Determining disease severity
To help determine the severity of myocarditis and dilated cardiomyopathy, we use histology staining techniques such as haematoxylon and eosin to identify inflammation, trichrome blue and picrosirius red stain to examine fibrosis, and toluidine blue to detect mast cell degranulation.
Our lab is studying why fibrosis is laid down in the heart after myocarditis in order to develop new prevention strategies. Fibrosis can be laid down on the pericardium, in the myocardium or around the vessels, as seen here in blue.
Translating science into breakthroughs
We conduct clinical research in the lab to understand the mechanism of disease in order to develop new diagnostics and therapeutics for patients with heart failure. Here, Dr. Fairweather examines a new biomarker for myocarditis using patient samples.
The Translational Cardiovascular Disease Research Laboratory of principal investigator DeLisa Fairweather, Ph.D., studies the identification of biomarkers that can be used as diagnostic and therapeutic targets for cardiovascular and autoimmune diseases.
Our lab, which is located at Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida, focuses on several areas of research, including:
- Discovering individualized therapies and improved diagnoses for chronic inflammatory diseases
- Understanding how sex differences in inflammation caused by environmental exposures can lead to chronic inflammatory diseases
- Examining the immunopathogenesis of myocarditis, dilated cardiomyopathy and heart failure
Our goal is to develop research breakthroughs by better understanding the pathogenesis of disease characterized by sex differences. Dr. Fairweather and her research team ultimately hope to discover new diagnostic techniques and novel therapies for patients with myocarditis and other cardiovascular and autoimmune diseases.
About Dr. Fairweather
Dr. Fairweather is the director of translational research for the Department of Cardiovascular Medicine at Mayo Clinic's Florida campus. She is also an associate professor of medicine at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science.