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VU hosts international vascular biology research meeting

Aug. 2, 2012, 9:11 AM

More than 100 students, faculty and scientists from around the world attended a four-day program on vascular biology research last week at Vanderbilt University.

Sponsored by the North American Vascular Biology Association, the program, called Vasculata 2012, covered a wide range of approaches for studying vascular function and disease.

“Vascular disease continues to be the No. 1 cause of mortality and morbidity in Western societies,” said David Harrison, M.D., who directs the Vanderbilt Division of Clinical Pharmacology and the Center for Vascular Biology.

Vascular disease causes heart attacks, strokes and some forms of dementia.  Abnormal blood vessel formation contributes to the growth and spread of some cancers.
While advances in the treatment of vascular disease have resulted in dramatic reductions in heart attacks and strokes in recent years, the growing epidemic of obesity threatens to reverse that trend, he said.

As a result, there is a continuing need to train vascular scientists, said Harrison, the Betty and Jack Bailey Professor of Medicine and Pharmacology.

This is the first year Vanderbilt has hosted Vasculata, which included workshops and poster sessions as well as lectures.

Harrison organized the event with the help of colleagues from Nashville’s Meharry Medical College and the University of Kentucky, which provided nearly a third of the speakers.
Funding for the meeting was provided by the Vanderbilt Department of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (grant number 1R13HL116043), Danish Myograph Technologies, Hemoshear LLC, and by Joel and Ruth Spira through the Lutron Foundation.

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