Aortopathy Alliance Research Center (UK-AARC)

The University of Kentucky's Alliance Initiative capitalizes on collaboration and the transdisciplinary strategy built from the best practices and metrics across the nation in developing programmatic research. It is designed to provide seed funding and support for multidisciplinary teams of scientists, from colleges and centers across the University’s campus, to find answers to the health challenges that disproportionately affect Kentuckians. The CV-RPA is part of four Alliance Initiatives, the fourth Alliance we would like to feature is the Aortopathy Alliance Research Center (UK-AARC) led by Alan Daugherty, PhD and Lisa Cassis, PhD. 

Aortopathies are a spectrum of diseases in which specific regions of the aorta pathologically dilate, dissect, or rupture with a high risk for death. There is no validated medical therapy. Although there are advances in surgical treatment, the mortality rate remains high due to the nature of these diseases and insufficient guidelines available for the optimal time of the surgery. This Alliance program is to create a “best in class” by developing the pinnacle of this critical research area for health. UK already has great depth in the faculty and facilities of this research arena, with its basic research scientists being one of the most NIH-funded institutions in the country in this research area. The intent of the Alliance is to parlay the existing strengths of basic science researchers to enhance the translation of their research to the clinical and population arena.

The Alliance will also assist the development of early-career clinical faculty to become extramurally funded physician-scientists. The development of the physician-scientist community will be assisted by our recent acquisition of funding for a Center with one of the most highly NIH-funded physician-scientists in aortopathy research, Dr. Scott LeMaire, at Baylor College of Medicine. With the mechanisms of this AHA funding for UK-Baylor Aortic Center, Dr. LeMaire will provide assistance in the development of physician-scientists, including surgeons, at UK.  Overall, the Alliance is designed to enhance the acquisition of programmatic funding and facilitate the research careers of clinicians who are heavily vested solely in the clinical care of patients with aortopathies.

Follow the Alliance Research Initiatives here