Translational research – the move from bench to bedside – is a core part of research at the Heart Institute at Cincinnati Children’s. Most of the work we do is patient-centric; the questions raised at the bedside motivate research in the lab, which we then translate into care, returning our findings to the bedside.

Our current translational research includes work to identify characteristics and features of heart / muscle disease and cardiomyopathy. By identifying these earlier in patients, we can improve their outcomes with faster, more effective treatment. We are also working on a genetic level to understand the mechanisms that turn a gene mutation into a heart condition. By understanding these very basic mechanisms, we move closer to early diagnostics and gene therapies for these diseases.

The Heart Institute is currently conducting a Pediatric Heart Network trial, the Marfan Trial of Randomized Beta Blocker Therapy (atenolol) versus Angiotensin II Receptor Blocker (ARB) Therapy (losartan). The Marfan trial compares the effect of atenolol to that of losartan on the rates of aortic growth and progression of aortic regurgitation in patients with Marfan syndrome (MFS).  Preliminary data from a small pilot trial suggests potential benefit of losartan use in humans with MFS.