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Cardiovascular and Metabolic Disorders

Nothing killed more Americans in 2019 than heart disease. Here in the heartland, we want to keep your heart beating stronger for longer. And we want to keep your muscles strong and metabolism performing at its peak. 

The University of Missouri is home to some of the best cardiovascular and metabolic scientists in the world. Soon, they’ll call the NextGen Precision Health building home, coming together with researchers and clinicians under one roof to change health care in Missouri and around the globe. 

Mizzou-Made Excellence

As a state, nation and world, we face unprecedented challenges that require solutions beyond what we previously thought possible. In 2018, Missouri ranked 39th in heart disease deaths per 100,000 people — in the bottom third of the country. That same year, diabetes caused more than 1,500 deaths in the state. These realities are unacceptable.

Our scientists and clinicians are ready for this fight, but they can’t do it alone. A collaborative effort is critical for better solutions to heart and metabolic diseases. And the solutions of the future will not be one-size-fits-all, but more personalized to patients.

heart illustration and stethoscope
MU is leading the way in heart failure research. Craig Emter, PhD, leads a large, multi-investigator study on the causes and treatment of heart failure related to obesity, diabetes, and hypertension.

Collaboration is Key

Apple, stethoscope, fruits and grains in heart-shaped bowl
An estimated 30% of adults and 15% of adolescents in Missouri are obese. A systematic approach is needed to understand precision health implications for preventing, treating, and reversing obesity. These include links between genetics and lifestyle choices to nutrition, exercise, and pharmacological treatments. Elizabeth Parks, PhD, leads a team of researchers studying the effects of diet on obesity related disorders. These precision nutrition studies will impact screening, risk stratification, prevention, and treatment of patients suffering with obesity-related metabolic disorders.

Collaborative cardiovascular research defines the approach at MU. Our cardiovascular research is a partnership between the Departments of Medical Pharmacology and Physiology in the School of Medicine, Biomedical Sciences in the College of Veterinary Medicine and the Dalton Cardiovascular Research Center. These research teams have various specialties and study an array of ailments. MU is home to more than 20 world-class cardiovascular scientists involved in the study of heart and blood vessel function, which is a critical stepping stone toward improving disease screening, prevention and treatment. 

Trailblazing Work

We are also leading the way in research related to comorbidities of heart, vascular, muscle, liver, kidney, and respiratory disorders, including diabetes, obesity, hypertension, sleep apnea, and rare muscle diseases. Mizzou researchers’ cutting-edge work encompasses heart function and mechanics, lymphatic biology and disease, Duchenne muscular dystrophy and much more. 

Saving Lives

Our current clinical capabilities are already saving lives, and NextGen will take it to the next level. We’re a regional leader in advanced heart surgery, providing exceptional close-to-home care for patients in mid-Missouri. The NextGen Precision Health building will bring researchers together with our world-class clinicians to tackle cardiovascular and metabolic challenges in a uniquely collaborative setting. Together, they will translate precision health ideas into reality faster than ever.