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Research

Heart

Basic science

  • Utilizing gene therapy as a way to better control and ultimately prevent pulmonary hypertension and CHF
  • Exploring ultrasound energy to drive therapeutic genes into target cells as an alternative to using viruses to carry genes
  • Using small peptide sequences to carry RNA to turn off genes that contribute to disease

 

Clinical research

  • Participating in a landmark study testing a device to reduce blood pressure by using baroreceptor stimulation
  • Investigating new immunosuppressive drugs for heart transplant recipients
  • Studying gene expression patterns that could predict the presence of allograft coronary artery disease
  • Testing a pressure sensor to monitor left atrial pressure in heart failure patients
  • Optimizing biventricular pacing to determine its effectiveness in heart failure patients
  • Participation in notable clinical trials of new therapeutics for pulmonary arterial hypertension and pulmonary hypertension related to CHF and LVADS

 

Imaging research

  • Exploring the use of MRI to evaluate pulmonary hypertension patients with right ventricular dysfunction
  • Developing a new class of magnets based on the creative design of improved and faster MRI sequences to better image and prognosticate in CHF, heart transplant and pulmonary hypertension

 

Surgical research

  • Investigating the feasibility of discharge from hospital for patients supported on a total artificial heart
  • Evaluating the potential of nitric oxide to improve post-heart surgery outcomes
  • Assessing second-generation axial flow pumps and third–generation centrifugal pumps

 

Translational research

  • Identifying risks for disease development by analyzing patients’ DNA and then determining which drug will deliver the best results
  • Utilizing the Institute’s extensive bank of genetic information (the world’s largest from patients with pulmonary vascular disease with matching clinical data) to determine more effective patient treatment options for CHF, transplant recipients and pulmonary hypertension
  • Participating in, along with select U.S. research centers, the Pulmonary Hypertension Breakthrough Initiative – a unique thoracic transplantation translational study
  • Studying protein expression in atrial tissue in patients with atrial fibrillation and CHF

 

Liver

Alexander Kirichenko, MD

Our team is actively investigating these areas in an effort to enhance quality outcomes for our patients and advance the liver transplant field:

  • Utilizing stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) to treat liver cancer in listed patients awaiting a transplant
  • Employing stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) meant to shrink the liver tumors and help patients become eligible for the transplant list.
  • Using cardiac MRI as a one-step method of assessing both a patient’s cardiac function and abdominal anatomy during the transplant evaluation.