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NCIRE-The Veterans Health Research Institute is the leading private nonprofit institute devoted to Veterans health research in the United States. Our mission is to advance Veterans health through research.

We support the work of some of the nation's foremost physicians and scientists at the San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center, the premier biomedical research facility in the VA system. All have faculty appointments at the University of California, San Francisco, which has its own proud traditions of research and patient care. We also partner with the U.S. Department of Defense to support health research on behalf of our men and women in the Armed Forces.

Those who have served in uniform have given their best for their country. In return, we believe that they deserve nothing less than the best health care research we can provide.

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Anthony J. Baker, PhD

Research Scientist, Cardiology, SFVAHCS
Professor of Medicine, UCSF

Mechanisms of Contractile Dysfunction in the Failing Heart

The heart has two main pumping chambers called ventricles. The right ventricle (RV) pumps blood to the lungs to pick up oxygen. Then, oxygen-rich blood returns to the heart and is pumped by the left ventricle (LV) out to the body. The LV has been extensively studied; drug treatments to increase contractions have well-known effects on the LV in health and disease. However, the RV has been much less studied, and the effect of drug treatments on contractions of the RV remain unclear. Results from Dr. Baker's laboratory suggest that function and disease in the RV are quite different than in the LV -- which is critically important, because the RV is centrally involved in major cardiac diseases. Surprisingly, for some diseases of the heart, RV function may actually be increased; moreover, the responses of the RV to drug treatments may also be increased. To better understand the function of the right side of the heart, Dr. Baker and his colleagues are measuring the effect of drug treatments on contractions of the right ventricle; investigating the mechanisms for the lower responses of the right ventricle to drug treatments; investigating the impact of disease on right and left ventricle function; investigating the mechanisms for increased right ventricle function in diseased hearts; and seeking to understand the very different regulation of function in the right and left sides of the heart.

To see Dr. Baker on Pub Med, click here.