Paving the Way for Next Generation Advances

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Innovations in Cardiovascular Medicine & Surgery | Fall 2021

As part of our mission – To Heal. To Teach. To Discover. – the third pillar of research is of tremendous importance to us at University Hospitals Harrington Heart & Vascular Institute. In fact, the innovations that are brought to bear from research elevate and transform the practice of medicine. Over the last five years, our physician-scientists have dramatically expanded our work to encompass all phases of research from fundamental to clinical and implementation science research. As a nationally recognized integrated model, University Hospitals Harrington Heart & Vascular Institute continues to blaze new trails. In order to continue this steep trajectory of innovation and success, we continually refine our scope and organization.

The Research and Innovation Center of University Hospitals Harrington Heart & Vascular Institute now houses several existing units, accommodates new units and serves as a unified entity for streamlined protocols and shared resources like data storage and analytical expertise. Each of the units within our Research and Innovation Center have dyad physician and administrative leadership to allow governance and fiscal management:

The Clinical Trials Unit (CTU), led by Judith Mackall, MD and Stacey Mazzurco, RN, continues to focus on industry sponsored Phase II-IV clinical trials involving devices and pharmacotherapies. The CTU is extremely well managed and the largest such unit in the state of the Ohio with more than 100 trials, following over 3,000 patients. The CTU will continue to expand its activities, involving new faculty members and fellows in its research.

The Translational Science Unit (TSU), led by Ian Neeland, MD and Heather Conger, RN, facilitates investigator-initiated grants from industry and the National Institutes of Health. The TSU attracts millions of dollars in funding around innovations in pharmacotherapy, imaging and hybrid interventions. The TSU also leads several implementation science grants to enhance the clinical impact of common vascular and myocardial disorders.

The Cardiovascular Biorepository, led by Imran Rashid, MD and Heidi Osborne, RN, is actively engaged in collection of blood and genomic material for precision medicine initiatives. We anticipate the biorepository will serve as a pathway to help our providers navigate a new world of precision medicine that will dominate every aspect of care delivery in the coming years.

The Cardiovascular Core Laboratory is now the Cardiovascular Phenomics Core (CPC), led by Sadeer Al-Kindi, MD and Richard Sukeena, with an expanded repository of techniques and services accessible to both industry and non-industry collaborators. The CPC leverages deep institutional expertise that combine machine learning and artificial intelligence to develop new tools for clinicians.

A newly imagined Vascular Innovation Unit, led by Mehdi Shishehbor, DO, MPH, PhD and Rebecca Kahl, focuses on cutting edge technologies in limb and life salvage. With funding from a wide variety of sources, this new unit concentrates on bringing technologies to our patients before anywhere else in the world.

The Community Engagement Unit led by Christine Zirafi, MD and Stacey Mazzurco, RN, focuses on providing educational forums and screening events to forge and maintain a strong link with not just the patients we care for, but also the communities that we serve.

Finally, the new Environmental and Social Determinants Core, fueled by a recent National Institutes of Health $18.5 million grant, will focus on improving cardiovascular outcomes for the underprivileged in Northeast Ohio by facilitating a deep understanding of the multiple adverse social determinants and environmental risk factors that disproportionately impact health and linkage to healthcare services.

We take pride in being an innovative clinical, education and research hub, investing heavily in individuals and programs to help pave the way for next generation advances.

Contributing Experts:

Mehdi Shishehbor, DO, PhD,Cardiology 

Mehdi Shishehbor, DO, MPH, PhD

President
University Hospitals Harrington Heart & Vascular Institute
Angela and James Hambrick Master Clinician in Innovations, University Hospitals
Professor of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine

 

Sanjay Rajagopalan, MD 

Sanjay Rajagopalan, MD

Chief Academic Scientific Officer
University Hospitals Harrington Heart & Vascular Institute
Professor of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine

 

 

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