Brief History of the Consortium
In 1992, Dr. Robert Johnson was hired as a research associate in the Department of Pharmacology, New York Medical College at Valhalla New York. In 1996, Dr. Fruzsina Kozma also joined the group in New York. The two quickly established a productive collaborative relationship, which yielded a number of novel studies. They soon married, and relocated to Tulane University to continue their studies. While Fruzsina, an MD by training, continued to develop her skills as a microcirculatory physiologist, Robert, a PhD, continued to develop his skills for intact animal studies. While their combined training in basic and medical sciences contributed to some unique perspectives, they had only limited exposure to molecular biology.
In April of 2000, the two encountered a previous acquaintance, Dr. William Durante of Baylor, who was an accomplished molecular biologist. As the three began to chat, they began to discuss the limitations which were inerrant to each of their approaches. As they had some common areas of research interest, they quickly realized that their perspectives blended nicely into a better understanding of their studies at all levels.
This relationship quickly evolved into an exciting exchange of ideas that led to the formation of several series of interdisciplinary studies. Not only did those studies address cardiovascular issues at the molecular, isolated organ and intact animal levels, but they also addressed the contributions of other systems to cardiovascular control.
In 2001, these investigators formed the original Baylor-Tulane Integrative Cardiovascular Research Consortium. The consortium was designed to promote an environment for basic science research, with the eventual goal of promoting strategies for potential therapeutic applications.
To better reflect the investigators' increasing commitments to cardiovascular research training of the highest quality and their pursuit for an alternative mutual venue, the group was reorganized in 2003 to form the "Consortium for Integrative Cardiovascular Research".
Today, the consortium is involved in a variety of activities all related to fulfilling its missions to 1) promote quality in cardiovascular research and 2) develop potential therapeutics to improve cardiovascular function.