BCVS Scientific Conference 2012 Meeting Report
Something new, something old would be the best way to characterize the 2012 Basic Cardiovascular Sciences (BCVS) meeting. The conference entitled “Frontiers in Cardiovascular Science and Novel Therapy” highlighted the top scientific and translational discoveries in cardiovascular research in 15 major scientific sessions. The field’s leading pioneers presented alongside junior investigators, invigorating the investigative conversation that keeps cardiac research moving forward.
Two luminaries of cardiology delivered the conference’s keynote addresses: Drs Eugene Braunwald and Valentin Fuster. Dr Braunwald delivered a retrospective that illustrated the great advances in cardiology in the past 50 years. It was of course thrilling to hear about the discoveries and novel treatment modalities of modern cardiology from the man responsible for so much of it. Dr Fuster described the journey he took from examining pathological specimens of patients after myocardial infarction to the characterization of the vulnerable plaque. Dr Fuster went on to describe his recent emphasis on global health and delivering good cardiovascular health at a universal level. Most inspiring in Dr Fuster’s talk was his recent work with Sesame Street trying to mold healthy eating and exercise habits in young children.
The topic of myocardial aging was a feature of this year’s meeting. Studies in animals and humans have rarely considered aging as an independent process, and, only occasionally, cardiac aging in humans has been studied independently from concomitant pathological states. This concept was illustrated by Piero Anversa, who provided evidence that the human heart is a highly dynamic organ. By using retrospective 14C birth dating, myocyte turnover was found to involve 10% to 20% of cells per year in the first 2 decades of life and 5% of cells per year, from 20 to 40 years of age. Myocyte regeneration increases progressively as a function of age, reaching 24% of …