Molecular Cardiology Research Lab

A Research Department at THI

Texas Heart Institute’s Molecular Cardiology Research Laboratory (MCRL) is a unique team of researchers and scientists dedicated to leveraging their expertise in small molecule therapeutics to develop novel techniques to diagnose, treat and prevent cardiovascular disease.

Small molecule therapeutics can be applied to various diagnostic and treatment practices used today to enhance how medical practitioners identify and treat patients suffering from heart disease and injury. Specifically, the MCRL team is focused on how applications can help to develop non-invasive imaging techniques to identify atherosclerotic plaques that may rupture or erode and cause heart attack or stroke, as well as applications that will help improve adult stem cell therapies. Their work in the stem cell arena ranges from ways to enhance the efficacy of stem cell therapies to treat heart failure to improvements in stem cell mobilization that will make bone marrow transplants more effective. Additionally, the team is researching the possibility of genetically modified stem cells to treat pulmonary hypertension and peripheral vascular disease, among other indications.

Led by esteemed scientist Richard Dixon, PhD, the department’s translational research has led to the successful patenting and licensing of new technologies that are not only applicable to enhancing cardiovascular treatments and therapies, but also to improving treatments in other medical fields, such as cancer.

In addition to time in the lab, the MCRL team is frequently invited to present at medical research conferences around the world, and serves on various editorial boards and as ad-hoc reviewers for scientific journal publishers. The team is also very active in Texas Heart Institute’s community education and outreach initiatives.

Our mission is to improve the treatments available for patients suffering from cardiovascular disease by combining basic research aimed at understanding the molecular mechanisms of heart disease with the discovery of innovative small molecule and cell-based therapeutics.