Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, accounting for nearly one million fatalities every year, with another 80 million or so suffering from serious heart disease. UCF biomedical science researchers in the cardiovascular field are committed to uncovering the causes and finding cures for this deadly and most prevalent disease. Current research in cardiovascular science at UCF focuses on both the attainment of fundamental knowledge about how the cardiovascular system functions as well as its practical application to treat cardiovascular disease. Focus areas include elucidation of molecular/cellular signaling events that control heart development, inflammatory vascular disease, cardiac hypertrophy/heart failure, and programmed cell death. Additional areas of focus include mapping and functional characterization of brainstem neuro-regulatory mechanisms of cardiovascular function, and application of stem cell therapies for the treatment of ischemic heart disease.