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Research

Research

In the University of Michigan Department of Cardiac Surgery, clinical investigators and basic researchers work together every day to develop deeper understanding and promising approaches to solving and treating heart disease.

Cardiac Surgery faculty have scientific interests in basic, translational, and clinical research and are an integral part of the effort to establish premier cardiovascular research at University of Michigan. Our investigators were part of the first wave of scientists to move into the North Campus Research Complex [NCRC] at the University of Michigan, forming the cardiovascular research cluster there. This cluster integrates outstanding research teams with diverse research interests and approaches. A key goal for this cluster is to develop and encourage discovery and innovation by fostering collaboration and cross-fertilization among investigators. Our faculty will serve as important anchors for heart failure and congenital heart research in this venture.

The overall research mission of Cardiac Surgery faculty is to advance the fight against cardiovascular disease. Basic research discoveries by our faculty have generated new insights into complex processes contributing to and responsible for heart disease. Faculty interests range from studies to understand motor and molecular switch proteins involved in regulating pump performance by the heart to genetic, environmental and dietary contributions to heart failure. Our investigators utilize a diverse array of approaches and techniques ranging from molecular biology, genetics, and biophysics to whole organism physiology and sophisticated bioinformatics analysis of gene and protein expression in hearts. Advances in our understanding of heart function from these studies performed at the bench also are translated to the clinic by our faculty investigators. Translational studies include the development of innovative drugs, devices, and clinical approaches for treating heart disease as well as participation in the groundbreaking clinical trials necessary to bring these advances to the bedside.

Our research is providing fundamental insights into identifying methods to grow new heart muscle, to find natural phytochemicals and dietary nutrients to protect cardiac function, and to study mechanical ventricular assist devices that provide a life-saving bridge to transplant. Our congenital heart researchers are working to develop new ways of treating congenital heart disease as well as improve outcomes for children with such conditions. Through these endeavors - and many more like them - our researchers are working together to identify and implement real solutions for patients of today and tomorrow.

To further these discoveries, our faculty have received major awards by organizations ranging from the National Institutes of Health and the American Heart Association to many corporate sponsors.