Welcome to the Redmond Vascular Biology Lab
Atherosclerosis, a hardening and narrowing of arterial blood vessels, is the most common form of cardiovascular disease and a leading cause of death and disability worldwide for both women and men. In the United States alone heart attacks and stroke caused by atherosclerosis result in approximately 800,000 deaths annually (1 of every 3 deaths) with an associated economic cost of $351 billion in 2020. This despite current treatments that include preventative medical therapies and lifestyle changes, in addition to revascularization and stenting of obstructed arteries to reduce ischemia and improve quality of life. Our lab uses state-of-the-art in vitro and in vivo techniques to gain insight into the cell populations (smooth muscle, endothelial, stem cell), signaling mechanisms, and molecular processes mediating atherosclerotic plaque development and progression.
Alcohol and cardiovascular disease
Alcohol consumption is a modifiable behaviour of considerable interest in relation to cardiovascular health. Drinking may have either positive or negative effects, depending not only on the total amount consumed but also the pattern of consumption. Population studies reveal that chronic alcohol abuse and binge drinking are associated with increased cardiovascular-related morbidity and mortality. On the other hand, compared with abstinence, regular alcohol consumption at low to moderate levels is associated with reduced death from myocardial infarction and ischemic stroke. Currently lacking, however, is an in-depth knowledge of how alcohol impacts the various cell types present in arteries to ultimately dictate vessel disease development and progression. Elucidating, at a basic science level, the cell and molecular mechanisms mediating the effects of alcohol on cardiovascular health and disease, particularly the apparent beneficial effects of low to moderate consumption, would be of great significance and is a major focus of our lab. Our goal is to increase understanding of precisely how alcohol impacts vessel health while yielding new information enabling the design of innovative targeted therapies for cardiovascular disease in addition to informing, on a scientific basis, public health guidelines re alcohol consumption and cardiovascular health.