Cardiovascular diseases (CVD), such as myocardial infarction, cerebrovascular accidents and peripheral vascular disease, are the leading cause of global morbidity and motality. Atherosclerosis, an inflammatory disorder of the vasculature that is associated with a build up of fatty deposits and cellular debris in medium and large arteries, is the underlying cause of CVD. Lifestyle changes and pharmaceutical intervention have led to some recent reduction in morbidity and mortality from CVD at least in the western world. However, it is likely that this will reverse in the future because of global increase in risk factors such as obesity and diabetes. Current pharmaceutical treatments against atherosclerosis are associated with a considerable residual risk for CVD together with various side effects. In addition, many pharmaceutical agents against promising targets have proved disappointing at the clinical level. It is therefore important that the molecular basis of atherosclerosis is fully understood and new preventative and therapeutic agents or targets are identified.
Research in my laboratory is focused at investigating the molecular mechanisms underlying the impact of the inflammatory response on atherosclerosis with emphasis on macrophages, which are involved in all stages of the disease, and the actions of preventative and therapeutic agents. Our research has particularly provided novel insights into the actions of nutraceuticals, including lipids and their metabolites. This presentation will discuss the molecular basis of atherosclerosis and opportunities for drug discovery, current therapies against the disease and their limitations, emerging therapies targeting lipid metabolism and the inflammatory response, and the potential of nutraceuticals as preventative/therapeutic agents.
Published Date: 2021-05-24;