Cardiovascular diseases (CVD) are a leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide and represent a major burden for health care systems. To boost the existing capacities and competencies, crossing canonical and static boundaries between disciplines we have implemented a coherent and inclusive approach that brings together basic researchers and clinicians, allowing a strategy "from bench to bedside and back again". In terms of basic research, the group has been investigating the strategies whereby cardiac cells communicate and the mechanisms involved in the maintenance of a healthy proteome. More specifically, we aim to elucidate how the disturbance of protein degradation and intercellular communication systems can contribute to CVD, with a particular focus on autophagy and communication, either direct, between neighbour cells, through gap junctions and tunnelling nanotubes, or at long distances via extracellular vesicles.
In terms of clinical competencies, the group has two highly differentiated areas:
The team integrates competencies and resources on:
Members of the group are involved in National Reference Centers for cardiovascular structural intervention, pulmonary hypertension, congenital heart diseases, and heart transplantation, which give us privileged access to human samples. We have developed fruitful collaborations with other groups, namely in the field of metabolism, regenerative medicine, computer modelling for drug dispersion after DES stents implantation, telemonitoring, and psychological aspects of cardiovascular diseases.
Re-PAIR: A novel mechanism to re-pair HFpEF and endothelial damage. FCT - Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia (2018-2020); On the right side: unveiling the mechanisms of pulmonary hypertension reversability and the heart failure progression. FCT - Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia (2018-2021).
On the right side: unveiling the mechanisms of pulmonary hypertension reversability and the heart failure progression. FCT/PT2020 - 02/SAICT/2017_434 (240,000 €). 2018-2021 (PI Rui Baptista).