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Pediatrics / Pediatric Research Newsletter / January 2012 / Pediatric Heart Center Research

January 2012 Newsletter

Pediatric Heart Center Research

In addition to the heart surgery research we do – both to optimize our use of blood products and to improve the use of devices for heart failure treatment in children – our Pediatric Cardiologists and Nephrologists are working to understand the risk factors for and cognitive effects of hypertension and to define normal and aberrant lipid levels and transport in childhood. Marc Lande, M.D., M.P.H., and Rae-Ellen Kavey, M.D., M.P.H. are collaborators in this research. In addition, George Porter, M.D., Ph.D., has recently defined a role for mitochondria in directing the development of regional specialization of cardiac muscle. This work has the potential to help us understand and even prevent congenital heart defects of several types.

Each year, one of our Pediatric Cardiology fellows graduates from our program. They are truly outstanding.But the most urgent need is for individuals who understand the surgical, intensive care, and cardiac aspects of the care for children with congenital heart disease.  Because there are so few such individuals in the world, recruiting and retaining them and funding their research are a challenge. We depend critically on philanthropy to sustain this program and bring it to the next level. Now that children with congenital heart disease live into adulthood, research that helps us understand the later life sequelae of surgery for congenital heart disease is paramount. Recruiting and retaining an expert in electrophysiology and secondary rhythm disturbances will require extramural funding.