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Research at NCIRE

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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Kendrick A. Shunk, MD, PhD

Staff Physician, Medical Service, SFVAHCS
Professor of Medicine, UCSF


New Imaging Techniques and Treatments for Cardiovascular Disease

Dr. Shunk's primary research interests are in the imaging of atherosclerotic plaque - the substance that builds up on the inner walls of diseased blood vessels -and clinical trials of novel devices or invasive strategies to treat cardiovascular diseases. He is a previous winner of the prestigious Samuel A. Levine Young Clinical Investigator Award from the American Heart Association for his work developing a novel device and technique for assessment of the aorta and its atherosclerotic plaques by Transesophageal Magnetic Resonance Imaging (TMRI), and then the use of that device to gain novel insights into the pathophysiology of the aortic wall in patients with severe atherosclerosis. A related research goal is integration, co-registration, and co-display of multi-modality image information for assessing and treating cardiovascular disease in real time. Dr. Shunk has contributed to the design and implementation of several multi-center clinical trials of devices and strategies in the cardiac catheterization laboratory, including an ongoing study assessing whether certain patients who would otherwise have been referred for coronary bypass surgery can be safely and effectively treated with modern coronary stents as an alternative. Dr. Shunk is also actively involved in the National Cardiovascular Data Registry and helps to foster projects that take advantage of that powerful resource.

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