Research

Tissue Bank

As part of its research mission, the CTS Lab maintains an extensive tissue repository known as CAPTURE, the Cardiopulmonary Tissue Repository, cryogenically preserving tissue samples from various surgeries conducted at Columbia University Medical Center. These samples are used by researchers at Columbia and sent to collaborators at cutting-edge institutions across the country.

Research Areas

The CTS Lab conducts research on a wide range of subjects, including:

  • Heart failure
  • Valvular disease
  • Heart and Lung Transplantation
  • Atrial fibrillation
  • Mechanical circulatory support
  • Robotic and minimally invasive cardiac surgery
  • Angiogenesis and myocardial regeneration
  • Clinical outcomes assessment
  • Nutrition

Presented below are descriptions of some of the ongoing research recently conducted by members of the laboratory.

Ongoing Projects

Content to come.

Department of Surgery Startup Grant competition

Each year, the Department of Surgery disburses $100,000 in seed money for exciting novel research proposals to teams of RAs, medical students, or Fellows paired with attendings. In 2012, the CTS Lab won a total of $44,400 to provide initial support for the projects listed below.

Evaluation of Subclinical Brain Injury Following Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement Utilizing Transcranial Dopplers

Investigators:

Swetha Naroji (Fellow) and Mat Williams (Attending)

Research:

While Transcatheter Aortic-Valve Implantation (TAVI) is another way to treat aortic stenosis, this new treatment has caused concern because it increases the chance of an ischemic attack. The purpose of this study is to discover whether undergoing the TAVI procedure would potentially impair an individual's cognitive functions.

Evaluation of the Prognostic Value of the Coronary Flow Map Over Relative Global Coronary Reserve

Investigators:

Sophie Jones (Resident) and Michael Argenziano (Attending)

Research:

There is currently a new technology available that detects coronary ischemia. The proposed study is designed to investigate how this new method of identifying coronary lesions affects patients when they undergo surgical revascularization.

Epigenetic Landscaping and the Rescue of Endothelialization Capacity by ex vivo Histone Deacetylase Inhibition (HDACi) of Human Endothelial Progenitor Cells (EPCs)

Investigators:

Jonathan Chen (Research Scientist) and Caitlin Ryus (Junior Researcher, Research Assistant)

Research:

It has been shown that a low number of endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) present has predicted adverse cardiovascular outcomes suggesting that EPCs have a protective role in the cardiovascular system. Treatment with Histone Deacetylase Inhibition (HDACi) has been suggested as one method of increasing the number of EPCs. If successful the findings from this study could benefit thousands of Americans with coronary artery disease.

microRNAs as Blood-Based Biomarkers for Cardiac Allograft Vasculopathy

Investigators:

Lars Margolis (Resident) and Allan Stewart (Attending)

Research:

Current methods used to diagnose Cardiac Allograft Vasculopathy (CAV) are invasive and have limited sensitivity. MicroRNAs are known to be involved in pathways associated with the development of CAV. The aim of this study is to test whether or not microRNAs could provide sensitive and specific CAV diagnostic information which would improve CAV screening and increase the chance of the disease being detected earlier.

Early Use of VA-ECMO To Improve Mortality of Cardiogenic Shock Complicating Acute Myocardial Infarction

Research:

Although early revascularization is the standard method of treating patients with acute cardiogenic shock following myocardial infarction, the mortality rate remains very high. This study is designed to see whether VA-ECMO would be a more beneficial treatment and decrease the mortality rate.

The Role and Mechanism of Myocardial Hypertrophy in Cardiac Allograft Rejection

Investigators:

Yoshifumi Naka (Principle Investigator), Halit Yerebakan (Lead Researcher, Post Doc Fellow) and Jennifer Kindman (Researcher)

Research:

Heart transplant recipients who experience cardiac allograft hypertrophy (CAH) follow a worse clinical course and had a worse survival rate. The purpose of this study is to understand variables that might predict the development of CAH and the mechanism of CAH. If cardiac allograft hypertrophy is better understood, heart transplant recipients could be monitored better and possibly treated earlier.

Osteoprotegerin predicts early calcification following surgical and transcatheter valve replacement 

Investigators:

Jacob Kriegel (Resident) and Issac George (Attending)

Research:

While research has shown that levels of osteoprotegerin (OPG) increase in patients with symptomatic aortic stenosis, it has yet to be determined whether levels of OPG could be used to predict valve failure particularly in cases of transcatheter aortic valve replacement. The purpose of this study is to explore whether OPG levels correlate with aortic stenosis disease progression and whether OPG levels increase or decrease after aortic valve replacement. If a correlation is found, OPG could be used as a clinical tool, such as, predicting valve failure in certain patients.

The Role of rHDL in hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells mobilization

Investigators:

Ayesha Mannan (RA) and Faisal Cheema (Fellow)

Research:

A clearer and deeper understanding of the underlying mechanisms of the anti-atherogenic properties of HDL still needs to be developed. The purpose of this study is to determine the role of reconstituted HDL (rHDL) and uncover whether or not rHDL reduces the mobility of hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPC). It further explores if and what mechanism allows rHDL to reduce atherosclerosis.

Plasma Vasopressin During Irreversible Hemorrhagic Schock

Investigators:

Joshua Zeitlin (RA) and Barry Esrig (Attending)

Research:

Arginine vasopressin (AVP) levels decrease significantly with the development of irreversible shock. The focus of this study is to explore whether or not AVP levels predict vasodilatory shock. If a correlation is found, this information could he used to apply countermeasures ahead of time.

NIR Laser Tissue Welding of In Vivo Rabbit Aortic Anastomosis - An Experimental Study

Investigators:

Craig Smith (Attending), Elizabeth Blotky (Junior Researcher, Research Assistant) and Halit Yerebakan (Lead Researcher)

Research:

Near infrared (NIR) laser tissue welding is a more advanced technique for vascular anastomosis. The purpose of this study is to demonstrate the benefits of this more modern alternative. NIR laser welding technology is believed to carry out rapid, precise, and consistent vascular anastomoses with minimal damage to surrounding tissue.

Extracellular matrix graft for vascular reconstructive surgery: An experimental study of autologous regeneration of the neoaorta

Investigators:

Takeyoshi Ota (Principal Investigator) and Halit Yerebakan (Lead Research, Post Doctoral Fellow)

Research:

Bovine pericardium extracellular collagen matrix (BP-ECM) has been reported to have great strength and suture retention. The aim of this study is to demonstrate that using BP-ECM might be a better and new approach for vascular reconstruction or in this case, abdominal aorta reconstruction.