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Molecular Cardiology Research Institute (MCRI)

Leadership

The MCRI is led by an Executive Director, and three center Directors, all of whom work collaboratively in the MCRI.

Executive Director and Director of Vascular Biology Research Center 

Iris Z. Jaffe, MD, PhD
The primary focus of the Jaffe lab is to understand the molecular mechanisms underlying common vascular disorders including hypertension, vascular remodeling, and atherosclerosis with specific emphasis on the role of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system. The Jaffe laboratory demonstrated the presence of functional mineralocorticoid receptors (MR) in human vascular cells and is studying the role of vascular MR in cardiovascular function and disease. The lab uses in vitro molecular techniques in vascular cells, genome wide “omics” analyses of cardiovascular tissues, whole vessels studies of vascular function, and in vivo tissue-specific transgenic mouse models to study vascular structure, function, and responses to injury and atherogenic stimuli to identify the molecular mechanisms of vascular disease and identify novel treatment targets.

Director of Cardiac Biology Research Center

Navin K. Kapur, MD
As Director of the Cardiac Biology Research Center within the Molecular Cardiology Research Institute at Tufts Medical Center, Dr. Kapur’s basic science laboratory focuses on molecular mechanisms governing maladaptive cardiac remodeling in heart failure. His particular expertise involves signaling via the transforming growth factor beta (TGFb) system. Over the past 6 years, the laboratory has published several critical papers focused on a TGFb co-receptor known as endoglin and was the first to establish that reduced endoglin activity improves survival and limits maladaptive cardiac remodeling in heart failure. More recently, the laboratory has demonstrated that targeting endoglin using an antibody-mediated approach not only limits the development of cardiac fibrosis, but can reverse established cardiac fibrosis in preclinical models of heart failure. Dr. Kapur is the recipient of grant funding from the National Institutes of Health, American Heart Association, and several industry sponsors.

Director of Center for Translational Pharmacology and Genomics

Gordon Huggins, MD 
The primary goal of my laboratory is to make discoveries relevant to human diseases for the purpose of understanding the biology of human development and disease that in addition to providing greater insight into mechanisms of disease may also translate to improved diagnostics and therapies. We seek to make our primary discoveries by studying human DNA and/or tissues. Genes or pathways identified through discovery work based upon human samples then serve as the basis for traditional hypothesis-oriented research in animal and cellular model systems employed by my laboratory. In addition, I direct the NHLBI Heart Failure Network program at Tufts MC that includes implementing network clinical trials and co-direct the Committee on Participation of

Molecular Cardiology Research Institute 20th Anniversary logo

20 years of discovery

For the past 20 years, the investigators and research teams of the Molecular Cardiology Research Institute (MCRI) have continually translated basic findings into new clinical strategies for the diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular disease.

Learn about our discoveries