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Basic Science

Dr. Subodh Verma with research manager, Adrian Quan

KSU Program participants in the Basic Science component work in the lab of Dr. Subodh Verma, Cardiac Surgeon and Staff Scientist at the LKSKI of St. Michael’s Hospital. Participants undergo training in numerous basic science and cardiovascular research techniques including; proper handling of lab animals, induction of myocardial infarction and hind limb ischemia, aortic dissection, aortic banding, radiotelemetry, wire myograph, perfusion  myograph, oil Red O staining, and blood pressure measurements with a Millar catheter.

The primary focus of the research program in Dr. Verma’s lab is the basic and translational aspects of endothelial function and vascular biology as they relate to atherosclerosis and its complications.  The major themes of the Verma lab research program include:
Novel Targets of Endothelial Function: Bench to Bedside
Research is focused on identifying novel mediators and cellular targets of endothelial function using molecular, cellular, genetic and pharmacological tools, in-vitro and in-vivo. In addition, projects are directed at evaluating circulating biomarkers of endothelial injury and prognostic measures of vascular dysfunction in humans. The overarching goal of this research is to realize potentially new therapeutic directions to treat and prevent atherosclerosis.
The DNA Damage Repair Gene BRCA1 is a Novel Target of Cardiovascular Protection
A unique platform to study the role of DNA damage repair and the breast and ovarian cancer gene, BRCA1, in cardiovascular protection has been developed in this lab. Early research implicates BRCA1 as a key mediator of process in cardiovascular disease and its related complications.  When fully validated, these findings may represent a new approach to treating cardiovascular disease, particularly in patients receiving chemotherapy.
Participants spend 4 weeks working on the Basic Science component of the KSU Medical Research Program where the main objective is to:
  • gain a basic understanding of cardiovascular research
  • become familiar with the principles of the molecular, functional, and surgical techniques employed in a cardiovascular research lab
  • learn appropriate small animal care, anesthesia and blood extraction methodology
  • undertake training in specific cardiovascular techniques to evaluate rodent models of human disease
A schedule is provided in advance outlining the meetings, seminars, and training included in the program.   Before arrival, participants already have a good idea how their time will be spent.
Participants in the KSU Medical Research Program at the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute of St. Michael’s gain access to a state-of-the-art laboratory and core facility as well as an international research community that is diverse, knowledgeable, and experienced.   During the time spend at the LKSKI participants network with experts in many fields across the Institute, and as a result, the learning objectives are not necessarily limited to the outline.  There is some flexibility around the content. If there are specific skills participants are interested in learning while they are here, our instructors will do their best to accommodate the request. 
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