The Program in Vascular Biology and Transplantation was launched in 2000 as an interdisciplinary effort to apply research in vascular biology to the problems associated with organ repair and replacement therapies. The initial targets of VBT were identified as arteriosclerosis as a cause of late grafts failure (chronic vascular rejection), vascular incompatibilities underlying pig-into-human xenotransplantation, and strategies to revascularize organs failing due to ischemia. In the last few years, the emphasis on graft vessel arteriosclerosis has widened to include pathologies associated with other, more common forms of arteriosclerosis (such as atherosclerosis) and emphasis has shifted from xenotransplantation as a source of replacement organs to the application of vascular biology to improved tissue engineering of replacement human organs. The VBT Program currently has thirty-five faculty members in a number of departments, including Medicine, Surgery, Neurosurgery, Anesthesiology, Pathology, Pharmacology, Immunobiology, Physiology, Comparative Medicine and Biomedical Engineering.
VBT is the first program developed at Yale Medical School with the explicit goal of building teams of interactive investigators to conduct translational research. Its success has encouraged the School of Medicine to foster similar programs to address autoimmune and inflammatory diseases.