The Krannert Cardiovascular Research Center at Indiana University School of Medicine endeavors to tackle cardiovascular disease through radical innovative research with the goal of ultimately making it possible to remove heart disease as the leading cause of death.
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Krannert Cardiovascular Research Center

Translational research driven to enhance cardiovascular health and save lives

The Krannert Cardiovascular Research Center (KCVRC) at Indiana University School of Medicine tackles cardiovascular disease through radical innovative research with the goal of removing heart disease as the leading cause of death.

Established in 2021, KCVRC aims to build on the legacy of more than 70 years of cardiovascular research at IU School of Medicine. Researchers at IU were pioneers in cardiac arrhythmias (implantable cardiac defibrillators), cardiac electrograms (simultaneous fetal and maternal ECG monitoring), and detecting pericardial effusion (buildup of fluid around the heart), among other diagnostic and therapeutic milestones in cardiovascular disease research.

KCVRC is propelling the field of cardiovascular research, ushering in a new era of a more technologically driven enterprise, where imaging, biomedical engineering, informatics, artificial intelligence and omics play a greater role in basic, translational and clinical cardiovascular research.

KCVRC has a footprint of over 20,000 square feet of laboratory and office space, and more than 30 faculty members with wide ranging expertise across multiple disciplines. The interdisciplinary research team at KCVRC is making significant advances in understanding, preventing and treating cardiovascular diseases, through translation of basic discoveries that will impact the health of people in Indiana and beyond.

Ankit Desai, MD

Krannert Heart investigators to evaluate use of Beta blockers  to treat patients with sickle cell cardiomyopathy in preclinical study

A beta blocker typically used to treat heart problems, hemangioma, migraines and anxiety could be a new therapeutic for patients with sickle cell disease. Researchers led by Ankit A. Desai, MD, associate professor of medicine at the Krannert Cardiovascular Research Center at Indiana University School of Medicine, have been awarded a $3 million grant from the U.S. Department of Defense to evaluate the possible use of this drug.

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infographic shows funding, publications and accomplishments of the center in the last two years: funding increased from $1.1 million to $22.7 million. There were 226 peer reviewed publications in the past two years. Accomplishments list first in human FDA approved IND drug study targeting STEMI, first and only cardiovascular imaging research core in Indiana, and first biennial conference with over 20 world renowned experts and 200+ attendees
KCVRC investigators review a heart image.

Research Programs

Researchers integrate imaging, informatics, omics and engineering to develop novel diagnostics and therapeutics to better manage heart disease. 

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AI-generated illustration of blood vessels in the shape of the heart's circulatory system with veins and arteries.

News and Events

Stay up to date on the latest discoveries and upcoming events from the Krannert Cardiovascular Research Center.

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Male and female investigators of the KCVRC Ischemic Heart Disease Research Team pose for a group photo in the Research II Building.


The Krannert Cardiovascular Research Center has more than 25 distinguished investigators leading interdisciplinary work in cardiovascular research.

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Translating science into clinical breakthroughs

“We work to ensure the silos between basic and clinical science cross into the clinical space—through diligent, tried and validated solutions."

Rohan Dharmakumar, PhD
Executive Director
Krannert Cardiovascular Research Center

Heart Disease Then and Now

U.S. map of adult related deaths between 2018 and 2020, for persons ages 35 and higher. Source: CDC

Heart disease remains the leading cause of death in the United States. Over the last four decades, cardiovascular medicine has moved from delivering palliative care for heart disease to early detection of disease and management of chronic disease progression. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention:

  • 20+ million adults 20 years and older have ischemic heart disease.
  • Every 33 seconds, one person in the U.S. dies from cardiovascular disease.
  • One in every five deaths that occurred in 2020 in the U.S. were from heart disease, with a loss of about 700,000 lives.
  • 800,000+ people a year in the U.S. have a heart attack

According to The Global Burden of Cardiovascular Diseases and Risk published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology in December 2022, high systolic blood pressure remains the leading modifiable risk factor globally for attributable premature cardiovascular deaths, accounting for 10.8 million cardiovascular deaths and 11.3 million deaths in 2021. These deaths have been linked to ischemic heart disease and stroke-related deaths.

Keyur Vora, MD, MS, George Revtyak, MD, and Rohan Dharmakumar, PhD with the first patient to enroll in a new cardiovascular clinical trial.

Designing and deploying novel tools and therapies

The KCVRC research team of highly skilled basic scientists, physician scientists and biomedical engineers are passionately engaged in testing, translating and shaping the future of cardiovascular medicine. Our investigators begin their research studies with the end goal in mind—deployment to the patient and to health care providers.

Translational science moves what is discovered in the laboratory to patients. This is accomplished through the development of new diagnostics and therapeutics that are firmly grounded in clinical trial findings to improve health of the cardiovascular patients and the lives of the general population. KCVRC empowers the investigative teams towards translation through collaboration with IU Health physicians, establishing IU Health and IU School of Medicine as a global leader for cardiovascular care.