Thomas Povsic


Thomas J. Povsic MD, PhD

Director, Advanced Biomarkers
Associate Professor of Medicine, Cardiology



Dr. Thomas Povsic is an associate professor of medicine with an interest in advancing novel therapeutics from the bench to the bedside. He has a Ph.D. in bioorganic chemistry from the California Institute of Technology and an MD from Harvard Medical School. An interventional cardiologist with appointments at Duke and the Durham VA Medical Center, Dr. Povsic heads the advanced biomarkers group at the DCRI.

Dr. Povsic’s research experience extends from bench research to phase 3 clinical trials. Key research interests include the development and translation of novel basic therapeutics to clinical use, new therapies for acute ST-elevation myocardial infarction, and clinical trial design, including use of mechanistic and biomarker-related studies within clinical trials. Particular areas of interest are the role of progenitor cell mediated repair in the development of vascular disease, and establishing regenerative therapies for treatment of cardiovascular conditions. To advance research in these areas, Dr. Povsic has led a laboratory focused on the assessment of endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) in a variety of clinical conditions, developing a novel circulating progenitor cell assay, and leading core laboratories for the NIH-sponsored REVEAL acute MI multicenter study, as well as 10 other clinical programs. A leader of the MARVEL trial, studying the role of myoblast administration for treatment of congestive heart failure, Dr. Povsic also served as the national PI for the RENEW and CHART-2 trials assessing the effectiveness of regenerative cell therapy-based strategies for treatment of chronic ischemic heart disease. He helped lead the RADAR and REGULATE-PCI trials, involving the first clinical uses of a novel, aptamer-based antithrombotic therapy, and has led efforts to transition this novel therapy from concept to phase 3 clinical trials.

Dr. Povsic’s clinical interests focus on patients with advanced coronary disease and refractory angina. Other areas of basic and applied research include: the role of circulating progenitor cells in vascular homeostasis; use of progenitor cells for regenerative therapy; novel therapies for patients with advanced CAD/CHF; early phase clinical trials; and clinical trial design with an emphasis on cell therapy/angiogenesis.

Education and Training

  • Fellow in Cardiology, Medicine, Duke University, 1998 - 2004
  • Medical Resident, Medicine, Duke University, 1995 - 1998
  • D., Harvard University, 1995

“Being a physician scientist is truly a blessed and absorbing calling. I hope that some of the work we are doing will someday lead to novel approaches to regeneration and rejuvenation of the heart, and improvements for patients with cardiovascular disease.”