The Vascular Research Initiatives Conference (VRIC) is an annual conference organized by the Society for Vascular Surgery (SVS). The 2011 VRIC was held in Chicago (IL, USA) to precede and coincide with the first day of the meeting of the Council on Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology (ATVB) of the American Heart Association. The event is designed to present world class vascular research results, encourage collaboration between vascular surgeons and basic scientists in related disciplines, as well as to stimulate interest in research among aspiring academic vascular surgeons. The 2011 VRIC featured plenary sessions addressing peripheral arterial disease, vascular endothelium and thrombosis, aneurysms, and stem cells and tissue engineering. Recipients of the SVS partner grants with the National Institutes of Health K08 awardees presented their progress reports, and keynote addresses were given by Linda Graham and Frank LoGerfo.