Cardiovascular diseases remain the most common cause of morbidity and mortality across the globe. While these diseases are distinct in their clinical manifestations, they have common biologic underpinnings and public health implications. To date, research and clinical care focused on active disease have led to a remarkable reduction in cardiovascular mortality over the last 30 years.
However, cardiovascular research has failed to embrace the extraordinary potential to improve individual and public health by preventing disease and preserving health. The need for this refocus is demonstrated by the persistent high prevalence of heart disease and associated significant morbidity despite reductions in mortality.
Duke's work will seek to understand the molecular machinery driving robustness, resilience and rejuvenation of heart tissue. Multidisciplinary teams will explore how to integrate and deploy this knowledge, develop action tools and strategies to apply it, and generate proof that doing so will improve cardiovascular health for individuals and advance population health.