, and collaborative research opportunities. In addition, the CCDS is committed to training the next generation of scientists. Our NIH-funded Cardiovascular Undergraduate Research Initiative fOr Underrepresented Students (CURIOUS) program provides minority college students with hands-on training in cardiovascular research and exposure to a variety of science career options at LSU Health Shreveport.
In addition to biomedical research, the CCDS and its faculty are dedicated to enhancing the treatment of cardiovascular disease in Northwest Louisiana. The CCDS supports a variety of cardiovascular clinical trials for new devices and drugs, especially for the treatment of acute coronary syndrome, heart failure, and cardiomyopathy. We provide continuing medical education for local physicians through our annual ArkLaTex Cardiology Conference. On September 28th, 2019, the CCDS will collaborate with Ochsner physicians to host the first annual Heart Health Day, providing the local community with free health screenings, physician consultations, and educational activities for adults and children.
We in the CCDS are grateful for the support from the state and the local community, and we look forward to continuing to push LSU Health Shreveport to the forefront of cardiovascular research.
A. Wayne Orr, PhD
Director, Center for Cardiovascular Diseases and Sciences