Department of Medicine
Cardiology; Critical Care Medicine; Molecular and Cellular Biology; Stem Cells
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.