Diabetic Cardiovascular Disease Center (DCDC)

Mission

Addressing heart and vascular disease in diabetes

Cardiovascular disease will affect roughly two-thirds of the 25 million Americans with diabetes. DCDC’s mission is to find better methods of diagnosing, treating and preventing diabetic cardiovascular disease by understanding its underlying causes at the molecular level.

Goals

Devise non-invasive tests to assess risk for cardiovascular disease and guide therapy

Identify new therapies for heart and vascular disease in diabetes

Develop better ways to prevent cardiovascular disease in diabetics

Prepare the next generation of leaders

Jean Schaffer, MD, and Daniel Ory, MD

Directors: Jean Schaffer, MD, and Daniel Ory, MD

dcdc.wustl.edu

We are honored to be a part of an exciting endeavor: to translate what we discover in our laboratories into practical solutions that will significantly improve the lives of people with diabetes.

— Jean Schaffer, MD

Overview

The Diabetic Cardiovascular Disease Center (DCDC) is dedicated to finding better methods for diagnosing, treating and preventing cardiovascular disease in people with diabetes. Because roughly two-thirds of the 25 million Americans who have diabetes will die of heart or vascular disease, the DCDC's work holds tremendous implications for improving human health.

The DCDC brings together physicians and scientists from cardiology, endocrinology, nutrition, molecular biology, chemistry, radiology, physics and other areas of biomedicine. They focus on studying the roots of the diabetes, particularly understanding why cardiovascular disease is more prevalent and more aggressive in people with diabetes compared with non-diabetics.

DCDC's major goal is to find ways to identify heart and vascular disease in diabetes very early, when it is still most treatable, devise better treatments, and ultimately, develop effective methods to prevent disease altogether.

Research goals include:

  • Identifing metabolic processes that contribute to cardiovascular disease in people with diabetes

  • Identifying metabolic products in the blood or other tissues that can serve as biomarkers of cardiovascular complications in diabetic patients

  • Finding genes or physical changes in the heart that predispose for disease

  • Developing noninvasive imaging methods to identify those at risk

Leadership

Director: Jean Schaffer, MD, Virginia Minnich Distinguished Professor of Medicine

Co-Director: Daniel Ory, MD, professor of medicine