Heart disease is the most common cause of death in the United States and all Western Societies. Future advances in the diagnosis and treatment of cardiac disorders are critically dependent on a broad range of integrated research programs that emphasize a bench-to-bedside approach. Research programs of the HVRC utilize state-of-the-art experimental techniques and promote cross-fertilization between clinicians, clinical investigators, epidemiologists, physiologists, cell and molecular biologists, mathematicians, and biomedical engineers.