Faculty Mentors:
Scott Solomon, Marcelo Di Carli, Elazer Edelman, Michael Jerosch-Herold, Raymond Kwong, Gail Adler, Aaron Baggish, Sharmila Dorbala,  Amil Shah, Viviany Taqueti

T32 fellows have access to a rich network of local and national epidemiological registries and databases to develop and/or validate the use of imaging markers of cardiac structure and function in cardiovascular disease. These are unique resources to study mechanisms of myocardial disease. All the mentors listed above have close collaborations using imaging markers of myocardial structure and function as intermediate endpoints in single and multi-site clinical trials evaluating the efficacy of novel therapies. By way of example, our trainees have been using quantitative imaging markers of myocardial mechanics (strain, torsion, etc. by echocardiography and MRI), structure and tissue characterization (late gadolinium enhancement, extracellular volume by MRI), and myocardial perfusion (myocardial blood flow and flow reserve by PET) and metabolism to phenotype at-risk patients or those with established CV disease.

Scott Solomon (Clinical ProfileResearch Profile) is a clinical trialist and expert in echocardiography and has a successful long track record of using imaging markers of cardiac structure and function in industry and NIH-sponsored clinical trials. He directs one of the largest echocardiography core laboratories in the US (Cardiac Imaging Core Laboratory, CICL) and has led the imaging components for over a dozen international clinical trials. The CICL currently serves two large NIH-sponsored epidemiologic studies (ARIC and HCHS-SOL). His research interests include the use and outcomes validation of novel imaging biomarkers of ventricular structure and function for phenotyping pre-clinical and clinical stages of cardiovascular disease.

Marcelo Di Carli (Clinical ProfileResearch Profile) is the leader of the BWH CV imaging group and a pioneer in the use of quantitative cardiac PET in diagnosis, risk stratification and management of ischemic heart disease. His group pioneer 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.

Elazer Edelman (Clinical Profile, Research Profile, Lab Site) is a cardiologist and Director of MIT’s Institute for Medical Engineering and Science (IMES) and Clinical Research Center (CRC) as well as the Harvard-MIT Biomedical Engineering Center (BMEC). His research interests iare in the biology of atherosclerosis and valvular heart disease for application towards improved clinical decision making and device design. His groups contributed to the understanding of cellular and molecular mechanisms that drive atherogenesis and coronary artery disease, which led to the development and optimization of the first bare-metal stents, as well as subsequent iterations on the technology including drug eluting stents. More recently, these principles have been applied towards the development of novel mechanical organ support and heart valves.

Michael Jerosch-Herold (Research Profile) is a physicist with special expertise in MRI and brings an important dimension and complementary skills to other mentors in this program. His research efforts are focused on myocardial perfusion imaging, tracer-kinetic modeling and blood flow quantification, assessment of myocardial fibrosis, and the use of MRI to study remodeling of the myocardial extra-cellular matrix.

Raymond Kwong (Clinical ProfileResearch Profile) is an international leader in cardiac MRI. His research interests include the use of established (late gadolinium enhancement) and novel (extracellular volume fraction as a marker of interstitial fibrosis) quantitative markers of structural abnormalities to enhance diagnosis and risk stratification of patients post myocardial infarction and those with cardiomyopathies.

Gail Adler (Clinical Profile, Research Profile) is an endocrinologist with extensive basic and clinical research experience. Her research focuses on the regulation of adrenal function and the biological actions of adrenal steroids, with an emphasis on the cardiovascular effects of aldosterone. In collaboration with Drs. Di Carli and Kwong, she has been using PET and MRI to assess the role of aldosterone on inflammation and vascular injury in hypertension, diabetes and obesity.

Aaron Baggish (Clinical Profile, Research Profile) is an international expert and the leader of the Cardiovascular Performance Program at MGH. His group has pioneered the use of imaging techniques to study adaptive and maladaptive left ventricular remodeling in response to repetitive strength-based exercise training. He collaborates with Dr. Di Carli in comentoring young clinical-scientists using advanced PET techniques to study myocardial metabolism and efficiency as potential imaging markers that can help differentiate physiologic from pathologic left ventricular hypertrophy.

Sharmila Dorbala (Clinical ProfileResearch Profile) conducts research in molecular imaging with a primary focus on mechanisms of cardiomyopathy associated with light chain cardiac amyloidosis. She has described that myocardial amyloid deposits as quantified by PET precede structural and functional changes in cardiac amyloidosis, and that the amyloid burden is associated with unique abnormalities in myocardial strain observed in cardiac amyloidosis.

Amil Shah (Clinical ProfileResearch Profile) trained with Dr. Solomon and has expertise in advanced echocardiographic markers of structure andfunction and cardiac imaging in prospective multicenter clinical trials and epidemiological cohorts. He uses noninvasive cardiac imaging, exercise testing, and translational techniques to study heart failure, with a focus on heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF). Using prospective multicenter clinical trials and epidemiological cohorts, my research group has contributed to the understanding of the relationship between risk factor burden, novel measures of abnormal cardiac structure and function, and morbidity and mortality in HFpEF.

Viviany Taqueti (Clinical ProfileResearch Profile) trained with Dr. Di Carli and has expertise in quantitative PET and echocardiography, which she uses to phenotype risk in patients with cardiometabolic disease. Her recent work demonstrated that coronary microvascular dysfunction as assessed by PET is a common finding in patients with HFpEF and a powerful prognostic marker of re-admissions for heart failure.

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