Cardiovascular diseases (CVD) remain the number one cause of death according to the WHO. By 2030 more than 23 million people are expected die of these diseases, which includes stroke, heart failure and hypertension.
Early signs of CVD remain incompletely understood, even though a general consensus has arisen that such early symptoms include the dysfunction of the cells lining blood vessels (endothelium), which are without clinical symptoms. Therefore most patients are only treated after they experienced a serious outbreak of disease, such as a heart attack.
The limited knowledge on early cardiovascular disease is reflected in the current lack of therapeutic options. SysVASC plans to overcome this limitation by mounting a systems medicine approach to identify molecular targets for therapeutic intervention. A systems medicine approach refers to a comprehensive collection of clinical and experimental data to generate computer models of the disease, in order to predict disease targets.
sysVASC aims to:
- integrate high quality, high resolution molecular data from prospective clinical studies
- identify key molecular nodes underlying the progression from asymptomatic disease to major clinical events
- model disease processes to reflect pathological events in human disease
- validate the selected predicted targets in animal models
The consortium will also use unique resources to evaluate molecular homology between the available model systems and human disease. The approach will yield reliable, essential preclinical research tools to explore proof of concepts for therapeutic intervention studies and to ultimately translate relevant results into novel therapeutic approaches.