Areas of Interest
Cardiovascular disease accounts for 2,300 deaths per day in the US, claiming as many lives as the next four leading causes combined. Current vascular interventions for severe arterial atherosclerosis have limited success due to restenosis secondary to neointimal hyperplasia and remodeling. Diabetes mellitus (DM) represents a particular challenge, as it increases the incidence and accelerates the course of atherosclerosis. Patients with DM and metabolic syndrome have aggressive forms of vascular disease, possessing a greater likelihood of end-organ ischemia, as well as increased morbidity and mortality following vascular interventions, and requiring more revascularization procedures compared to the general population at an earlier point in time. Dr. Bahnson’s interest in diabetic vasculopathies is two-fold:
- Understanding the difference in plaque progression and restenosis rates in the diabetic vs. non-diabetic environment. Atherosclerosis leading to CVD and PAD is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in diabetic patients. It is paramount to gain insight into the particular diabetic milieu that so profoundly affects the progression of atherosclerotic disease and the rates of restenosis after revascularization.
- Bahnson’s long-term goal is to develop a specific targeted therapy for the vasculature to normalize the redox imbalance of the diabetic arteries. Whereas human studies using antioxidant-based therapies have for the most part not shown differences in clinical outcomes, some studies using local delivery have shown promising results in humans. Hence, the biggest challenge for successful clinical translation is the targeted delivery of the therapeutic in the right amount at the right site.
Nanotechnology has the potential to revolutionize the way we treat a wide variety of pathologies. Bahnson is interested in changing the way we think about treatment via the design of peptide-based tailored nanocarriers capable of targeting specific locations of the diseased vasculature.