Patrice Delafontaine, MD
Vice Chair, Department of Medicine
Sidney W. and Marilyn S. Lassen Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine
Chief, Section of Cardiology
Director, Tulane University Heart and Vascular Institute
Patrice Delafontaine, MD is the Sidney and Marilyn Lassen Professor of Medicine and currently serves as the Chief of Cardiology and the Director of the Tulane University Heart and Vascular Institute at Tulane University School of Medicine as well as Medical Director of Cardiovascular Services at Tulane University Hospital and Clinic (TUHC). Dr. Delafontaine is board certified in cardiovascular diseases and is a practicing interventional cardiologist. He is also an established world authority on the cardiovascular insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) system
His groundbreaking studies in this area led to the recognition that pro-atherogenic stimuli interact with the vascular IGF-1 system leading to increased apoptosis of vascular smooth muscle and progressive plaque destabilization. These findings have provided novel insights into mechanism of plaque development and progression and mechanisms triggering acute coronary events. Dr. Delafontaine was also the first to establish the critical link between the renin-angiotensin system and the IGF-1 system. In landmark studies, starting in 1996 he was the first to demonstrate that stimulation of the renin-angiotensin system was associated with significant skeletal muscle wasting that could be linked to alterations in the circulating and skeletal muscle IGF-1 system.
These studies have provided major new insights into mechanisms of muscle wasting in catabolic conditions. Dr. Delafontaine’s work encompasses basic bench science, animal studies and clinical translational research. His research includes genomic and proteomic analysis of atherosclerotic plaque, signaling mechanisms involved in atherogenesis, the role of insulin-like growth factors in vascular and cardiac disease, and mechanisms of skeletal muscle wasting. With over twenty years of experience investigating alterations in IGF-1 and insulin signal transduction, Dr. Delafontaine has developed extensive techniques for mapping signaling pathways in vitro and in vivo. His laboratory uses state of the art techniques to assess vascular lesion formation and changes in metabolic and mitogenic signaling.
Dr. Delafontaine’s research has been continuously funded by the NIH for over 18 years and he is currently PI of two RO1s funded by NHLBI (Ro1HL070241 and R01HL080682. He has an extensive record training and mentoring medical students, residents and junior faculty. He currently Co-director of the LSUHSC NIH COBRE grant (P20-RR018766) funded program entitled “Mentoring in Cardiovascular Biology”.
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