Purdue Science on Tap features talk on key role of animal modeling in biomedical, cardiovascular research

November 4, 2013  

Craig Goergen

Craig Goergen 
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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Purdue University biomedical engineering professor Craig Goergen will headline the next Science on Tap with a talk on the critical role that animal disease models are playing in determining the underlying causes of heart attacks, aneurysms and other cardiovascular diseases.

The Purdue Science on Tap talk, titled Of Mice and Men and Heart Disease, is at 6 p.m. Nov. 14 in the upstairs of the Lafayette Brewing Company, 622 Main St., Lafayette.

The informal lecture, which is free and open to those 21 and older, is sponsored by the School of Biomedical Engineering, the College of Engineering and Discovery Park.

"Animal models have become an essential tool in biomedical research," said Goergen, who joined the faculty in Purdue's Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering in December 2012.

"While there are many differences between small rodents and humans, mouse and rat models of cardiovascular disease are incredibly useful when studying the underlying pathways associated with heart attacks, atherosclerosis, aneurysms and other cardiovascular diseases. And this is especially important today because of the increasing obesity rates that have contributed to making cardiovascular disease the No. 1 killer in the United States."

In his lab, Goergen said his team of researchers at Purdue in the College of Engineering, along with collaborators in the College of Veterinary Medicine, Indiana University School of Medicine and others, are focused on advancing the field of imaging to help diagnose, treat or prevent cardiovascular disease, ultimately providing patients with longer and more fulfilling lives.

For Science on Tap, Goergen will discuss cardiac and vascular scaling differences across mammals, introduce several commonly used animal models of cardiovascular disease and highlight recent work in the field of in-vivo imaging.

"Ultimately, this area of research hopes to increase our understanding of cardiac and vascular disease progression, evaluate the efficacy of therapeutics, and determine medical device compatibility before translation to the clinic," he said.

Understanding heart and vascular disease initiation and progression is necessary to develop the next generation of therapeutics and devices, Goergen said. For example, non-invasive imaging helps detect and monitor disease progression, aiding in the development of technology. "With continued efforts, we hope to eventually make a positive impact on the clinical care of patients," he said.

Goergen holds a bachelor's degree in biomedical engineering from Washington University in St. Louis and master's and doctoral degrees in bioengineering from Stanford University. His postdoctoral training in molecular optical imaging at Harvard Medical School focused on cardiac disease and left ventricular remodeling.

Science on Tap, now led by graduate students David Welkie, Anju Karki and Nelda Vazquez, provides Purdue faculty and collaborating researchers the opportunity to share research activities in an informal setting with presentations that are designed to appeal to a more general audience. Attendance at the monthly event has averaged 80 during the program's first four years.    

Writer: Phillip Fiorini, 765-496-3133, pfiorini@purdue.edu  

Sources: Craig Goergen, 765-494-1517, cgoergen@purdue.edu 

David Welkie, 765-494-0455, dwelkie@purdue.edu 

Nelda Vazquez, nvazque@purdue.edu  

Anju Karki, 765-494-0455, akarki@purdue.edu

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