Research and Education

UPMC has long been a leader in cardiovascular care, with a rich history in clinical research and innovation.

Our patients benefit from having access to some of the most current and promising procedures and medications.

Our strength in cardiovascular research is the result of two things:

  1. Our close affiliation with the University of Pittsburgh, our academic partner, which remains one of the top 10 institutions in the United States funded by the American Heart Association.
  2. Our very large clinical practice.

Our expertise in diagnosing and treating a large and diverse volume of patients, along with our commitment to advancing scientific discovery, has helped us to develop a very strong catalog of research on cardiovascular disease.

>>Search for a cardiovascular clinical trial

Exploring New Cardiovascular Treatments

Today, our clinicians, surgeons, and physician researchers are:

  • Exploring and employing new technologies and treatments to find better ways to treat cardiovascular disease.
  • Delving into basic science questions to find out why people develop certain types of cardiovascular disease in the first place.
  • Trying to understand the genetics of heart disease, which may help us develop therapies to limit the severity — or even prevent — the disease.

Ongoing Research Efforts

Cardiology Clinical Research

The UPMC Division of Cardiology receives millions of dollars in funding each year to conduct important cardiovascular research.

This research has expanded our understanding of the basic elements of cardiovascular development, anatomy, pharmacology, and control, enabling us to develop new approaches to diagnose and treat cardiovascular disease.

While we maintain a broad catalog of research, the major strengths of our research program include studies in:

  • Heart failure
  • Molecular imaging using echocardiography
  • Sudden cardiac death
  • Translational genetics
  • Heart failure/stem cell research
  • Noninvasive imaging
  • Vascular biology

Cardiology research » learn more from the Division of Cardiology.

UPMC Shadyside is host to several industry- and NIH-sponsored clinical cardiology trials.

Clinical trials » learn more from UPMC Shadyside

Cardiothoracic Surgery Clinical Research

The UPMC Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery also conducts novel research, with a focus on the following areas:

  • Antirejection techniques for heart and lung transplantation
  • Ventricular-assist device therapy to help the heart heal itself
  • Autologous stem cell injections into damaged heart tissue to improve ejection fraction in patients with heart failure
  • Minimally invasive surgical techniques to reduce length of hospital stays

Cardiothoracic research » learn more from the Division of Cardiac Surgery.

Vascular Surgery Clinical Research

The Division of Vascular Surgery’s physicians and scientists collaborate to explore and develop new and exciting treatments and technologies in the field of vascular medicine and surgery. The scope of research involves bioengineering, molecular biology, gene therapy, methods of inhibiting new intimal hyperplasia, and other aspects of vascular biology, especially in these areas:

  • Carotid stenting
  • Deep vein thrombosis
  • Peripheral vascular disease
  • Thoracic and abdominal aneurysms
  • Other venous conditions

The Benefits of Clinical Trials

Clinical research studies, or clinical trials, are crucial to the advancement of medical knowledge.

Through clinical trials, we:

  • Learn how a new medicine or treatment works in people
  • Find out what works and what doesn’t work
  • Discover new and better ways of preventing, diagnosing, and treating heart and vascular diseases and conditions

Find specific clinical research trials from the University of Pittsburgh Office of Clinical Research.

Read how participation in a clinical trial is helping one of our patients.

Julie Feitner. 

Read how research at UPMC has improved Julia Feitner's quality of life.

Featured Trials and Research 

  • Dr. Robert Kormos was recently awarded funds to continue exploring the future uses of small heart pumps to help people with heart failure.
    > Read the article.
  • Our Valve Center is one of only a few sites in the United States conducting a CoreValve ® TAVI (transcatheter aortic valve implantation) clinical trial.
  • Learn more about the Peripartum Cardiomyopathy Network, a network of physicians and nurses across the United States and Canada dedicated to both clinical care and investigation of peripartum cardiomyopathy.

Recent News

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