Vascular Research Program at the VA Puget Sound

Errol S. Wijelath, PhD
Principal Investigator
Research Associate Professor
Division of Vascular Surgery
Michael Sobel, MD, FACS
Principal Investigator
Professor of Surgery
Division of Vascular Surgery

Figure 1. Kaplan-Meier Survival Analysis of Primary Graft Patency. The differences in graft survival were significant (p=.0085 log-rank test). The numbers above and below the graph lines indicate the number of subjects at risk at each interval.

Our research program is focused on the following goals:

  • Understanding how inflammation and genetics influence the vascular healing response.
  • Developing new therapies to improve the success and longevity of vascular surgical interventions.

Our body’s inflammatory reactions, as well as our genetic makeup, profoundly influence our healing response to injury. Vascular interventions routinely injure the blood vessels (whether by stenting, endarterectomy or bypass grafting). Although many patients go on to heal normally, up to 30% suffer from a deranged form of healing that leads to narrowing of the vascular reconstruction, stenosis, thrombosis, and failure. Little is known about the biologic underpinnings of this dysfunctional healing response, or why it affects some patients but not others.