Faculty Mentors:
Marcelo Di Carli, Steven Grinspoon, Karen Costenbader, Daniel Solomon, Raymond Kwong, Ron Blankstein, Gail Adler, Viviany Taqueti, Katherine Liao

Our imaging faculty have a strong interest in ischemic heart disease and coronary microvascular dysfunction and a strong track record of collaborative research. The recognition of the close relationship of cardiometabolic risk factors with large and small vessel disease has expanded opportunities for research training in this thematic area.

Marcelo Di Carli (Clinical ProfileResearch Profile) pioneered the use of quantitative measures of coronary flow reserve, a marker of large and small vessel disease, for diagnosis and risk stratification in ischemic heart disease. He is the director of an active PET core laboratory used in industry- and NIH-sponsored trials using measures of coronary flow reserve as intermediate endpoint in treatment trials in close collaboration with all the faculty listed in this thematic unit. In addition, he is leading two multi-center studies evaluating the effect of inflammation on coronary microvascular dysfunction and cardiac mechanics in patients with diabetes and metabolic syndrome in a prospective NIH-sponsored study (Cardiovascular Inflammation Reduction Trial – Coronary Flow Reserve – CIRT-CFR) and in an industry-sponsored study (Effects of Bictegravir-EmTricitabine-Tenofovir AlafEnamibe on coronary flow Reserve in stable HIV patients – BETTER study).

Steven Grinspoon (Clinical Profile, Research Profile) is a recognized expert on metabolic and neuroendocrine dysregulation of visceral adiposity, abnormal fat distribution, and the resultant metabolic and inflammatory changes in lipodystrophy with a focus in HIV. His group described that young, asymptomatic, HIV-infected men with long-standing HIV disease have an increased prevalence of coronary atherosclerosis which is only partly accounted by traditional risk factors. In collaboration with Drs. Di Carli, Adler and Kwong he is now using PET and MRI to assess the role of aldosterone in coronary microvascular dysfunction and fibrosis in high risk HIV-infected patients (Mineralocorticoid Receptor Antagonism for Cardiovascular Health in HIV-The MIRACLE HIV Study).

Karen Costenbader (Clinical Profile, Research Profile) is a recognized expert in the epidemiology and outcomes of rheumatic diseases, especially Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE). Her group has developed innovative epidemiologic tools for testing hypotheses in populations and studied predictors of outcomes in SLE, including cardiovascular disease, lymphoma, nephritis and end-stage renal disease. In collaboration with Dr. Di Carli, she is using PET imaging to measure coronary microvascular dysfunction as an early marker of vascular complication in SLE patients (Coronary flow reserve for Assessment of Lupus Microvascular dysfunction – CALM study).

Daniel Solomon (Clinical Profile, Research Profile) is a population scientist focusing on the epidemiology and health services of rheumatic disease. He has focused much of his research on cardiovascular manifestations of rheumatoid arthritis and its treatment. He is currently using advanced imaging (PET and CT) to assess vascular inflammation in patients with RA and (Treatment Against RA and Effect on FDG PET CT: TARGET trial).

Raymond Kwong (Clinical ProfileResearch Profile) uses cardiac MRI to study predictors of left ventricular remodeling after myocardial infarction and their effect on arrhythmic risk and clinical outcomes. He is leading clinical trials evaluating strategies to prevent adverse left ventricular remodeling. He has recently shown that treatment of patients with acute myocardial infarction with high-dose omega-3 fatty acids was associated with reduction of adverse left ventricular remodeling, non-infarct myocardial fibrosis, and serum biomarkers of systemic inflammation beyond current guideline-based standard of care (The OMEGA-REMODEL Randomized Clinical Trial).

Ron Blankstein (Clinical ProfileResearch Profile) is a cardiologist with clinical and research expertise in multimodality cardiovascular imaging. His research focuses on the impact of quantification of atherosclerosis burden by coronary CT angiography on patient management and outcomes.

Viviany Taqueti (Clinical ProfileResearch Profile)studies the role of coronary microvascular dysfunction in cardiometabolic disease, with a focus in obesity, and outcomes (Bariatric Surgery Impact on Coronary Microvascular Function – BaSIC). In collaboration with Dr. Di Carli, she is also studying the effect of inflammation on coronary microvascular dysfunction and cardiac mechanics in patients with diabetes and metabolic syndrome in a prospective NIH-sponsored study (CIRT-CFR).

Katherine Liao (Clinical Profile, Research Profile) is a clinical investigator and rheumatologist. Her current research is focused on inflammation and its effects on traditional cardiovascular risk factors such as cholesterol and blood pressure, and the impact of these modifications on CV risk. In collaboration with Drs. Di Carli and Shah, she is using PET and echocardiography to study the effects of inflammation on coronary vascular reactivity and cardiac mechanics in patients with RA (Lipids, Inflammation, and cardiovascular rIsk in Rheumatoid Arthritis – LiiRA study).

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