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Center for Integrative Research on Cardiovascular Aging

The Aurora Difference

Turning the Tables on Cardiovascular Disease

We care deeply about the conditions, like heart disease, affecting our community. In fact, more people in Wisconsin die of heart disease than any other condition. At Aurora Health Care, our cardiology and cardiovascular researchers are looking to reverse this trend with a research program dedicated to preventing age-related heart disease.

Research Dedicated to Studying Age-Related Heart Disease

The Sheikh Khalifa bin Hamad Al Thani Center for Integrative Research on Cardiovascular Aging (CIRCA) brings together research experts and extraordinary scientific resources. We are unraveling the biology of the aging heart so we can help people in Wisconsin and all over the world live longer, healthier lives.

Highlights of our program include:

  • Scientific resources: Our ambitions are big but within reach, thanks to the scientific resources available at Aurora Health Care. Cardiovascular research takes place in our state-of-the-art Discovery Laboratory and the laboratory at Aurora St. Luke’s Medical Center. Here, scientists have access to all the technology, equipment and support you would expect in a world-class research laboratory. Read more about Discovery Laboratory at Aurora Sinai Medical Center and the Aurora St. Luke's Medical Center Laboratories.
  • Uncommon expertise: Aurora is home to cardiovascular research that is typically not available outside academic medical centers. Our team includes scientists who specialize in stem cells. These special cells can be reengineered into healthy heart cells to help repair damaged or diseased cells. This level of expertise helps us research heart disease in ways that would not otherwise be possible.
  • Exceptional cardiovascular care for current patients: Our research will someday change the lives of people at risk for heart failure. But people don’t need to wait to receive exceptional care. Our nationally ranked cardiovascular program delivers today’s best available treatments, including lifesaving ventricular assist devices for heart failure. Learn more about heart & vascular services at Aurora.

Our Research

Understanding and Preventing Heart Failure

Aurora is among a few research programs in the world focusing on cellular processes that give way to heart failure. In fact, we take this concept a step farther by exploring activity within the cells (molecular activity) to understand the earliest stages of heart failure.

Our cardiovascular aging research includes:

  • Tissue samples: We are collecting tissue samples from patients undergoing heart procedures to identify unique characteristics linked to heart disease. We also preserve tissue samples for future use with the latest equipment and technologies. Find out more about our Biorepository and Specimen Resource Center.
  • Genetics: We are exploring ways to detect the early signs of age-related heart failure at a molecular level. Our team includes scientists who specialize in the biological processes that give way to abnormal thickening and scarring of heart tissue (fibrosis).
  • Stem cells: We are forging a new approach to studying heart disease by growing cells in our laboratory that beat just like a human heart. These special cells grown from stem cells allow us to test therapies in ways that have previously not been possible.

How to Participate

Find out more about ways to participate in research.

Become a Research Sponsor

You can sponsor original research or clinical trials.

Make a Donation

Your donation can help fund critical research or help to develop new medical products.

Collaborate With Aurora

Bring our expertise and data to your research program.


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