Dr. Springer's research interests include cell therapy and gene therapy approaches to studying cardiovascular disease, with the goals of exploring potential treatments and understanding underlying mechanisms involved in angiogenesis, vascular function, and treatments for myocardial infarction. The laboratory is studying differential responses of cardiac and skeletal muscle to angiogenic gene therapy in mice, focusing on effects of VEGF and pleiotrophin on the vasculature. Further interests center in the therapeutic effects of bone marrow cell implantation into the heart after myocardial infarction, with a special emphasis on the therapeutic implications of the age and cardiac disease status of the cell donor. Similarly, the lab is studying the effects of age and disease on circulating angiogenic cells (sometimes called endothelial progenitor cells), with a focus on the roles of endothelial nitric oxide synthase and nitric oxide in the function of these cells. Lastly, they have developed a rat model of endothelium-dependent flow-mediated vasodilation, and are using it to examine mechanisms underlying vascular reactivity and how they are affected by cigarette smoke exposure and dietary flavanols.