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Research

The division is committed to advancing the care of cardiothoracic patients through ethical, thorough and well-designed clinical investigations, as well as basic science research. Research focuses include:

  • Heart and lung transplantation
  • Neuropsychological research, with a principle focus on neurocognitive outcomes following cardiac surgery using transcranial Doppler sonography and cerebral oximetry
  • Renal protection during cardiac surgery
  • Investigational device research with several new-generation left ventricular assist devices (LVAD) ensuring our patients access to the most modern LVAD technology (FDA PHASE II Trials)
  • Collaborative research with the department of surgery’s inflammation laboratory evaluating the genomic activation and inflammatory cascade associated with chronic heart failure, and the effect of mitigating strategies such as LVAD implantation.

Clinical Research

As part of our research initiatives, we have several clinical studies now underway to answer questions that will improve the care we can offer to patients. We help develop and test new treatments and therapies, and make them available to our patients as soon as possible.

For example, the Division of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery is working in close collaboration with the Department of Biomedical Engineering at evaluating better strategies to eliminate atrial fibrillation. Newer technologies that allow surgeons to create lines of ablation, which can prevent atrial fibrillation from propagating, are being evaluated with high speed imaging techniques that allow us to visualize waves of electrical activity in the heart. We hope to identify those technologies that show the most promise at being effective in the clinical arena

Basic Science Research

In addition to its clinical research efforts, The Division of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery has ongoing laboratory investigations in close collaboration with other research groups at the University of Florida. As part of The University of Florida study: “Cognitive function after CABG surgery with or without cardiopulmonary bypass” the systemic inflammatory response in patients undergoing bypass surgery with cardiopulmonary bypass is being compared to patients undergoing cardiopulmonary bypass without the bypass machine.

Our lung transplant program is studying patients that develop an acute injury to their lung shortly after transplantation. Efforts are underway to understand which patients are more susceptible to this reperfusion injury and how to identify those patients at higher risk for this condition. Ultimately we would like to prevent it from occurring altogether.

In addition, as part of its commitment to developing and implementing newer surgical technologies, the Division of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery is working in close collaboration with the Department of Biomedical Engineering at evaluating better strategies to eliminate atrial fibrillation. Newer technologies that allow surgeons to create lines of ablation, which can prevent atrial fibrillation from propagating, are being evaluated with high speed imaging techniques that allow us to visualize waves of electrical activity in the heart. We hope to identify those technologies that show the most promise at being effective in the clinical arena