Wake Forest Hypertension and Vascular Disease Center 10th Anniversary Symposium

November 12, 2003

The Hypertension and Vascular Disease Center at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center will observe its 10th anniversary of patient care and research with a day-long symposium titled, The Last Ten Years in Cardiovascular Management, Monday, Nov. 17 in the Nutrition Education Wing Conference Room.

Claude Lenfant, M.D., past director of the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute at the National Institutes of Health, will deliver the keynote address at a dinner program following the symposium.

Physicians, physician assistants, nurses and clinical research coordinators with an interest in cardiovascular health have been invited to attend the symposium. Health and science reporters are encouraged to attend.

An internationally recognized center for the investigation of vascular disease and hypertension, the Hypertension and Vascular Disease Center provides comprehensive care for hypertension and vascular disease; a mobile blood pressure clinic, early screening and management of peripheral artery disease.

The center’s clinical efforts have contributed to the introduction of novel therapeutic agents whose therapeutic efficacy is associated with evidence-based medicine in terms of reduction in the risk of strokes, reversal of cardiac hypertrophy (enlarged heart) and retardation of the progression of diabetes nephropathy (kidney disease). Its faculty has made major contributions to the understanding of hypertension mechanisms and the use of angiotensin receptor blockers in the management of cardiovascular disease, prevention of diabetes and restoration of sexual function.

"At the time of the creation of the Hypertension and Vascular Disease Center, Wake Forest had no comprehensive, multi-disciplinary effort on hypertension and hypertension-related vascular disease," said Carlos M. Ferrario, M.D., director of the center. "As our program has grown over the past decade, we have become a model for hypertension research for other major medical centers to follow."

"Molecular biology and genetics have opened new opportunities for the discovery of mechanisms related to vascular disease, and our center is evolving to take advantage of research in the genetics of human diseases. New approaches that will facilitate the detection of genes which possess a risk for hypertension and the introduction of new laboratory tools to assess which patient will best respond to a particular therapy will drive the efforts of the center during the next decade," said Ferrario.

This year, Ferrario received the 2003 Inter-American Society of Hypertension (IASH) lifetime achievement award. He is on faculty at Wake Forest University School of Medicine where he serves as professor of surgical sciences-general and professor of physiology and pharmacology. Ferrario is also the Dewitt Cordell Professor of Surgical Research.

Since it was established at Wake Forest, the Hypertension and Vascular Disease Center has raised $23 million in funding from the National Institutes of Health and the American Heart Association. In addition, more than $3 million in grants have been awarded by pharmaceutical companies. The center has been awarded grant revenues totaling $3.5 million dollars for the current fiscal year.

The symposium will be held from 8 a.m. until 5:45 p.m. For information, contact Tina Williard at the Hypertension and Vascular Disease Center, (336) 716-8502.

Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center is a health system comprised of North Carolina Baptist Hospital and Wake Forest University School of Medicine. Serving North Carolina and surrounding states, it operates 1,291 acute care, rehabilitation and long-term care beds. The Medical Center is involved in the training of more than 30,000 health care professionals and scientists each year, and receives more than $140 million annually in outside grants in support of our research mission.


Media Contacts: Jim Steele jsteele@wfubmc.edu, Shannon Koontz shkoontz@wfubmc.edu, Karen Richardson krchrdsn@wfubmc.edu, or Jonnie Rohrer jrohrer@wfubmc.edu, (336) 716-4587.

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