Utilizing basic questions in molecular biology, physiology, pharmacology and biochemistry, researchers at the Smidt Heart Institute seek to understand the causes of, and develop therapeutics to treat, complex diseases of the heart.
Cedars-Sinai's cardiac research teams are experts in investigating cardiac stem cell therapy, strategies for early detection and treatment of transplant rejection, prevention of sudden cardiac arrest, gender differences in heart disease, and next-generation devices in mechanical circulatory support, including Total Artificial Heart.
Cardiac Stem Cell
Researchers study cellular sources and mechanisms of heart regeneration as a step toward refining strategies to prevent or reverse cardiovascular disease. This research incorporates basic mechanistic studies — a major focus is on identifying the secreted factors that mediate regeneration — along with first-in-human clinical trials, and refinements that will allow clinical everyday use.
Congenital Heart Disease
In preclinical and clinical trials, Cedars-Sinai investigators develop novel, minimally invasive techniques, including hybrid approaches and imaging modalities for improving outcomes and minimizing cumulative trauma to patients with congenital heart disease.
Cedars-Sinai electrophysiology investigators seek basic, fundamental understanding of heart rhythm and electrical abnormalities so as to develop innovative therapeutic strategies to treat cardiac arrhythmias. In preclinical and clinical projects investigators develop novel clinical, genetic and biochemical pathways to predict ventricular arrhythmias and sudden cardiac death, and researchers are advancing less invasive procedures to treat atrial fibrillation.
Heart Failure and Transplantation
Cedars-Sinai researchers collaborate with colleagues in basic science, interventional cardiology and electrophysiology to develop new preventive and therapeutic treatments for heart failure. Preclinical and clinical research protocols include:
- Developing new therapeutics for end-stage (advanced) heart failure
- Improving outcomes and quality of life in heart transplant patients
- Identifying noninvasive methods to detect rejection in heart transplant patients
- Discovering more effective immunosuppression drugs with fewer side effects to fight organ rejection
- Improving total artificial heart and mechanical circulatory support devices, which are used as bridges to heart transplantation
- Identifying novel stem cell therapies to repair damaged hearts
Cedars-Sinai researchers investigate the effectiveness and limitations of coronary interventional devices and procedures to identify more effective and minimally invasive options to treat coronary artery, valve and structural heart diseases. Interventional cardiology investigators test devices to:
- Support the heart during high-risk interventions
- Repair or replace the aortic, pulmonic and mitral valves
- Plug congenital heart defects and the left atrial appendage
Cedars-Sinai researchers are identifying factors that contribute to hypertension and control normal blood pressure, as well as the role of the renin angiotensin-aldosterone system under normal conditions and disease.
Cedars-Sinai scientists investigate the mechanisms of atherosclerotic plaque buildup to develop innovative prevention, reversal and treatment strategies. Studies include preclinical and clinical research.
In preclinical and clinical projects, Cedars-Sinai researchers are developing novel strategies to improve early detection and management of hypertension, especially among high-risk groups.
In preclinical and clinical research projects, Cedars-Sinai investigators are identifying novel therapies for conditions associated with Duchenne and Becker muscular dystrophies.
Women’s Heart Disease
Researchers at the Barbra Streisand Women's Heart Center investigate the pathophysiology of ischemic heart disease, as well as the pathophysiological differences between men and women with the disease. In preclinical and clinical projects, researchers identify sex-specific testing strategies and conventional therapies to optimize gender-based medicine, especially in diagnosis and evaluation of coronary microvascular dysfunction in women.