VRIC 2024 to hear from leading light on role of immunity and inflammation in atherosclerosis


Filip Swirski, PhD, a leading figure in cardiovascular immunology research, will deliver this year’s Alexan­der W. Clowes Distinguished Lecture at the 2024 Vascular Research Initiatives Conference (VRIC).

Swirski, currently the director of the Car­diovascular Research Institute at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City, has made groundbreaking discov­eries on the role of immunity and inflamma­tion in atherosclerosis.

His latest work, published in Nature, opens avenues for potential therapeutic interven­tions against Alzheimer’s disease, showcas­ing the interdisciplinary nature of modern vascular research.

VRIC organizers are gearing up for anoth­er round of surgeon-scientist-student com­munity engagement aimed at translating basic science more efficiently and effectively to positively impact vascular patients.

The Alexander W. Clowes Distinguished Lecture—named after the late Alexander Clowes, a luminary in vascular research—is a key part of VRIC. The lecture pays tribute to Clowes’ significant contributions and sym­bolizes the intersecting realms of surgery and science.

This year’s theme, “Immune and Struc­tural Cells in Cardiovascular Disease,” promises to unravel the complex interplay between immunity, inflammation and cardiovascular health.

“We have the most up-to-date research in this area focused on immune cells, structural cells and cardiovascular diseases,” said Kath­erine Gallagher, MD, chair of the Society for Vascular Surgery (SVS) Basic and Transla­tional Research Committee.

“We’ll be looking at multiple disease pro­cesses, including aneurysms, atherosclerosis, intimal hyperplasia, carotid disease and other themes that are relevant to surgeon-scien­tists and others in the cardiovascular arena.” “We were looking for an internationally known speaker who has transformed the field of cardiovascular therapy and is very cutting-edge at translating basic science into clinical applications,” said Gallagher. “Our speaker certainly fits the bill for all of that and has been published in the highest journals available.”

Scheduled to take place on May 15 at the Hilton Chicago, VRIC is held concurrent­ly with the American Heart Association’s Vascular Discovery: From Genes to Medi­cine Scientific Sessions, held May 15–18 in the same location. The event will provide attendees with an exploration of the latest developments in vascular research.

A translational panel will feature figures such as Kathryn J. Moore, PhD, the Jean and David Blechman professor of cardiology and director of the New York University Cardio­vascular Research Center, and Dianna M. Milewicz, MD, PhD, President George H. W. Bush chair of Cardiovascular Medicine, with insights anticipated to elevate the discourse and foster collaborative initiatives.

Gallagher emphasized VRIC’s intimate nature. “Because it is a smaller meeting and a closer-knit group, there’s a lot more collab­orations that take place and active discussion that can’t necessarily happen in some of the big meetings” she said.

“People that are there are very focused on this particular theme, making it a breeding ground for partnerships and relationships that extend beyond the conference.”

The early-bird rate for the conference is available until March 18. For more informa­tion, visit vascular.org/VRIC24.


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