Cardiovascular Disease Research Cluster (CDRC)

Cardiovascular Disease Research Cluster (CDRC) - Coordinator, Nalini Santanam, PhD, MPH, FAHA

Cardiovascular disease is still the number one killer in the U.S. and world over. Its rates are particularly higher in the Appalachian region, including WV. West Virginia ranks among the top three states in incidences of cardiometabolic diseases (cardiovascular disease, obesity, Type 2 Diabetes). The overall mission of the CDRC is to seek knowledge in understanding the causes and consequences of cardiovascular diseases (coronary artery disease, atherosclerosis, hypertension, heart failure and thrombosis), and identify potential preventive (lifestyle changes such as diet and exercise) and therapeutic strategies to lower incidence in the Appalachian region and the U.S. This cluster brings together scientists, clinicians, academicians and students interested in research, treatment, teaching and learning about these chronic diseases.


Basic Science Researcher             Research Interests

Zijian Xie, PhD                                      Hypertension, Renal diseases

Jiang Liu, PhD                                      Hypertension, Kidney related disease

Komal Sodhi, MD                                 Cardiotoxity in cancer

Wei Li, PhD                                         Platelet function in thrombosis and atherosclerosis

Donald Primerano, PhD                        Genomics and transcriptomics

Richard D. Egleton, PhD                       Stroke, blood brain barrier dysfunction

Emine Koc, PhD                                  Mitochondrial dysfunction in heart disease

Nalini Santanam, PhD                          Women’s lifestyle on atherosclerosis/CAD

Sandrine Pierre, PhD                            Cardiac ischemia

Clinical Researcher                         Research Interests

Joseph Shapiro, MD                              Hypertension, Renal diseases

Ellen Thompson, MD                             Heart Failure, coronary artery disease

Todd Gress, MD, MPH                          Cardiometabolic diseases

Paulette Wehner, MD                            Heart Failure, Women’s health

David Chaffin, MD                                  Preeclampsia