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Cardiovascular Sciences


Cardiovascular SciencesCardiovascular disease is the number one killer of both men and women in the United States. Texas A&M University has a long-standing history of excellence in cardiovascular science in several collaborating colleges, including a unique ability to perform translational research on client owned animals with naturally occurring heart disease (e.g., Doberman pinschers with dilated cardiomyopathy) referred to the Veterinary Teaching Hospital. This relationship is schematically represented in Figure 1 to identify the participants in the cardiovascular science program and the central role of the Michael E. DeBakey Institute that was created in 1999 to formalize programmatic relationship between units. The Colleges of Veterinary Medicine and Engineering have shared faculty and teaching responsibilities for more than 30 years, while the Colleges of Education and Medicine have become an integral part of the cardiovascular science program during the past 20 years. Basic science studies have progressed to the point where clinical implementation requires a strong relationship with both the human and veterinary clinical units. The veterinary clinical cardiovascular program is considered to be one of the top 2 programs in the US, and its faculty have developed preeminent programs for training veterinary cardiology residents, performing veterinary clinical trials to determine safety and efficacy of new cardiac therapeutics, and for performing interventional cardiac studies (e.g., coronary stents, pacemakers). The importance of using animals with naturally occurring disease is only recently begun to be recognized as a very powerful tool in the development and testing of new cardiovascular agents and TAMU is well positioned to become a world leader in this area.

The Texas Institute for Preclinical Services (TIPS) will enable TAMU to more successfully compete for interdisciplinary biomedical research dollars. TIPS will house state-of-the-art core imaging equipment located in a facility with access to numerous animal models. The clinical cardiovascular group, currently comprised of 3 cardiologists and a cardiac surgeon and in dire need of expansion, has a strong relationship with the biomedical engineering group and has collaborated on numerous cardiovascular related projects totaling in excess of 10 M dollars in NIH and AHA funding in the past 6 years. Additionally, TIPS, the CV clinical program, and BMEN collaborated to hire a new BMEN faculty member using ETF funds which has added great strength to our interventional cardiovascular program.

Cardiovascular SciencesThe basic science cardiovascular science program has been extremely successful in attracting extramural funding to support its mission (approximately $60,000,000 over 8 years). The program is in the process of transitioning from an individual investigator- based program to one in which programmatic proposals (Program Project, Center Grant and Training Grant) provide overarching funding for new core facilities and additional graduate students. Additional faculty are needed to expand both the breadth and depth of faculty to fully qualify for program level funding. The cardiovascular sciences program has a proven track record which portends an excellent "return on investment" associated
with the addition of new faculty positions. This return, coupled with the reduction of death and disability from cardiovascular disease, provides the foundation of this request.


Photo of Shi, Liheng
Ph.D. Protein Biochemistry, Osaka University 2001
M.S. Department of Biochemistry, Jilin University, China 1997
B.S Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Jilin University, China 1994
Research Assistant Professor
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Residency Cardiology, Texas A&M University 2005
Diplomate Cardiology, ACVIM 2005
Internship The University of Tennessee 2002
D.V.M. Veterinary Medicine, Texas A&M University 2001
B.S. Veterinary Medicine, Texas A&M University 1998
Photo of Gordon, Sonya
DVS Cardiology, Ontario Veterinary College 1998
D.V.M. Ontario Veterinary College 1994
B.S. Toxicology, University of Guelph 1990
Photo of Clubb, Fred
Ph.D. Experimental Pathology, University of Alabama in Birmingham 1982
M.S. Experimental Pathology, University of Alabama in Birmingham 1979
D.V.M. Veterinary Science, Auburn University 1971
Clinical Professor
Photo of Washburn, Shannon
Ph.D. Texas A&M University
D.V.M. Texas A&M University
Clinical Associate Professor
Photo of Laine, Glen
Ph.D. Physiology & Biophysics-Minor Bio. Med. Eng., Texas A&M University 1979
M.S. Work in Physics-Minor in Microbiology, University of Louisiana 1976
B.S. Microbiology-Minor in Chemistry, University of Louisiana 1974
Photo of Heaps, Cristine
Ph.D. Physiology, University of Missouri 1999
M.A. Exercise Physiology, University of Texas 1990
B.S. Kinesiology, University of Michigan 1988

Associate Professor
Photo of Dongaonkar, Ranjeet
Ph.D. Biomedical Sciences, Texas A&M University 2008
M.S. Mechanical Engineering, Texas A&M University 2003
B.S. Mechanical Engineering, DBA Marathwada University 1998
Assistant Professor
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Postdoc Dept of Obstetrics & Gynecology, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI, USA
PhD Biomedical Sciences, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX, USA
MSc (Hons) Chemistry, BITS, Pilani, India
BE (Hons) Electronics & Instrumentation Engineering, BITS, Pilani, India
Associate Professor
Photo of Wesselowski, Sonya
Residency Cardiology, Virginia Tech 2014
M.S. Biomedical & Veterinary Sciences, Virginia Tech 2014
Diplomate Cardiology, ACVIM 2014
Internship Small Animal Rotating, VCA Vet Care Animal Hospital & Referral Center 2009
D.V.M. Veterinary Medicine, Kansas State University 2008
M.S. Veterinary Clinical Sciences, Kansas State University 2008
B.S. Biology, Kansas State University 2004
Clincial Assistant Professor