Focus Areas: Metabolism and cardiovascular science

Cardiovascular and metabolic diseases such as diabetes, are among the leading, costliest, and often preventable causes of death worldwide. Research aimed at understanding the relationship between cardiovascular disease, obesity, and metabolic risk factors, will be important for developing candidate therapeutic, reparative, and prevention strategies.

Students will develop a comprehensive understanding of metabolic and cardiovascular physiology, and their interrelationship. This will include topics such as principle energy systems, appetite and energy expenditure, and cardiovascular function and regulation, including the epidemiology, pathophysiology, and socioeconomic impact of cardiometabolic diseases, with an emphasis on the translation of basic scientific discoveries into practical applications.

The TBMH faculty in Metabolic and Cardiovascular Science study a range of topics, including:

  • Effects of obesity and aging on cardiometabolic function
  • Obesity prevention and treatment
  • Cardiac arrthymias and sudden cardiac death
  • Regenerative medicine, including development of therapeutics based on small molecules and stem cells
  • Electrical activity transfer between cardiac myocytes
  • Cardiac inflammation and edema
  • Cellular and molecular mechanisms of inflammatory vascular disease
Example faculty research:
Dr. Kevin Davy

Dr. Kevin Davy examines the cardiometabolic consequences of obesity and aging in humans, to design and test lifestyle and pharmacological interventions to reverse or ameliorate these adverse changes in cardiometabolic health.

 

Dr. Robert Gourdie

Dr. Robert Gourdie is developing small molecules and stem cell technologies to address electrical conduction deficits in arrhythmic heart, as well as to promote wound healing.

 

 

Mathew, Hulver

Dr.  Matthew Hulver studies the role of pro-inflammatory pathways in maladaptation to metabolic stress (changes in diet, exercise) in skeletal muscles. Muscle cells become inflamed as a result of over-eating or lack of physical activity.

 

Dr. Yong Woo-Lee

Dr. Yong-Woo Lee studies cellular and molecular mechanisms of vascular inflammation, including the effects of radiation on brain microvasculature, as well as related biomedical applications of nanotechnology.

 

Dr. Steve Poelzing

Dr. Steve Poelzing uses electrophysiology and imaging techniques to understand how electrical impulses spread through the beating heart under healthy and pathological conditions in order to open new venues for cardiac therapy.

 

In addition to the core coursework taken by all TBMH students, each student will take an intensive 8 credit TBMH course specific to their focus area, and at least 3 credits of free elective coursework to further develop their expertise in this area.

Required focus area-specific coursework

  • TBMH 5044 - Fundamentals of Metabolic and Cardiovascular Science (8 cr)
Sample elective courses
Plan of study

Program Leadership


TBMH Program Co-Director

Audra Van Wart, Ph.D.
1 Riverside Circle
Roanoke, VA, 24016
avanwart@vt.edu


TBMH Program Co-Director

Steven Poelzing, Ph.D.
2 Riverside Circle
Roanoke, VA, 24016
poelzing@vt.edu


Program Support


TBMH Graduate Program Coordinator

Jay Read, M.Ed.
1 Riverside Circle
Roanoke, VA, 24016
jayread@vt.edu


TBMH Education Support Specialist