Our work focuses on defining the molecular mechanisms that drive aortic aneurysm formation and that precipitate atherosclerotic plaque rupture (the proximal cause of most heart attacks). We are also developing a gene therapy—delivered to the blood vessel wall—that prevents and reverses atherosclerosis. Experiments are performed in a mouse model of heritable thoracic aortic aneurysms, a mouse model of atherosclerotic plaque rupture, and with advanced human plaque tissue. Our gene therapy research uses helper-dependent adenoviral vectors to test therapies in rabbit models of carotid artery and vein graft atherosclerosis. We anticipate that insights from our work will lead to therapies that prevent or stabilize aortic aneurysms and that prevent and reverse atherosclerosis.