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Thomas                         Cimato

Thomas R. Cimato MD, PhD

Department of Medicine

Assistant Professor

Specialty/Research Focus

Cardiology; Critical Care Medicine; Molecular and Cellular Biology; Stem Cells

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Professional Summary:

Dr. Cimato is a physician-scientist. He is a native of Western New York and attended the University at Buffalo for his undergraduate training. He was selected for early-acceptance to the University at Buffalo School of Medicine, and subsequently the Medical Scientist Training Program where he completed his PhD in Biochemistry. His PhD work documented some of the first evidence for regulation of protein arginine methylation in cell growth and differentiation.

His post-graduate training was attained in Internal Medicine at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. He completed fellowship training in Cardiovascular Medicine at Johns Hopkins Hospital, and sub-specialty training in Advanced Heart Failure and Cardiac Transplantation.
He is board certified in Internal Medicine, Cardiovascular Medicine, and Nuclear Cardiology.

He completed post-doctoral training in stem cell biology at the National Institutes of Health in the Intramural Research programs of the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, Human Genome Research Institute, and National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke where he developed a method to identify early precursors of endothelial cells from human and mouse stem cells.

His current clinical interest is in the diagnosis and management of shortness of breath related to congestive heart failure. He also is focused on prevention of atherosclerosis, as well as heart disease associated with cancer therapy.

His research program is currently focused on identification of novel pathways involved in heart attack and stroke due to atherosclerosis, and cell based therapies for the treatment of ischemic heart and limb diseases. The projects of his laboratory are described below:

1) Inflammation in atherosclerosis.

The goal of this line of research is to identify cell types in the blood stream that cause artery blockages and determine if blocking their response to cholesterol decreases artery disease, heart attacks and strokes.

His laboratory is also evaluating new proteins secreted in the blood stream by blood vessels that are damaged by cholesterol or other factors. Proteins secreted by damaged endothelium may potentially identify patients at high risk for heart attack when combined with other factors including chest pain symptoms and traditional heart attack risk factors.

2) Inflammation in heart failure.

Inflammation is activated by heart failure. The worse the heart failure symptoms, the higher the levels of inflammatory factors in the blood stream. The goal of this line of research is to understand the interaction between the immune system and the heart. Many immune modulating factors have significant effects on heart function and are severely elevated in heart failure. His laboratory is determining if the immune cells, and immune factors including cytokines and chemokines, can be targeted to improve heart function and survival in severe heart failure.

3) Cell based therapies for chronic heart and limb disease.

Once vascular disease strikes, one’s own blood vessels can become severely blocked to the point that standard treatments such as bypass surgery or angioplasty cannot be performed. In this scenario, new blood vessels must be grown to improve blood flow to heart or limb muscle cells. His laboratory will be testing several novel cell based treatments that actually form endothelial cells and vessels in the laboratory. The goal is to determine if application of these cells to diseased heart or limbs improves blood flow, ability to exercise, and symptoms.

Education and Training:
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, Stem Cell Biology, National Institutes of Health (2007)
  • Fellowship, Advanced Heart Failure and Cardiac Transplant, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine (2006)
  • Fellowship, Cardiovascular Medicine, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine (2006)
  • Residency, Internal Medicine, University of Pennsylvania Health System (2002)
  • PhD, Biochemistry, University at Buffalo (1999)
  • MD, University at Buffalo (1999)
  • BS, University at Buffalo, Cum Laude (1992)
  • Assistant Professor, University at Buffalo (2010-present)
  • Research Assistant Professor, Cardiology, University at Buffalo (2007–2010)
  • Assistant Clinical Investigator, National Heart Lung and Blood, and Human Genome Research Institutes, National Institutes of Health, National Institutes of Health Intramural Research Program (2006–2007)
  • Clinical Fellow, Advanced Heart Failure and Cardiac Transplantation, Johns Hopkins University, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine (2005–2006)
  • NIH Postdoctoral Fellow, National Heart Lung and Blood Institute Intramural Research Program, National Institutes of Health, National Institutes of Health (2004–2006)
  • Clinical Fellow, Cardiology, Johns Hopkins University, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine (2002–2005)
  • Resident, University of Pennsylvania, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (2000–2002)
  • Intern, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, University of Pennsylvania (1999–2000)
  • Medical Scientist Training Program, University at Buffalo (1992–1999)
Awards and Honors:
  • Finalist, ATVB Outstanding Research by an Early Career Investigator (2013)
  • SUNY at Buffalo, Outstanding Laboratory-based Research (2013)
  • Fellow-American Heart Association (2011)
  • Most Read Articles in Circulation Journal-Molecular Cardiology (2010)
  • Fellow-American Society of Nuclear Cardiology (2009)
  • Finalist, Northwestern Cardiovascular Young Investigator's Forum (2008)
  • Fellow-American College of Cardiology (2008)
  • Who's Who in Medicine and Healthcare (2001)
  • Sigma Xi Grant-in-Aid of Research (1995)
  • First Place-SUNY at Buffalo School of Medicine Research Forum (1993)
  • First Place-SUNY at Buffalo School of Medicine Research Forum (1992)
  • Early Admission Program-SUNY at Buffalo School of Medicine (1990)

Research Expertise:
  • Angiogenesis
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Cardiac Toxicity of Cancer Treatments
  • Cardiomyopathy: I have specialized training and experience in the management of heart failure, cardiac muscle disorders, advanced cardiac failure, mechanical assist devices, and cardiac transplantation.
  • Cholesterol and Hematopoiesis
  • Cytokines and Chemokines in Heart Disease
  • Flow Cytometry Analysis
  • Genomic Analysis of Biological Samples: I have training and expertise in the analysis of transcriptional profiles of cells, cGH analysis to assess small areas of alterations in the human genome, and single nucleotide polymorphisms in the genome.
  • Heart Disease in Cancer
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cell Biology
  • Innate Immunity in Heart Failure
  • Pluripotent Stem Cell Biology: I have training and expertise in the derivation, culture, quality control, and differentiation of murine and human pluripotent stem cells.
  • Preventative Cardiology
  • Vascular Biology: I have training and expertise in the biology of new blood vessel formation from stem cells (vasculogenesis) and from existing blood vessels (angiogenesis).
Research Centers:
  • Center for Research in Cardiovascular Medicine
Grants and Sponsored Research:
  • July 2014–July 2015
    University at Buffalo Translational Studies Pilot FundSenescence As a Stimulus for Inflammation in Heart Failure
    University at Buffalo
    Role: Principal Investigator
  • July 2010–June 2014
    American Heart Association Scientist Development Grant
    American Heart Association
    Role: Principal Investigator
  • September 2013–February 2014
    Phosphodiesterase Type 5 Inhibition With Tadalafil Changes Outcomes in Heart Failure (PITCH-HF)
    National Institutes of Health/NHLBI
    Role: Contributor
  • January 2009–December 2012
    NYSTEM, IDEA in Stem Cell Research. Co-Investigator;Modification of Resident Cardiac Stem Cells by Circulating Hematopoietic Stem Cells in Ischemic Cardiomyopathy
    Role: Co-Investigator
  • July 2007–June 2011
    Department of Veterans Affairs Statins and Growth Factors for Chronic Ischemic Heart Failure
    Veterans Administration
    Role: Co-Investigator
  • July 2007–June 2008
    New York State Stem Cell Science Institutional Support Pilot Project Award
    Role: Co-Principal Investigator
  • January 2005
    NIH Loan Repayment Program
    National Institutes of Health
    Role: Principal Investigator
See All (7 Total) >

Journal Articles:
See All (16 Total) >

Professional Memberships:
  • Member, International Society for Stem Cell Research (2006)
  • Member, Heart Failure Society of America (2006)
  • Member, American Society of Echocardiography (2006)
  • Fellow, American Society of Nuclear Cardiology (2006)
  • Fellow, American Heart Association (2002)
  • Fellow, American College of Cardiology (2002)
  • "Prevention of Heart Attack: Overview of the New Cholesterol Guidelines" SUNY at Buffalo-Dept Family Medicine, SUNY at Buffalo Sch of Medicine, Medical Grand Rounds (2013)
  • "Diagnosis and Management of Congestive Heart Failure" SUNY at Buffalo-Dept Medicine, SUNY at Buffalo Sch of Medicine, Medical Grand Rounds (2013)
  • "Master Cardiac Transcription Factor MESP1 is Highly Expressed in Adult Human CD34+ Hematopoietic Stem Cells and Its Levels are Modulated by Body Mass Index" American Heart Association Scientific Sessions, American Heart Assocation, ATVB/Stem and Progenitor Cells (2013)
  • "The Interaction of Cholesterol and Inflammation with Hematopoietic Stem Cells: A Potential Target For Therapy in Atherosclerosis" SUNY at Buffalo-Dept Medicine, SUNY at Buffalo Sch of Medicine, Research Grand Rounds (2013)
  • "Ciliary Neurotrophic Factor Increases the Angiogenic Properties of Human Pluirpotent Stem Cell Derived Neuropilin-1+ CD34+ Nascent Endothelial Cells Via a Jak2 Dependent Pathway" American Heart Association Scientific Sessions, American Heart Association, ATVB (2012)
  • "Component currents of cardiac myocytes derived from human induced pluripotent stem cells" Biophysical Society, Biophysical Society (2012)
  • "Intracoronary infusion of cardiosphere-derived cells (icCDCs) improves cardiac function by stimulating myocyte-proliferation in non-infarcted hibernating myocardium with no effect on normal myocardium" American Heart Association Scientific Sessions, American Heart Association (2011)
  • "Simplified Monolayer Differentiation of Human-Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells to Functional Cardiac Myocytes" Basic Cardiovascular Sciences (BCVS) Scientific Sessions 2011, American Heart Association (2011)
  • "Transcriptonal Profiling of Pluripotent Stem-Cell Derived Neuropilin-1+ CD34- Vascular Precursors Reveals Significant Overlap with Ventral Mesoderm and Identifies Signaling Pathways in Differentiation to Vascular Cells" Basic Cardiovascular Sciences (BCVS) Scientific Sessions 2011, American Heart Association (2011)
  • "Genomic analysis of early endothelial differentiation from human stem cells identifies novel growth factor signaling pathways involved in vasculogenesis" Atherosclerosis Thrombosis and Vascular Biology (2011)
  • "Drug therapy for Heart Failure and Heart Failure with Normal LV systolic function" University at Buffalo School of Medicine, Update for Primary Care Providers (2011)
  • "Neuropilins in Cardiac and Vascular Differentiation of Pluripotent Stem Cells" Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Cellular and Molecular Biology (2010)
  • "Pravastatin Increases Clonogenic Growth of Late Outrowth Endothelial Progenitor Cells (LOEPCs) and Increases Myocardial Capillary Density in Swine with Chronic Coronary Occlusion and Hibernating Myocardium" Northwestern University Cardiovascular Young Investigators Forum (2009)
  • "Vascular Precursors from Adult and Embryonic Stem Cells" Upstate New York Cardiovascular Research Symposium, University of Rochester School of Medicine & Dentistry (2008)
  • "Chronic stenosis of the proximal left anterior descending artery in juvenile rats results in a critical impairment in coronary flow reserve and leads to the development of hibernating myocardium without necrosis" American Heart Association Scientific Sessions (2008)
  • "Neuropilin 1 identifies endothelial precursors in murine and human embryonic stem cells prior to CD34 expression." American Heart Association Scientific Sessions (2007)
  • "NHLBI Symposium on Cardiovascular Regenerative Medicine" NHLBI Symposium on Cardiovascular Regenerative Medicine, National Institutes of Health, National Institutes of Health (2007)
  • "Identification of Vascular Precursors from Human Stem Cells" University of Miami School of Medicine, Medicine Grand Rounds (2006)
  • "Identification of Vascular Precursors from Human Stem Cells" Cornell University-Weill School of Medicine, Cardiology Grand Rounds (2006)
See All (19 Total) >
Service Activities:
  • Faculty Senate; School Representative (2010–2012)
  • NIH/NHLBI Cardiovascular SBIR Peer Review; Panel Member (2014)
  • UB School of Medicine Faculty Council; Alternate Member (2014)
  • Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee-Buffalo General Medical Center; Panel Member (2014)
  • Biology of Blood and Bone Marrow Transplantation-Peer Reviewer; Peer Reviewer (2014)
  • Consulting Physician-Cardiology-Roswell Park Cancer Institute; Consultant (2013)
  • University at Buffalo: Scholarly Exchange Day; Research Facilitator (2013); Panel Member (2012)
  • American Heart Association-Innovative Research Grant Study Section Member; Committee Member (2012)
  • Biosafety Committee-SUNY at Buffalo; Panel Member (2012)
  • Journal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology and Therapeutics; Peer Reviewer (2012)
  • Journal of Cardiovascular Translational Research; Peer Reviewer (2012)
  • PLoS One Peer Reviewer; Peer Reviewer (2012)
  • Stem Cells Translational Medicine-Peer Reviewer; Peer Reviewer (2012)
  • University at Buffalo Faculty Senate Representative-School of Medicine; Senator (2011–2012)
  • Atherosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology-Peer Reviewer; Peer Reviewer (2011)
  • Cardiovascular Research; Peer Reviewer (2011)
  • Experimental Biology and Medicine-Peer Reviewer; Peer Reviewer (2011)
  • Stem Cells-Peer Reviewer; Peer Reviewer (2011)
  • American Heart Association-Basic Cell Regenerative Cell Biology Study Section; Grant Reviewer (2009)
  • American Journal of Physiology-Peer Reviewer; Peer Reviewer (2009)
  • Echocardiography Reading Panel-Buffalo General Medical Center; Panel Member (2009)
  • Nuclear Cardiology Reading Panel-Buffalo General Medical Center; Clinical Staff (2009)
  • Nuclear Cardiology Reading Panel-Buffalo General Hospital; Panel Member (2008)
  • American Journal of Cardiology-Peer Reviewer; Peer Reviewer (2008)
  • Journal of Cellular Biochemistry-Peer Reviewer; Peer Reviewer (2008)
  • Radiation Safety Officer-UB|MD Cardiology at Dent Tower; Director (2008)
  • Staff Physician-Buffalo General Medical Center; Clinical Staff (2008)
  • Director-Nuclear Stress Testing Lab-UB|MD Cardiology; Director (2007)
  • Staff Physician-WNY VA Medical Center; Clinical Staff (2007–2009)
  • Attending Physician-Cardiology Buffalo General Hospital; Clinical Staff (2007)
  • Circulation Research Peer Reviewer; Reviewer (2007)
  • NHLBI Symposium on Cardiovascular Regenerative Medicine; Advisory Board (2006–2007)

Clinical Specialties:
Clinical Offices:
Insurance Accepted:

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Contact Information

Clinical and Translational Research Center
875 Ellicott Street
Suite 7030
Buffalo, NY 14203
Phone: 716-829-2663
Fax: 716-854-1840

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