The Institute is supported in part by University institutional resources that are targeted to recruitment of faculty and overall administrative support, providing a clear testimony to the commitment of the School of Medicine to the development and success of cardiovascular research. The vast majority of the expenses of the Institute, however, are supported by external competitive grants. Numerous NIH and AHA grants are currently funded within the Institute of Molecular Cardiology, including a Program Project grant (“Protection of the Ischemic Myocardium”, led by Dr. Roberto Bolli), a U24 grant (Consortium for preclinicAl assESsment of cARdioprotective therapies [CAESAR], led by Dr. Roberto Bolli), and a COBRE grant (Center of Excellence in Diabetes and Obesity, led by Dr. Aruni Bhatnagar). The goal of these multi-investigator programs is to examine novel therapies to protect the heart from ischemia/reperfusion injury and the effects of obesity and diabetes on cardiovascular disease
The entire Institute of Molecular Cardiology is predicated on the basic principle of team work and collegiality. Candidates for recruitment to the faculty are prospectively selected on the basis of their willingness to be collegial. Candidates who are not interested in collegial work are not recruited. All faculty members are expected to work with other members in joint projects and to assist colleagues who need technical assistance, reagents, equipment, or input and advice. Virtually all research projects conducted in the Institute represent collaborations among faculty members. The Institute holds regular (weekly) faculty meetings in which research in progress is presented and discussed on a rotating basis by all Institute members and every faculty member or trainee is expected to present his/her data for collective discussion. At these meetings, all participants (faculty and trainees) provide input, feedback, suggestions, critiques, and insights. This is how collegiality is achieved within the Institute. The real dimensions of this collegiality can be appreciated by examining the joint publications, joint grant proposals, and joint projects among Institute members.
The very existence of three multi-investigator projects (the current program project, the U24 Consortium, and the COBRE grant) is an eloquent testimony to the depth and intensity of the collaborative work among members of the Institute. Without a genuine team spirit, none of these three multidisciplinary programs would have been possible or even thinkable. It is precisely this culture of collaboration that has enabled the Institute to grow to its present status from a situation 15 years ago in which virtually no basic research in cardiovascular medicine was being done in Louisville. The Institute members are proud of this culture. Unanimously, they are unwaveringly committed to preserving and augmenting this team spirit, which we regard as our major strength.
It is this culture that has enabled the current Program Project to develop, and it is this same culture that will enable the present proposal to succeed.