Research

U-M Cardiovascular Research  U-M Cardiovascular Research 

The Division of Cardiovascular Medicine performs basic and translational research and has a robust clinical research enterprise.

Basic and Translational Research

Our Basic and Translational Research Strengths

  • Arrhythmia
  • Cardiac Myocyte Biology
  • Cardiovascular Biomechanics
  • Cardiovascular Genetics
  • Tissue and Cell Regeneration
  • Vascular and Thrombosis Biology

Multidisciplinary Research Programs

The innovation and insight gained from multidisciplinary programs is essential in developing solutions for cardiac disease.

Clinical Research

Our Clinical Research Strengths

  • Acute and Chronic Cardiovascular Diseases
  • Aging
  • Aortic Disease
  • Arrhythmia
  • Cardiac Imaging
  • Health Services and Clinical Effectiveness
  • Heart Failure and LVAD
  • Pulmonary Hypertension
  • Stroke
  • Structural Heart Disease
  • Thrombosis and DVT

Current Clinical Trials

  • TRANSFORM clinical trial for the INTUITY valve system developed by Edwards Lifesciences.  
  • FROST - assess whether intraoperative intercostal cryoanalgesia using the cyroICE probe provides better pain relief as compared to current pain management in patients undergoing unilateral thoracotomy cardiac procedures.
  • COAPT - confirm the safety and effectiveness of the MitraClip® System for the treatment of moderate-to-severe or severe functional mitral regurgitation (FMR) in symptomatic heart failure patients.
  • Evaluate the Benefit of Concurrent Tricuspid Valve Repair During Mitral Surgery - determine whether repairing a tricuspid valve in patients with mild to moderate tricuspid regurgitation at the time of planned mitral valve surgery would improve patient heart health.
  • ReChord - determine if NeoChord DS1000 System, which delivers sutures to the mitral valve, is safe and effective to reduce mitral regurgitation when compared with open surgical repair.
  • MOMENTUM III - compare the HeartMate III to the HeartMate II in patients who are not responding to other medicines or treatments for advanced heart failure.
  • LIFE (Entresto™ In Advanced Heart Failure) - obtain more information on the benefits and risks of Entresto in patients with advanced heart failure; compare Entresto with Valsartan.
  • Home Treatment of Heart Failure Patients with Intravenous Diuretics - outline a system to support the safe administration of intravenous diuretics in patients with volume overload due to heart failure in the home.
  • Physical Activity Daily – Internet-Based Walking Program for Patients With PAD - compare the effectiveness of different modes for PAD walking rehabilitation programs and test the effectiveness of an Internet-based walking program to enhance long-term adherence to regular physical activity.

To learn more about all of our clinical studies, visit UMHealthResearch.org.

Clinical Research Highlights

  • The Heart Vessel Blood Clinical Trials Support Unit (HVBCTSU) enhances performance of cardiovascular, coagulation and nonmalignant hematologic clinical trials across the lifespan, including industry-sponsored, federally-sponsored and investigator-initiated clinical trials of acute or chronic disease.
  • We are one of only a few sites in the nation to conduct the TRANSFORM clinical trial for the INTUITY valve system developed by Edwards Lifesciences.

Recent Research Highlights

Brian Bryd, MD
Brian Bryd, MD, MS

A Novel Biomarker for Precision Hypertension Treatment

Precision medicine relies on biomarkers — to determine disease risk, prognosis and response to treatment. So a critical aspect of advancing precision medicine is developing and validating biomarkers for a wider range of conditions and disease subtypes.

One such effort is underway by J. Brian Byrd, MD, MS. He’s using an NIH K23 grant to look for a novel biomarker of a type of hypertension that would benefit profoundly from a precision medicine approach. This type of hypertension responds poorly to standard therapies because it is driven by a distinctive process —hormones produced in the adrenal gland called mineralo-corticoids. There are FDA-approved drugs that target the mineralocorticoid receptor, but because they come with significant side effects, physicians want to ensure they prescribe them only to patients likely to benefit.

Byrd thinks he has found a specific biomarker of miner-alocorticoid receptor activation and can reliably test for it in patients’ urine. “Different factors can lead to treatment-resistant high blood pressure,” says Byrd. “We want to make it possible for clinicians to figure out in whom activation of this receptor is driving the process, so they can treat those patients appropriately. Blood-pressure control is an immensely important goal because high blood pressure is the leading risk factor for death and disability around the globe. But mineralocorticoid receptor treatments come with risks, so we want to be sure they’re used only in patients whose blood pressure will be responsive to them.”

New Research Program Aims to Understand Mechanisms, Generate Therapies

Daniel Goldstein, MD
Daniel Goldstein, MD

We hope to make major leaps in our understanding and treatment of age-related cardiovascular disease with the launch of the Michigan Biology of Cardiovascular Aging Program. MBOCA for short, it aims to stimulate multidisciplinary, collaborative research that will generate breakthroughs along the basic-translational-clinical continuum.

Director, Dr. Daniel Goldstein's own work has helped reveal how aging fosters inflammation, and ultimately, disease. He’s been working to unravel the cellular and molecular processes involved, with an eye toward enabling the development of future therapies. Dr. Goldstein has focused on the role of aging in three inflammatory disease processes: the chronic inflammation of atherosclerosis and transplant vasculopathy, and the acute inflammation of respiratory viral infections. Among his more provocative findings is that — in contrast to the adaptive immune system, which has been shown to decline with aging — elements of the innate immune system can show exaggerated responses as we age. It is this over exuberant response that can make respiratory viruses so deadly to older patients and causes the vascular inflammation that can drive atherosclerosis. Using mouse models, he’s revealed some of the cell types and inflammatory mediators involved, and he’s hoping to expand this work within the collaborative environment of the MBOCA program.

Goldstein has already begun collaborating with U-M’s arrhythmia group to understand how aging, atrial fibrillation and atherosclerosis interact. “Working with arrhythmia experts like Jose Jalife and Hector Valdivia, we’ve generated data that potentially connects these issues, which could lead to new therapeutic options,” says Dr. Goldstein. “This is exactly the kind of synergistic collaboration we hope to catalyze through MBOCA. By bringing together researchers with complementary expertise, we hope to fill in parts of the puzzle as to how aging impacts the cardiovascular system."

Research Centers, Programs, and Initiatives

Cardiovascular Health Improvement Project (CHIP)
CHIP is a biorepository of DNA, plasma, serum and aortic tissue samples as well as an extensive clinical database of medical and family history information. Learn more.

Michigan Biology of Cardiovascular Aging Program (MBoCA)
The MBoCA program has been established to enable multidisciplinary research to advance science on aging and cardiovascular disease under the leadership of Program Director Daniel R. Goldstein, MD. Learn more.

Center for Advanced Models for Translational Sciences and Therapeutics (CAMTraST)
This Center strives to accelerate the “bench to bedside” process in biomedical research and drug development. Learn more.

Center for Arrhythmia Research
At the Center for Arrhythmia Research, scientists and physicians from a variety of disciplines work together to develop new methods of diagnosing and treating cardiovascular diseases, with the primary goal of preventing premature cardiac death. Already, our scientists have made major advances in understanding the molecular and cellular basis for and the fundamental mechanisms of complex, life-threatening arrhythmias and sudden cardiac death. Ultimately, we will be an international resource for the study of cardiovascular diseases, including ischemic heart disease, heart failure and sudden cardiac death. Learn more.