• Clinical Research

    Learning from What We Observe

    Many of the Heart Institute’s clinical researchers also conduct basic bench investigation. They take what they learn from patients back to their laboratories to better understand the underlying pathology of heart disease and to find better ways to treat it. These efforts result in transformative treatments; they are recognized with funding to expand their studies.

  • A $13.4 million NIH Specialized Center of Clinically Oriented Research (SCCOR) grant will further the work of Heart Institute researcher D. Woodrow Benson, MD, PhD, into the genetic causes of heart valve disease. Valve malformations are frequently seen at birth, but valve disease may be recognized at any age.  Growing evidence suggests that valve disease discovered later in life may start during valvulogenesis. The premise of the SCCOR grant: Benson and his team will identify genetic loci linked to valve disease and define the molecular basis of valve defects to better assess patient risk and design new therapeutic approaches.

    An innovative collaboration between the Heart Institute and the Division of Nephrology has led to a new Center for Acute Kidney Injury. Clinical research will focus on early detection to minimize the risk of kidney injury in children with cardiovascular disease.

    Imaging to Find Heart Problems Early in Muscular Dystrophy

    Heart Institute researchers are working with our Imaging Center to use cardiac MRI to identify early heart muscle disease in children with muscular dystrophy. These children develop dilated left ventricles, and by the time they experience symptoms, it’s too late. Early detection could result in better treatment and outcomes.

    Our researchers are also using echo imaging to detect novel identifiers for heart muscle disease and fetal imaging that will help predict outcomes when a fetus is diagnosed with heart problems.

    Our physicians are studying various medications used to treat heart muscle disease to determine their effectiveness and long-term impact on outcomes. They are also using diagnostics to determine whether heart muscle disease is genetic or acquired due to certain types of viruses.

    Our genetics research team is investigating the behavior of cardiac abnormalities associated with various genetic syndromes. They want to understand how and why the same genetic defect in a family can cause different forms of heart disease among its members.

    In our Center for Better Health and Nutrition, researchers are studying obesity in young people and how to modify diet to reduce weight and prevent obesity-related heart problems. One area of research interest is on the effect of obesity-related hypertension on vascular dysfunction.

  • Faculty Conducting Clinical Research in the Heart Institute

    FacultyFocus of Research
    Jeffrey A. Towbin, MD, FAAP, FACC, FAHACardiomyopathy and genetics
    Jeffrey B. Anderson, MD, MPHHeart rhythm abnormalities and syncope in pediatric patients
    Robert H. Beekman, III, MD Multicenter trials of stent therapy
    James F. Cnota, MDRisk factors and clinical trials in pediatric cardiovascular disease
    Allison A. Divanovic, MDNoninvasive fetal echocardiography and congenital heart malformations
    Stuart L. Goldstein, MDAcute kidney injury (AKI)
    Robert Bruce Hinton, Jr., MDGenetic and developmental basis of pediatric heart disease
    John Lynn Jefferies, MD, MPH, FAAP, FACCCardiomyopathy and cardiovascular genetics
    Thomas R. Kimball, MDImpact of systemic disease on cardiovascular structure and function
    Shelley Kirk, PhD, RD, LDEvaluation of diet in comprehensive pediatric weight management
    Timothy K. Knilans, MDEvaluation and treatment of syncope and prevention of sudden cardiac death
    Andreas W. Loepke, MD, PhDPediatric cardiac anesthesia and single-ventricle physiology
    Erik C. Michelfelder, MD Cardiac anatomic and functional abnormalities in a fetal pathologic conditions
    Robert M. Siegel, MDPediatric weight management
    James P. Spaeth, MDCongenital cardiac disease and cardiac surgery effects on neurodevelopmental outcomes
    Michael D. Taylor, MDCardiac MRI and evaluation of myocardial function and disease
    Elaine M. Urbina, MDCV risk factors and vascular function

  • Clinical Research.