Author + information
- Received January 19, 2006
- Revision received April 26, 2006
- Accepted May 1, 2006
- Published online November 7, 2006.
- David Tancredi, MD, PhD⁎ ()
- ↵⁎Reprint requests and correspondence:
Dr. David Tancredi, Fondation Leducq, 1, Rue Laurent Pichat, Paris 75116, France.
The Leducq Foundation was founded in 1996 in Paris, France, by Jean and Sylviane Leducq, who charged it with the mission of improving human health through international efforts to combat cardiovascular disease. Jean Leducq was a visionary businessman who, over the course of more than 50 years, built in Europe and in the U.S. a series of enterprises involving the care and supply of linens and uniforms. The Leducqs’ international experience, and love for both continents, became the inspiration for the foundation, its particular organization, and its transcontinental vision.
With the help of several physician friends and advisers, the Leducqs and the newly constituted foundation board assembled an international Scientific Advisory Committee, comprising 14 experts in cardiovascular disease, 7 based in Europe, and 7 in the U.S. The founding members included:
Dr. Robert Wallace, President, Georgetown University, U.S.
Dr. Eugene Braunwald, Harvard University, U.S.
Dr. Robert Frye, Mayo Clinic, U.S.
Dr. Kenneth Mann, University of Vermont, U.S.
Dr. Eugene Passamani, Suburban Hospital, U.S.
Dr. Eric Rose, Columbia University, U.S.
Dr. Andrew Wechsler, MCP Hahnemann University Hospital, U.S.
Dr. Gunter Breithardt, University of Münster, Germany
Dr. Pierre Corvol, Collège de France, France
Dr. Kim Fox, Royal Brompton & Harefields NHS Trust, U.K.
Dr. Claude Griscelli, Institut Necker, France
Dr. Michel Komajda, Hôpital Pitié-La-Salpêtrière, France
Dr. Gabriel Steg, Hôpital Bichat, France
Dr. Marko Turina, Universität Spital, Switzerland
These members guided the foundation through the challenging initial stages of its development and launched the grant program that provided the impetus for this publication. Ultimately they helped to orient the foundation toward a new grant program that emphasizes to a greater degree the international aspect of the foundation.
In June 1999, the Leducq Foundation awarded its first grants in cardiovascular research. The grant program was aimed at providing support to individual investigators in Europe or in the U.S. for work on what the foundation’s Scientific Advisory Committee had identified as critical issues for cardiovascular research:
• Molecular and genetic epidemiology of cardiovascular diseases with emphasis on human populations
• Diabetes and cardiovascular diseases, including pre-diabetic state
• Heart failure
• Epidemiology and outcome analysis of cardiovascular care emphasizing gender, ethnicity, and geographical variations, as well as quality improvement
• New techniques in cardiovascular surgery, emphasizing critical evaluation
• Genetic management of cardiovascular diseases
With the second round of awards under this program made in 2001, a total of 9 investigators received funding under this first phase of the Leducq Foundation’s grant program. It is their work, originally presented in Paris in October 2005 at the Leducq Symposium: Critical Issues in Cardiovascular Research, that comprises this volume.
To acknowledge that 7 years later the critical issues in cardiovascular research are still critical is not to impugn the progress that has been made over that time. Indeed, the following pages attest to tremendous advances in our understanding of the genetic and molecular basis of heart failure and arrhythmia, and of the metabolic pathways in and the pathogenesis of vascular disease. The objective of the foundation in publishing this supplement is to provide a review of the developments in these areas and to make it available to a wide audience. We are grateful to the editors of the Journal of the American College of Cardiologyfor their assistance in this endeavor.
In 2003, the Leducq Foundation introduced an innovative program in cardiovascular research: The Transatlantic Networks of Excellence in Cardiovascular Disease. Under this initiative, the foundation awards grants for collaborative European-American cardiovascular research programs. Each Network of Excellence is built around a strong central relationship involving a European coordinator and a North American coordinator, who jointly direct the research program. Other members from both continents are added to the network to participate in particular research projects. It is hoped that the international cooperation will allow investigators to pool the often complementary research efforts and resources available in Europe and North America.
The Leducq Foundation awards each network up to $6 million (USD) over 5 years to carry out its proposed research. A total of $24 million per year is currently made available for grants in cardiovascular research. Including the programs selected in 2006, there are currently 12 Leducq research networks underway, promising developments in areas such as heart failure, atherothrombotic disease, arrhythmia, congenital heart disease, and others.
The Transatlantic Networks of Excellence program will be continued in 2006 to 2007. Beginning in this application cycle, the Foundation plans to include under its cardiovascular disease mandate research on neurovascular disease, particularly acute stroke. Interest in the Transatlantic Network program is increasing as researchers understand the possibilities of collaborative investigations across international borders.
Further information about Fondation Leducq is available on the foundation’s website (www.fondationleducq.org).
- Received January 19, 2006.
- Revision received April 26, 2006.
- Accepted May 1, 2006.
- American College of Cardiology Foundation