The Department of Integrative Medical Sciences (IMS) at NEOMED is an interdisciplinary department comprised of investigators with a range of interests and disciplines, but with common intersections among their respective areas of research.
Faculty within IMS focus their research in three related areas:
- Cardiac and vascular phenomics with a focus on matrix biology, neurohumoral signaling in the context of preconditioning or apoptotic programs, ion channel signaling in normal states and during the development of vascular disease and vascular biology (including regulation of vascular tone) and vascular growth (collateralogenesis and angiogenesis). Related to this area are research programs in lung development and understanding central mechanisms underlying behavior.
- Hepatic pathobiology with an emphasis on hepatic nuclear receptor signaling and liver production of lipids. The hepatic and vascular areas are related from the perspective that an important cause of many vascular diseases stems from hepatic pathologies and altered production of LDL and HDL by the liver.
- Inflammation, immunology and virology. Some of the investigators with a viral focus study viral-induced tissue degeneration and tumor formation. This third area relates to both the hepatic and cardiovascular focuses in the context of hepatitis and hepatic inflammation and that inflammation is an underpinning to many beneficial cardiovascular adaptations but also can be detrimental if excessive or too prolonged.
Heart & Blood Vessel Disease Research Focus Area
The Heart & Blood Vessel Disease Research Focus Area is comprised of clinical and basic investigators interrogating basic and translational aspects of metabolic and cardiovascular diseases. Within the focus area are two research clusters—one focusing on cardiovascular diseases and the other on hepatic pathobiology. The two clusters connect via common interests (e.g., disorders in lipid metabolism which impacts the development of vascular disease), experimental models (e.g., transgenic and knockout models), and experimental technologies (echocardiographic analyses of cardiac function and remodeling, gene knockdown strategies). The mission of the investigators of the Metabolic and Cardiovascular Disease Focus Area is to conduct basic and translational investigations that promote our understanding of fundamental disease processes and also promote the development of new therapeutic approaches. Investigators within the focus area are mainly at NEOMED, but there are investigators at the University of Akron, Austen BioInnovation Institute of Akron, and Akron General Hospital.
Diabetes, Obesity & Metabolism Research Focus Area
Researchers within the Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism Research Focus Area have expertise in studying bile acid, glucose, lipid and lipoprotein metabolism. Diabetes, obesity, fatty liver disease, and atherosclerosis are among the most common, costly, and preventable of all health problems, and mainly due to dysregulation of lipid, glucose, or energy metabolism. Metabolic dysregulation may cause a number of other chronic diseases and conditions. The researchers also aim to build a collaborative internationally recognized Center of Excellence for fundamental and translational research in diabetes, obesity, and metabolism.