• Research Faculty

  • A photo of Jeffrey Robbins.

    Jeffrey Robbins, PhD Director and Endowed Chair, Molecular Cardiovascular Biology

    established the means to direct the heart to synthesize normal and mutant proteins. They can turn these on and off at will and this allows them to establish cause-and-effect relationships between mutant proteins and the development of cardiac disease. The lab is particularly interested in how protein aggregation can cause cardiac disease but also studies the contractile protein mutations that cause hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and heart failure.
    Visit the Robbins Lab.


    A photo of Jeffrey Anderson.

    Jeffrey B. Anderson, MD, MPH

    is an electrophysiologist with a clinical interest in heart rhythm abnormalities and syncope in pediatric patients. His has a research interest in quality improvement and outcomes in infants and children with congenital heart disease. He is currently working on projects to improve medical management of pediatric patients presenting with syncope as well as to improve nutrition and growth in infants with complex congenital heart disease.


    A photo of Robert Beekman III.

    Robert H. Beekman III, MD

    is a recognized leader in pediatric cardiology and interventional cardiology. He’s currently researching participation in multicenter trials of stent therapy for coarctation (COAST), covered stents for coarctation and aortic aneurysms, and the C3PO Registry. Dr. Beekman is also chair of the JCCHD National Pediatric Cardiology Quality Improvement Collaborative (NPC-QIC) and a member of the Steering Committee of the ACC/NCDR IMPACT Registry.


    A photo of Burns Blaxall.

    Burns C. Blaxall, PhD, FAHA Director of Translational Science, Heart Institute

    is interested in understanding the molecular mechanisms associated with the development and progression of heart failure. We are particularly interested in developing novel heart failure therapeutics targeting myocardial function and fibrosis. To this end, we also seek to understand the pathologic role of cardiac myocyte and non-myocyte (i.e.. fibroblast) intercellular communication.


    A photo of James Cnota.

    James F. Cnota, MD

    is a pediatric cardiologist with clinical focus in echocardiography and fetal cardiology. His research activities are in two areas: 1) fetal cardiology and perinatal risk factors in congenital heart disease and 2) multicenter clinical trials in pediatric cardiovascular disease.


    A photo of Allison A. Divanovic.

    Allison A. Divanovic, MD Co-Director, Medical Student/Resident Education, Heart Institute

    is a pediatric cardiologist who specializes in noninvasive imaging, specifically transthoracic and fetal echocardiography. Her research interests include the impact of Twin-twin transfusion syndrome on the fetal heart as well as the management of fetuses with congenital heart defects, in particular, hypoplastic left heart syndrome.


    A photo of Stuart L. Goldstein.

    Stuart L. Goldstein, MD Director, Center for Acute Care Nephrology

    focuses on all aspects of acute kidney injury (AKI) spanning from translational work in AKI biomarker validation to long-term AKI epidemiology and outcomes. He is specifically interested in improving outcomes in the critically ill child with or at risk for AKI.


    A photo of Jessica Woo.

    Jessica Graus Woo, MHSA, PhD

    is a molecular epidemiologist with particular research interest in the developmental pathways leading to pediatric obesity. She is specifically interested in how genetics and early life influences, especially early diet, may impact a child’s likelihood of developing obesity and specific metabolic complications of obesity, such as insulin resistance and dyslipidemia.


    A photo of James D. Gulick.

    James D. Gulick, MS

    is a member of the Robbins lab, studying cardiac structure and function. His interest lies primarily in understanding how certain mutations in contractile protein genes are able to alter the function of the heart.
    Visit the Robbins Lab web site.


    A photo of Jeanne M. James.

    Jeanne M. James, MD

    is a pediatric cardiologist, interested in exploring the pathological processes that lead to abnormal heart function as well as the compensatory phenomena intrinsic to the myocardium that may assist in recovery of function. 
    Visit the James Lab web site.


    A photo of John Jefferies.

    John Lynn Jefferies, MD, MPH, FAAP, FACC Director, Advanced Heart Failure and Cardiomyopathy

    is a clinical cardiologist who has translational and clinical research programs. His research involves cardiomyopathy and cardiovascular genetics with specific interest in dystrophinopathies and aortopathies in children and adults. He also has clinical research projects investigating novel biomarkers of heart failure, chemotherapy induced cardiotoxicity, and the cardiorenal syndrome.


    A photo of Zaza Khuchua.

    Zaza Khuchua, PhD

    research Interests are mitochondrial structure, function, biogenesis and recycling in normal and pathological heart muscle. More specifically we are interested in defects in cardiac lipid and phospholipid metabolism. We employ genetically engineered mice to model human genetic disorders.


    A photo of Thomas Kimball.

    Thomas R. Kimball, MD Medical Director, Heart Institute

    is a clinical cardiologist who has clinical research interests in the impact of systemic diseases (including renal, pulmonary and hematologic) on cardiovascular structure and function. He has studied the impact of pediatric obesity on both cardiac and arterial anatomy and physiology and directs the Cardiovascular Imaging Core Research Laboratory which is active in using echocardiography to cardiac phenotype transgenic mice models.


    No photo available

    Shelley Kirk, PhD, RD, LD Director, HealthWorks!, Center for Better Health and Nutrition, Heart Institute

    is a clinical dietitian specializing in the assessment and treatment of obese youth and their families. With her doctorate in epidemiology, her research interests are focused on evaluating the effectiveness and efficacy of the dietary component as part of a comprehensive pediatric weight management intervention offered in a clinical setting.


    A photo of Timothy Knilans.

    Timothy K. Knilans, MD Director, Clinical Cardiac Electrophysiology and Pacing

    is a clinical cardiac electrophysiologist with a large clinical practice in management of arrhythmia and syncope. He has extensive experience in non-invasive electrocardiographic methods and invasive therapeutic modalities including catheter and surgical ablation and implanted electrical device therapy. His research interests center on evaluation and treatment of syncope and prevention of sudden cardiac death.


    A photo of Andreas Loepke.

    Andreas W. Loepke, MD, PhD Staff Anesthesiologist, Division of Cardiac Anesthesia

    is a pediatric cardiac anesthesiologist and clinician-scientist who directs a research laboratory investigating the effects of anesthetics on the developing brain. He chairs the department’s Data Safety Monitoring Board and serves on the Editorial Advisory Board for the journal Pediatric Anesthesia as well as the SmartTots Affiliate Advisory Council for the International Anesthesia Research Society.
    Visit the Loepke Lab.


    A photo of Angela Lorts.

    Angela Lorts, MD Director, Ventricular Assist Device Program

    is interested in myocardial remodeling.


    A photo of Marjorie Maillet.

    Marjorie Maillet, PhD

    is interested in understanding the signaling pathways that lead to cardiac hypertrophy and heart disease. Her current projects aim at defining new signaling pathways that regulate calcineurin and NFAT in the heart as well as characterizing MAP kinases targets associated with cardiac hypertrophy and heart failure.
    Visit the Molkentin lab.


    A photo of Erik Michelfelder.

    Erik C. Michelfelder, MD Co-Director, Cardiac Imaging Services, Heart Institute

    is a clinical cardiologist who has clinical research programs in fetal cardiology and echocardiography. Within the Fetal Heart Program, the fetal echocardiography lab studies anatomic and physiologic predictors of cardiac function, perinatal physiology, and clinical outcomes in fetuses with both structural and function cardiovascular abnormalities. General echocardiographic research conducted by Dr. Michelfelder also included echocardiographic assessment of cardiac systolic and diastolic function in infants, children, and young adults with a variety of structural and function cardiac abnormalities.


    A photo of Douglas Millay.

    Douglas Millay, PhD

    is interested in understanding how precursor cells fuse to form multi-nucleated skeletal muscle. We recently discovered a necessary component (named myomaker) of the muscle fusion machinery. Our goal is to delineate the mechanisms by which this multi-pass membrane protein directs cell-cell fusion and manipulate muscle cell fusion as a strategy for in vivo cell therapy.
    Visit the Millay Lab website.


    A photo of Jeffery Molkentin.

    Jeffery D. Molkentin, PhD Professor | Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator

    is interested in understanding the intracellular signaling pathways and transcriptional regulatory circuits that control mammalian cell growth and differentiation.
    Visit the Molkentin Lab.


    A photo of David Morales.

    David L. S. Morales, MD Chief of Cardiovascular Surgery, Heart Institute, Cardiothoracic Surgery


    A photo of Nick Pratap.

    Nick Pratap, MB BChir, MRCPCH, FRCA Congenital Cardiac Anesthesiologist, Department of Anesthesia

    investigates the use of monitoring in the operating room and cardiac intensive care unit. The goal of his research is to improve clinical outcomes after open heart surgery in young infants. He is also working on novel ways of partnering with families to prepare their children for surgery.


    A photo of Enkhsaikhan Purevjav.

    Enkhsaikhan Purevjav, MD, PhD

    focuses on identifying and screening the potential genes responsible for inherited and acquired cardiac diseases, creating in vitro and in vivo cardiomyopathy models and performing functional studies of mutations identified. Additionally, she studies the effects of factors such as viral infections, drugs (ACE inhibitors and beta-blockers) and mechanical stress (cyclic mechanical stretch, acute and chronic exercise) on cardiac function.


    A photo of Robert Siegel.

    Robert M. Siegel, MD, FAAP Medical Director, Center for Better Health and Nutrition

    is a general pediatrician whose clinical work is focused on pediatric weight management. His research interests are dietary interventions in overweight children, exercise in obese children and training community practitioners in obesity prevention and obesity treatment.


    A photo of James Spaeth.

    James P. Spaeth, MD Director, Cardiac Anesthesia

    is a pediatric cardiac anesthesiologist and the Director of Cardiac Anesthesia. His clinical research interests include the effect of congenital cardiac disease and cardiac surgery on neurodevelopmental outcomes, and the use of cerebral monitoring during the perioperative period. He is also involved in Quality Improvement work focused on improving the safety of pediatric anesthesia.


    A photo of Michael Taylor.

    Michael D. Taylor, MD Director, Advanced Imaging Innovation

    is a non-invasive cardiologist interested in applications of imaging to problems of congenital and acquired heart disease. His primary research interest is cardiac MRI and its application in evaluating myocardial function and disease. He has a translational program that uses multi-modality imaging to characterize mouse models of inherited and acquired cardiomyopathies.


    A photo of Elaine Urbina.

    Elaine M. Urbina, MD, MS Director, Preventive Cardiology

    is a pediatric preventive cardiologist who is interested in how CV risk factors affect vascular function. Her lab uses a variety of non-invasive techniques to measure how vascular structure (carotid intima-media thickness), arterial stiffness (pulse wave velocity) and endothelial function (brachial flow mediated dilation) are affected by a variety of pediatric diseases. 


    A photo of Gruschen R. Veldtman.

    Gruschen R. Veldtman, FRCP, MBChB Director of Inpatient ACHD Services, Heart Institute

    is a clinician scientist who conducts research in the areas of single ventricle and Fontan physiology and pathophysiology; Eisenmenger syndrome and arrhythmia; contractile reserve in tetralogy of Fallot; and hepatopathy in the Fontan circulation and heart failure.


    A photo of Joshua Waxman.

    Joshua S. Waxman, PhD Assistant Professor

    uses genetic, molecular and cellular biological techniques to understand the underlying mechanisms of congenital heart defects and cardiomyocyte formation during development.
    Visit the Waxman Lab.


    A photo of Ivan Wilmot.

    Ivan Wilmot, MD Heart Failure, Transplant, VAD Physician

    focuses on care of children with advanced heart failure requiring mechanical circulatory support bridge to transplant; quality of life in children with heart failure, transplant, and mechanical circulatory support (MCS); and advanced strain imaging in evaluation of ventricular function in pediatric heart transplant patients.


    A photo of Katherine Yutzey.

    Katherine Yutzey, PhD

    is focused on the molecular mechanisms of heart development and disease. Particular emphasis is on signaling pathways and transcription factors that control heart valve development as well as contribute to pediatric and adult valve disease. Additional projects address the development of coronary vasculature, cardiac fibrosis and maturation of cardiac muscle after birth.

    Visit the Yutzey Lab.