Research in the George Zallie and Family Laboratory for Cardiovascular Gene Therapy is focused on making gene therapy for congestive heart failure a clinical reality. The lab is currently focused on pre-clinical large animal studies to fulfill criteria needed for a FDA application to carry out a Phase I trial in the next 2-3 years. The research has shown that a gene product that blocks a specific enzyme in the heart can improve the contractile function of the heart and in small animal models this reversed heart failure.
Research also involves designing new viral vectors to carry genes into the heart with particular focus on gene-carrying vehicles that can be used in human patients. This work is progressing and there is a commitment to develop novel cardiac gene delivery techniques and also molecular targets that can be attacked for heart failure as well as other cardiovascular diseases.