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Cardiovascular Research

graphic with an outline of a human body with the heart emphasized

The Krannert Cardiovascular Research Center is a hub of synergistic collaboration at Indiana University School of Medicine where interdisciplinary teams of investigators conduct basic and clinical research integrating imaging, informatics, omics and engineering to develop novel diagnostics and therapeutics that may change how researchers and clinicians manage heart disease in the future.

Our investigators lead and collaborate on clinical trials across multiple centers, both nationally and internationally, generating robust and reliable data that will guide our researchers to develop better therapeutics and help our clinicians to better manage heart disease and improve heart health.

Since our founding in 2021, KCVRC researchers have accomplished significant achievements, including:

  • 29 NIH Awards
  • Increase in annual research funding from $1.1 million to $22.7 million
  • 226 peer reviewed manuscripts
  • 44 high-impact (IF>10) research manuscripts
  • 12 patent applications filed
  • First major KCVRC translational study launched: First-in-human FDA-approved new drug therapy targeting STEMI

Our interdisciplinary research team consists of basic and translational scientists, physician scientists and biomedical engineers, covering several areas of cardiovascular research ranging from cardiac imaging research and ischemic heart disease research to cardio-oncology research and disparity research.

Conceptual illustration of scientists investigating the heart with a magnifying glass, with EKG and medical cross in the background..

Ischemic Heart Disease Research Program

Ischemic heart disease (IHD) refers to a class of heart disease that stems from reduced oxygen supply to the heart muscle and is the most common cause of death in the western countries. The focus of the program is to better understand IHD from the standpoint of structural, compositional and functional changes to the heart in early, progressive and terminal stages of the disease using an integrated multidisciplinary approach. To accomplish our research objectives, our research team utilizes sophisticated imaging technologies, particularly MRI and PET, biomedical engineering methods, molecular Immunopathological studies, multi-omics and informatics.

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Electrical system of human heart.

Electrophysiology Research Program

Investigators at KCVRC are leading research at the cellular level to contribute to new findings regarding arrhythmogenesis in adults. Researchers who study electrophysiology are focused on mechanisms of arrhythmias, autonomic function on cardiovascular events, cellular calcium handling, SA Node function and induced pluripotent stem cells and cardiac disease remodeling.

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3D rendering of human heart and stem cell concept to illustrate heart disease healing. Adobe Stock-185077304.

Myocardial Regenerative Biology Research Program

The Myocardial Regenerative Biology Research Program investigates novel ways to repair damaged heart tissue utilizing stem cell or cell-free therapies. The program has a long track record in developing genetic models and strategies to monitor the intrinsic rates of cardiomyocyte cell cycle renewal in normal and injured adult hearts, as well as developing strategies to induce regenerative growth following myocardial injury.

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This is a stereoarteriogram of the left and right coronary arteries of heart which shows multiple nonobstructive plaques.

Microcirculation Research Program

KCVRC investigators are advancing microcirculation research through the application of physics, computational engineering, machine learning and artificial intelligence to track cardiovascular disease progression.  Currently, we are developing and validating new functional MRI markers of coronary microcirculation based on high-resolution quantitative myocardial perfusion and blood volume mapping techniques through multidisciplinary innovations in magnetic resonance physics, computational engineering and machine learning. These advanced techniques could help better manage clinical care for patients with microcirculation dysfunction. 

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Cardiopulmonary Research Program

The Cardiopulmonary Research Program studies the basic molecular underpinnings of heart and lung disorders using precision medicine tools and techniques. The program is dedicated to understanding the mechanisms and genetics of pulmonary arterial hypertension and sickle cell cardiomyopathy. We employ genome-wide association study strategies to prioritize functional and preclinical studies of candidate genes that lead to the development of pulmonary arterial hypertension and heart failure.

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Illustration of tree and figures of people demonstrating diversity

Cardiovascular Equity Research Program

The Cardiovascular Equity Research Program is focused on reducing racial, ethnic and gender disparities in treating advanced cardiovascular disease. Studies conducted may vary from randomized controlled studies and observational population studies to implementation science studies and community interventions that are designed to reduce racial, ethnic and gender disparities through implementing best practices within the health care delivery system.

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