Heart Failure, Cardiomyopathy


Theme Leaders

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M.D., Ph.D.
Senior Dean of Faculty
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Associate Professor
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Theme 2 – Heart Failure, Cardiomyopathy


Heart Failure and Cardiomyopathy investigators focus on the cellular and molecular mechanisms of cardiac injury and repair. 


Current clinical projects


Clinical trials and research studies include:

  • strategies for reversal of remodeling in heart failure
  • His-bundle pacing in heart failure with reduced ejection fraction
  • role of medical treatment strategies including sodium glucose co-transporter 2 inhibitors
  • the selective mineralcorticoid receptor antagonist Finerenone
  • glucagon like peptide 1 receptor agonists in prevention or treatment of heart failure
  • determinants of outcomes in patients requiring left ventricular assist devices or cardiac transplantation
  • predictors of progression from patients with heart failure risk to pre-heart failure or heart failure
  • role of comorbidities including iron deficiency
  • atrial fibrillation and sleep disturbances in patients with heart failure
  • implementation strategies for guideline directed medical therapies in heart failure
  • role of telehealth and cardiac rehabilitation in heart failure
  • disparities and social determinants of health in heart failure
  • gender differences in development and outcomes of heart failure
  • mechanical circulatory support and cardiac transplantation, treatment strategies in patients with peripartum cardiomyopathy
  • risk factors and management strategies in patients with heart failure and cardiorenal syndrome

Current basic research projects


Some studies use animal models (various genetically manipulated mice) or different strains. Several laboratories also use primary human cells to validate findings from research on animal models. The mechanisms of dysregulations leading to cardiomyopathies are investigated using various imaging techniques (MRI, micro imaging, echocardiography, and Doppler). The effect of various preventive manipulations (vaccination, dietary supplementation, and small molecule agonist) are also examined.  Individual laboratories examine the following topics:

  • the effects of abnormalities in metabolism
  • inflammation
  • proteostasis
  • role of fibroblast signaling in heart failure
  • calcium handling and proteins involved in calcium release unit stabilization
  • gene therapy of inherited cardiomyopathies
  • pulmonary hypertension on heart function and individual cardiac cell types 
  • the effect of age (from embryonic life to old age)
  • effects of sex/gender on cardiac phenotypes

Research Faculty


Steve Antoine, M.D. – Heart failure remote monitoring, medical support devices
Biykem Bozkurt, M.D., Ph.D.- Heart Failure, cardiomyopathy
Marie Elena Bottazzi, Ph.D. - Chagas disease-related cardiomyopathy, vaccine development
Robert Bryan, Ph.D. - Cerebrovascular circulation, EDHF in cerebral arteries, traumatic brain injury, K channels
Mihail Chelu, M.D., Ph.D. - Arrhythmia, conduction abnormalities in heart failure and cardiomyopathy
Katarzyna A. Cieslik, Ph.D.- The effect of age and sex on cardiac extracellular matrix and inflammation
Thomas Cooper, M.D. – Cardiac features or myotonic dystrophy, alternative splicing in heart development and disease
William Craigen, M.D. - Genetic disorders, metabolic disorders, mitochondrial function
Moreshwar Desai, M.D. - Cirrhotic cardiomyopathy, pediatric cardiomyopathy, bile acids
Anita Deswal, M.D., M.P.H. - Heart failure 
Mary Dickinson, Ph.D. - Role of fluid-derived mechanical forces in vascular remodeling and heart morphogenesis
Savitri Fedson, M.D., M.A. – Ethics of advanced heart failure and mechanical circulatory support/transplant
Mike Heffernan, Ph.D. - Adjuvants/delivery systems for vaccines against tropical diseases, including Chagas disease
Choel Kim, Ph.D. - Protein kinase A, crystallography
Kenneth Liao, M.D., Ph.D. – Robotic heart surgery, valve surgery, heart transplantation, ventricular assist devices
Gabriel Loor, M.D. – Improving donor utilization and maximizing recipient outcomes following heart-lung transplants
Kenneth Mattox, M.D. - Cardiothoracic surgery; trauma
Joel Morrisett, Ph.D. - Carotid atherosclerosis, MRI and microimaging
Ajith Nair, M.D.- Heart Failure, left ventricular assist device, cardiac transplantation, pulmonary hypertension
Vijay Nambi, M.D. - Peripheral arterial disease, vascular imaging, cardiac and heart failure prevention
Lavannya Pandit, M.D. - Pulmonary hypertension
Frank Peacock, M.D. - Acute myocardial infarction, acute heart failure, clinical trials
Daniel Penny, M.D., Ph.D., M.H.A. - Cardiovascular hemodynamics in children with congenital heart disease
Laura Petersen, M.D., M.P.H. - Outcomes studies for CV diseases
Kevin Roy, M.D. - Pediatric critical care
Rolando Rumbaut, M.D., Ph.D. - Microvascular thrombosis, leukocyte trafficking
Zeenat Safdar, M.D. - Pulmonary hypertension
George Taffet, M.D. - Age-related changes in heart and vasculature, calcium handling, diastolic heart failure
JoAnn Trial, Ph.D. – The effect of inflammation on cardiac aging 
Diwakar Turaga, M.D., PhD. – Single ventricle physiology, pediatric heart failure, post-transplant rejection
Jesus Vallejo, M.D. - TLR3/TLR4 in acute myocarditis, signal transduction pathways
Matthew Wall, M.D. - Cardiothoracic surgery; trauma
Xander Wehrens, M.D., Ph.D. - Atrial fibrillation, calcium handling, inherited arrhythmias and cardiomyopathies, heart failure