Each unit of the Division of Cardiology has active research programs that provide ample research opportunities for fellows at the clinical and basic science levels.
Acute Coronary Care
Research interests include use of antithrombolytic agents in acute myocardial infarction and management unstable ischemic syndromes, use of glycoprotein IIb/IIIa receptor blockers in acute ischemic syndromes, and rapid diagnosis of acute myocardial ischemia/infarction using serum markers and cardiac imaging techniques.
Cardiac Catheterization and Interventional Cardiology
Research interests include transcatheter valve therapy, translational studies investigating regenerative therapy for ischemic heart disease, structural heart disease, hybrid coronary artery revascularization, and dedicated new stent designs for bifurcation disease.
Research interests include the effects of autonomic tone on both atrial and ventricular arrhythmias, mechanisms of ventricular tachycardia and fibrillation, identification of high-risk subgroups with left-ventricular dysfunction, and treatment of ventricular arrhythmias with pharmacologic agents and defibrillators.
Northwestern Memorial Hospital and Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine have launched the Center for Cardiovascular Innovation with the goal to seek new knowledge that will directly inform healthcare policy decisions that will enhance the quality of care for millions of patients with heart disease.
Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance Imaging (CMR)
The Division of Cardiology, Feinberg Cardiovascular Research Institute, and Department of Radiology have formed a research group to develop new methods for the physiologic evaluation of the heart and vascular system in animals and humans using CMR techniques. Research protocols are in place to evaluate myocardial function, perfusion, and viability. Additionally, the Northwestern CMR core laboratory
performs quantitative analysis for single and multicenter studies which utilize CMR measurements as entry criteria or trial endpoints.
Additional studies include genetic determinants of cardiac structure and function using genome-wide association studies, the relationship between arterial stiffness and exercise-induced diastolic dysfunction, non-invasive pressure-volume and pressure-strain analysis, and echocardiographic analysis of a large cohort of patients with systemic sclerosis.
Research interests include testing new pharmacologic stress agents, evaluating the prognostic value of perfusion imaging in a variety of patient subgroups, and using SPECT imaging to assess myocardial viability in patients with left ventricular dysfunction.
Heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF) is a major area of interest. Studies on the etiologic and pathophysiologic classification of HFpEF are ongoing, and several additional clinical research studies are currently being performed. Research areas in the field of advanced heart failure with reduced ejection fraction include a number of studies evaluating assist devices, as well as an implantable device which assesses pulmonary pressures. In the field of heart transplantation, studies are underway to assess rejection non-invasively and methods for treating the sensitized patient.
The Basic science research in the Division of Cardiology is conducted by investigators at the Feinberg Cardiovascular Research Institute (FCVRI). The overall goal of FCVRI is to devise new therapies for cardiovascular disease, study the mechanism of cardiac damage in ischemic heart disease, and to translate basic science findings to clinical practice. Dr. Douglas Losordo, the director of FCVRI, has assembled a multi-disciplinary program to accomplish the scientific missions of the Institute. Research interests at FCVRI include use of gene therapy and novel pharmacological agents to enhance the therapeutic potential of endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs), understanding the mechanism of inflammatory gene expression in myocardial injury and rupture, epigenetic reprogramming of somatic cells to generate induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS), understanding the role of metabolic enzymes and mitochondria in cardiovascular disease, and studying the role of micro RNAs in cardiovascular disease. Other research interests include and the role of geminin protein in cell cycle progression, and understanding the mechanisms of cardiovascular development and lineage specification of cardiovascular progenitors.