Atherosclerosis-the build-up of fats, cholesterol and other substances in and on the artery wall-underlies heart disease and stroke, two of the leading causes of death worldwide. Dr. Myron Cybulsky, Canada Research Chair in Arterial Wall Biology and Atherogenesis, is trying to understand how and why atherosclerosis starts and progresses.
Cybulsky and his research team are exploring the roles played by different cells found in the artery wall. One area of focus is macrophages, a type of white blood cell that can consume bacteria and stimulate other parts of the immune system, leading to inflammation and compounding the problem. Cybulski and his team are using state-of-the-art methodologies and innovative experimental approaches to come up with novel, important insights into the cellular and molecular mechanisms that are responsible for atherosclerotic plaques. Ultimately, their research will support the development of new therapies to treat cardiovascular disease.