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Rosenzweig to Head International Cardiovascular Research Grant

Anthony Rosenzweig, MD, Director of Cardiovascular Research at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC), has been named the American Coordinator of a prestigious Transatlantic Network of Excellence grant from the Paris-based Leducq Foundation.

BOSTON - Anthony Rosenzweig, MD, Director of Cardiovascular Research at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC), has been named the American Coordinator of a prestigious Transatlantic Network of Excellence grant from the Paris-based Leducq Foundation. The five-year grant, totaling $6 million, will support research on metabolic heart disease.

Emphasizing international collaboration and transatlantic cooperation, the Leducq Foundation developed its Networks of Excellence in Cardiovascular Research Program four years ago to encourage international cooperation and accelerate the pace of discovery in areas relevant to cardiovascular disease. The program pairs investigators from both sides of the Atlantic to reinforce scientific and technological excellence; in this program Rosenzweig and European coordinator Timothy Aitman, MD, PhD, a researcher in the genetics of metabolic disease at Hammersmith Hospital, London, will oversee a consortium of 10 scientific laboratories in both the U.S. and Europe that will focus on understanding the intersection of heart failure and metabolic disease, such as diabetes.

"These are both enormous clinical problems that often occur in tandem," explains Rosenzweig, who is also an Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. "Dr. Aitman and I believe that common molecular mechanisms contribute to both, and we hope to unravel these mechanisms so that, ultimately, we can learn how to target them therapeutically."

Titled, "Integrative Networks Regulating Cardiomyocyte Metabolism and Survival in Heart Failure and Insulin Resistance," the grant has three primary goals, according to Rosenzweig: to gain a better understanding of the role and interactions of specific metabolic pathways in the development of heart failure; to use a genomics-based approach to investigate cardiomyocyte metabolism; and to directly test the relevance of these observations to human heart failure and insulin resistance.

The four other American investigators on the research team are Jonathan Seidman, PhD, of Harvard Medical School; Christine Seidman, MD, of Brigham and Women's Hospital; Bruce Spiegelman, PhD, of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute; and Robert Gerszten, MD, of the Massachusetts General Hospital.

"It's an honor to be working with such an outstanding group of investigators - both in the U.S. and Europe," says Rosenzweig. "Dr. Aitman and I are extremely fortunate that internationally renowned researchers in both heart disease and metabolic disease are joining in this effort. Each brings a complementary set of skills and expertise to bear on this serious problem and I'm optimistic that the collaboration among these scientists will lead to significant progress in our efforts against these widespread conditions."

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center is a patient care, teaching and research affiliate of Harvard Medical School and ranks third in National Institutes of Health funding among independent hospitals nationwide. BIDMC is clinically affiliated with the Joslin Diabetes Center and is a research partner of the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center. BIDMC is the official hospital of the Boston Red Sox. For more information, visit www.bidmc.harvard.edu.

The Paris-based Leducq Foundation, created in 1996 by Jean and Sylviane Leducq, is charged with the mission of improving human health through international efforts to combat cardiovascular disease. The foundation currently awards $24 million in grants annually under a program called the Transatlantic Networks of Excellence in Cardiovascular Research. The distinguishing feature of this program is that grants are awarded to international research teams composed of scientists from Europe and North America who join forces to push the frontiers of cardiovascular research. Foundation-funded teams are presently working on a wide range of cardiovascular issues, including heart failure, coronary artery disease, congenital heart defects, cardiac rhythm disturbances and others. For more information on the Leducq Foundation, see the website at www.fondationleducq.org.