January 16, 2001
Marcus Foundation gives
$4.5M for vascular research
By Sarah Goodwin
The Marcus Foundation of Atlanta will give $4.5 million over the next two years to establish the Marcus Chair in Vascular Medicine and the Marcus Vascular Research Fund in the School of Medicine.
We are pleased to provide support for this important research,
said Bernard Marcus, co-founder of The Home Depot, who established the
Marcus Foundation. We look forward to timely advances in treatment
of a number of life-threatening diseases and also to advances in wellness
and disease prevention. The implications of successful discoveries in
vascular health are significant and far-reaching. They will touch all
These two funds will be critical elements of Emorys Center for
Vascular Diseases at Emory. They will fund innovative research in blood
vessel diseases that is expected to have a major impact on many areas
of human health and wellness.
Diseases of the arteries are ultimately the cause of death in at least
half of all Americans. Diseases of large arteries, with their inherent
risk of clot formation and multiple small strokes, are believed to cause
more cases of dementia than Alzheimers.
In addition, more scientists are theorizing that many degenerative diseases
and conditions, from Alzheimers and Parkinsons disease to
heart failure and impotence, are at least partly caused by diseases of
the small blood vessels that ultimately deliver oxygen and nutrients and
remove waste from every organ.
This wonderful gift will establish an outstanding partnership between
Emory and the Marcus Foundation, said Michael Johns, executive vice
president for health affairs. Mr. Marcus vision encompasses
discoveries which could increase longevity and improve quality of life
for our present generation and for generations to come.
The Center for Vascular Diseases builds on existing strengths in vascular
research at Emory, including research concerning the production of oxygen
These free radicals, produced inside blood vessel cells, stimulate mechanisms
that attract inflammatory white cells, ultimately leading to disease and
destruction of the artery. Other research initiatives are studying how
to control cancer through reduction of the blood flow to cancer cells.
The Center for Vascular Diseases will conduct further research
to generate new understanding of the biology of blood vessel formation,
regression and disease development, said Wayne Alexander, chair
of the Department of Medicine.
Researchers also will work to develop new drugs and/or new uses for existing drugs or natural products that will treat and prevent vascular disease, and they will explore new strategies for growing blood vessels to treat obstructive arterial disease or, in the case of cancer, to inhibit new blood vessel growth, depriving cancer cells of needed nutrition.