Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
Feinberg Cardiovascular Research Institute

Director's Message

The Feinberg Cardiovascular Research Institute (FCVRI) brings together a dynamic group of investigators from a variety of disciplines. The doctors, researchers and scientists who work at the FCVRI are committed to developing innovative approaches to diagnose and treat diseases of the heart, kidney, eye and vascular system. The blood and lymphatic vessels are crucial for healthy organs and tissues.  As a consequence, disruption of cardiac or vascular function is central to a myriad of diseases including heart disease, blindness, and kidney failure.

At the FCVRI, investigators are:

  • Exploring how the blood and lymphatic vascular trees are formed and understanding their functions in health and disease
  • Unraveling the secrets of cardiac metabolism and aging
  • Developing new treatments for atrial fibrillation (irregularity of the heart beat)
  • Studying how stem cell therapies can be used to treat diseases of the heart and blood vessels with a long-term goal of producing bioengineered, vascularized organs
  • Developing organoid cultures of eye, brain, pancreas and kidney
  • Finding new causes and cures for glaucoma due to defects in vessels of the eye
  • Developing novel therapies to improve transplant graft survival including pancreatic islets to cure diabetes
  • Finding new treatments for the vascular complications of diabetes in the kidney, eye and heart

A Time of Growth

Since assuming my role as Director of the FCVRI in 2013, our institute has seen significant growth and change that includes a tripling of the number of researchers. The evolution of our institute, since its founding in 1988, has not changed its core mission: to improve the quality of life of our patients through creative basic, translational research, and scholarship in the field of vascular medicine.

Changes have come in the form of recruiting the best researchers from around the world and developing partnerships with colleagues close to home with ongoing collaborative efforts at both the Chicago and Evanston campuses of Northwestern. The goals of these collaborations are to facilitate and accelerate translation of discoveries at the bench to the clinic and, ultimately, to our patients. Given our tremendous growth, we have established three centers within the institute and have launched a cross-cutting program in translational medicine.

The future is exciting with new endeavors in prevention of aging, glaucoma, kidney disease, and regenerative medicine. Check back often to learn how FCVRI is advancing innovation in these disorders.

Sue Quaggin, MD

Susan Quaggin, MD
Director, Feinberg Cardiovascular Research Institute
Chief, Division of Medicine-Nephrology
Charles H. Mayo, M.D. Professor
Professor in Medicine-Nephrology