Gladstone Institute of Cardiovascular Disease Appoints New Director

April 11, 2005
News Office: John Watson (415) 502-6397

J. David Gladstone Institutes President Dr. Robert W. Mahley, today announced the appointment of Dr. Deepak Srivastava, as the new director of the Gladstone Institute of Cardiovascular Disease (GICD).

Srivastava is currently a professor in the Department of Pediatrics, Division of Cardiology, at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, where he also holds titles as the Joel B. Steinberg Chair in Pediatrics and the Pogue Distinguished Chair in Research on Cardiac Birth Defects. He additionally serves as an attending physician at the Children's Medical Center in Dallas.

"Dr. Srivastava brings creativity, scientific rigor and a distinguished cardiology career to the critical task of guiding GICD's cardiovascular disease program," says Mahley. "In a worldwide search over the last year, no candidate emerged better qualified to take Gladstone's cardiovascular research into the 21st century. We couldn't be more pleased to have him join Gladstone as the new leader of our cardiovascular institute."

Srivastava will replace Mahley, who has served as GICD director since the UCSF-affiliated Gladstone Institutes' founding in 1979. Mahley will continue as president of GICD and, effective in June, will also become a Gladstone Institute of Neurological Disease (GIND) investigator.

Because each of the current directors of Gladstone's three institutes -- GICD (founded in 1979), the Gladstone Institute of Virology and Immunology (founded in 1992), and GIND (founded in 1998) -- are founding directors, Srivastava's appointment marks the first-ever change in institute directors in Gladstone's 26-year history.

"The Gladstone Institute of Cardiovascular Disease is world-renowned for its work in elucidating causes of the most devastating cardiovascular conditions at the cellular and molecular levels," says Srivastava, who first became familiar with the Gladstone Institutes while completing his pediatrics residency at UCSF in 1992. "I am excited to join GICD to further and expand its goal of reducing the toll in lives lost to cardiovascular disease." Srivastava is set to join GICD by the end of June.

His research, which has focused on how precursor cells become heart cells, began in Boston, when he was a pediatric cardiology fellow at the Harvard Medical School in 1994, and continued at the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas, where he completed a post-doctoral fellowship in 1996 prior to joining the Children's Medical Center.

"One of the next frontiers in developmental biology concerns the three-dimensional processes involved in organogenesis, or the formation of specific organs in a plant or animal," he explains. "Defects in this process underlie a multitude of human birth defects, chief among them being problems of the heart, which is the earliest organ to form and which appears to be the most susceptible to perturbations."

At Gladstone, Srivastava will bring a genetic and developmental biology approach to heart disease research, including examining the role of gene regulation and cell differentiation in cardiovascular disease and the potential of such studies in reprogramming stem cells.

GICD is one of three UCSF-affiliated research institutes of The J. David Gladstone Institutes, an independent, nonprofit biomedical research institution committed to containing and combating some of the most devastating illnesses of our time, including cardiovascular disease, HIV/AIDS and Alzheimer's disease.

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