In four lectures, Richard P. Lifton, MD, PhD, and Christine E. Seidman, MD, discuss their groundbreaking work in using genetic and molecular approaches to understand cardiovascular diseases.
The heart acts as a dual pump, sending oxygen-depleted blood to the lungs to be reinvigorated and pumping oxygen-rich blood to vital organs throughout the body.
The discovery of DNA as the basis of heredity led to an explosive growth of knowledge about the human genome and allowed the identification of genes that predispose people to different diseases.
Although heart disease typically occurs after middle age, seemingly fit and healthy young individuals can die suddenly from unrecognized heart disease.
Molecular genetic approaches have identified genes that, when mutated, cause either increased or decreased blood pressure.