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Our Researchers



Hanna Ahmed, MD, MPH

Research Focus: Improving survival after out of hospital cardiac arrest

  • Targeted CPR training for families of at-risk patients
  • Training in the use of AEDs

Representative Publications:

  1. Weiner SD, Ahmed HN, et al. Systemic inflammation and brachial artery endothelial function in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA). Heart. 2014 Jun;100(11):862-6.
  2. Ahmed HN, et al. Role of multimodality imaging in the early identification of cardiac sarcoidosis. J Nucl Cardiol. 2014 Jun;21(3):655-9. 
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Gerard P. Aurigemma, MD

Research Focus: Cardiac structure and function in valvular disease, hypertension, and cardiomyopathy

  • Left ventricular (LV) hypertrophy in aortic stenosis 
  • Imaging of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and aortic stenosis, including cardiac MRI
  • LV mass and volume quantitation by non-invasive means
  • Stress cardiomyopathy

Representative Publications:

  1. Aurigemma GP, et al. Cardiac remodeling in obesity. Circ Cardiovasc Imaging. 2013 Jan 1;6(1):142-52
  2. Aurigemma GP, Salerno M. A Novel Index of Remodeling in Hypertensive Heart Disease. Circ Cardiovasc Imaging. 2017 Sep;10(9):e006975. 
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Kai Chen, MD, PhD
Assoc. Program Director, Cardiovascular Medicine Fellowship

Research Focus: Clinical and translational research investigating cardiac structure and function in cardiomyopathy and heart failure

  • Pathophysiology of heart failure with preserved ejection fraction
  • Diastolic dysfunction and echocardiographic evaluation
  • Endothelial dysfunction and myocardial disease

Representative Publications:

  1. Barbarawi M,...Chen K. SGLT2 inhibitors and cardiovascular and renal outcomes: a meta-analysis and trial sequential analysis. Heart Fail Rev. 2022 May;27(3):951-960.
  2. Kumar M,...Chen K. Demand Ischemia as a Predictor of Mortality in Older Patients With Delirium. Front Cardiovasc Med. 2022 Jun 6;9:917252.
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J. Kevin Donahue, MD
Director of Electrophysiology Research

Research Focus: Defining mechanisms for abnormal heart rhythms and then using that information to develop new therapies

  • Defining and either preventing or reversing structural and electrical remodeling in atrial fibrillation
  • Identifying and eliminating unique features of ventricular tachycardia circuits in myocardial infarction scar
  • Improving gene delivery methods

Representative Publications:

  1. Kelemen K,...Donahue JK. Heterogeneous repolarization creates ventricular tachycardia circuits in healed myocardial infarction scar. Nature Commun 2022;11:830.
  2. Liu Z,...Donahue JK. Preclinical efficacy and safety of KCNH2-G628S gene therapy for post-operative atrial fibrillation. J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg 2017;154:1644-51.

Timothy P. Fitzgibbons, MD, PhD

Research Focus: Clinical and translational research investigating the mechanisms of obesity and stress associated CVD

  • Inflammatory mechanisms in stress cardiomyopathy
  • Endothelial function in INOCA
  • Murine models of cardiovascular disease

Representative Publications:

  1. Fitzgibbons TP, et al. Coronary disease is not associated with robust alterations in inflammatory gene expression in human epicardial fat. JCI Insight. 2019 Oct 17;4(20):e124859. 
  2. Fitzgibbons TP, et al. Activation of Inflammatory and Pro-Thrombotic Pathways in Acute Stress Cardiomyopathy. Front Cardiovasc Med. 2017 Aug 3;4:49. 
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Matthew Gottbrecht, MD

Research Focus: LV mechanics before and after TAVR. Patient-ventilator interactions in cardiogenic shock

  • LV systolic function, assessed by midwall fractional shortening, pre- and post-TAVR
  • Ventriculo-arterial coupling in aortic stenosis
  • Optimal PEEP strategies in different phenotypes of cardiogenic shock

Representative Publications:

  1. Harrington CM,...Gottbrecht M, et al. Effect of Transaortic Valve Intervention for Aortic Stenosis on Myocardial Mechanics. Am J Cardiol. 2021 May 1;146:56-61. 
  2. Kiehl EL,...Gottbrecht MF, et al. C-GRApH: A Validated Scoring System for Early Stratification of Neurologic Outcome After Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest Treated With Targeted Temperature Management. J Am Heart Assoc. 2017 May 20;6(5):e003821. 

Milka Koupenova, PhD, FAHA

Research Focus: Understanding the molecular mechanisms that underline platelet-mediated immune response during viral infections and how this response contributes to cardiovascular disease

  • Molecular mechanisms in viral sensing and platelet activation: implications for thrombosis
  • Megakaryocyte-mediated platelet changes during infection
  • Platelet mediated inflammatory cross-signaling in the vasculature 

Representative publications:

  1. Koupenova M, et al. SARS-CoV-2 Initiates Programmed Cell Death in Platelets. Circ Res. 2021 Sep 3;129(6):631-646.
  2. Koupenova M, et al. The role of platelets in mediating a response to human influenza infection. Nat Commun. 2019 Apr 16;10(1):1780. 
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Lara C. Kovell, MD

Research Focus: Implementing evidence-based interventions to prevent and treat cardiovascular disease (CVD) in women

  • Application of digital health and home blood pressure monitoring to improving hypertension self-care
  • Hypertension, diet, and subclinical cardiovascular injury and inflammation
  • Hypertension targets in pregnancy

Representative Publications:

  1. Kovell LC, et al. Healthy diet reduces markers of cardiac injury and inflammation regardless of macronutrients: Results from the OmniHeart trial. Int J Cardiol. 2020 Jan 15;299:282-288.
  2. Kovell LC, et al. Home Blood Pressure Monitoring in Women of Child-Bearing Age With Hypertension From 2009 to 2014. Am J Hypertens. 2022 Aug 1;35(8):694-698. 
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David D. McManus, MD, ScM 
Chair, Dept. of Medicine

Research Focus: Cardiovascular Digital Health   

  • Mobile health applications to detect atrial arrhythmias
  • Deep learning approaches to predict adverse cardiovascular events
  • Digital biomarkers to measure cardiopulmonary fitness and vascular stiffness

Representative Publications:

  1. McManus DD, et al. Plasma microRNAs are associated with atrial fibrillation and change after catheter ablation (the miRhythm study). Heart Rhythm. 2015 Jan;12(1):3-10.
  2. Smith RL,...McManus DD, et al. Longitudinal Assessment of Diagnostic Test Performance Over the Course of Acute SARS-CoV-2 Infection. J Infect Dis. 2021 Sep 17;224(6):976-982.
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Matthew W. Parker, MD

Research Focus:
Applications of multimodality imaging, especially echocardiography, in valvular heart disease

  • Utility and timing of serial imaging in progressive valvular disease
  • Complementary use of multiple imaging modalities in clinical practice
  • Quality control/improvement in cardiovascular imaging

Representative Publications:

  1. Aldrugh S,...Parker MW, et al. Prevalence of Left Ventricular Hypertrophy Caused by Systemic Hypertension Preceding the Development of Severe Aortic Stenosis. Am J Cardiol. 2021 Jul 1;150:89-94.
  2. Parker MW, et al. Serial echocardiography for valve dysfunction and aortic dilation in bicuspid aortic valves. Echocardiography. 2021 Mar;38(3):394-401.
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Jeffrey J. Rade, MD

Research Focus: Vascular and platelet biology, biology primarily related to thrombosis

  • Population studies using Framingham Heart Study cohort to understand impact of platelet and non-platelet thromboxane generation on long term survival
  • Non-platelet thromboxane generation in heart failure
  • Investigating the effects of thromboxane receptor antagonists on endothelial function
  • Mechanism of pathologic thromboxane generation by endothelial cells under oxidative stress

Representative Publications:

  1. Rade JJ, et al. Association of Thromboxane Generation With Survival in Aspirin Users and Nonusers. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2022 Jul 19;80(3):233-250.
  2. Hariri E,...Rade JJ. Nonplatelet thromboxane generation is associated with impaired cardiovascular performance and mortality in heart failure. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 2022 Jul 1;323(1):H248-H255.
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Khanh-Van T. Tran, MD, PhD

Research Focus: Understanding the molecular mechanisms by which epicardial adipose tissue contributes to adverse cardiac remodeling

  • Exploring the role of epicardial adipocytes in immune-mediated electroanatomic remodeling to increase vulnerability to post-operative atrial fibrillation
  • Investigating aberrant adipogenesis that leads to adverse structural remodeling 
  • Advancing therapeutics for cardiometabolic disease 

Representative Publications:

  1. Tran KV, et al. Human thermogenic adipocyte regulation by the long noncoding RNA LINC00473. Nat Metab. 2020 May;2(5):397-412.
  2. Tran KV, et al. Micro-RNAs Are Related to Epicardial Adipose Tissue in Participants With Atrial Fibrillation: Data From the MiRhythm Study. Front Cardiovasc Med. 2019 Aug 14;6:115.
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Chinmay Trivedi, MD, PhD
Director, Cardiovascular Medicine Research

Research Focus: Pathogenesis and treatment of congenital cardiovascular diseases

  • Genetic etiopathogenesis of Congenital heart disease
  • Pathogenesis and therapies for Cardiomyopathies and valvular diseases
  • Therapies for Cardiac Epithelioid hemangioendothelioma, Hepatic cavernous hemangiomas, and Chylothorax

Representative Publications:

  1. Janardhan HP,...Trivedi CM. KRAS or BRAF mutations cause hepatic vascular cavernomas treatable with MAP2K-MAPK1 inhibition. J Exp Med. 2020 Jul 6;217(7):e20192205. (Cover and Featured Article)
  2. Milstone ZJ,...Trivedi CM. Histone deacetylases 1 and 2 silence cryptic transcription to promote mitochondrial function during cardiogenesis. Sci Adv. 2020 Apr 10;6(15):eaax5150.