Cardiovascular disease progresses silently for many decades prior to the development of symptoms. The research done by our group is focused on aspects of vascular function and structure that begin to change early in the disease process. Using ultrasound and other technology we measure the thickness of the arterial walls, the stiffness of the arteries and the function of the cells that line their interior. These cells form the vascular endothelium and their proper function is essential for the prevention of atherosclerosis (fatty plaque accumulation in the arteries).
The CVSRL works to understand the characteristics of the endothelial response to changes in blood flow and how this can be applied to understand and prevent pathological changes in vascular function. Cardiovascular health is influenced by a myriad of factors and in the CVSRL we are particularly interested in investigating the physiological mechanisms (e.g. stress hormone responses and autonomic nervous system activity) that link psychosocial stress to the development of cardiovascular disease.