Department research, faculty prominently featured at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2018

The American Heart Association (AHA) Scientific Sessions brings together nearly 13,000 physicians, surgeons, researchers, and healthcare professionals each year, serving as one of the world’s largest forums for the presentation and discussion of clinical innovations and research breakthroughs in cardiovascular medicine. At this year’s conference held in Chicago, IL, the Stanford Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery was prominently featured in 19 talks and poster presentations, showcasing a diverse spectrum of the department’s clinical expertise and research accomplishments.

Dr. Joseph Woo, the Norman E. Shumway Professor and Chair of the Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, presented a thorough review on the emerging concept of aortic valve replacement for asymptomatic aortic stenosis in the Main Event of the conference, and led an expert panel including cardiac surgeons, interventional cardiologists, and cardiac anesthesiologists in a stimulating discussion on the future of aortic valve management.

Dr. Michael Fischbein, Associate Professor and Chair-elect of the AHA Council on Cardiovascular Surgery and Anesthesia (CVSA) for 2019, spoke on the controversial topic of whether patients with neurologic injury in the setting of type A aortic dissection should undergo surgical repair. Additionally, Dr. Fischbein moderated a series of debates regarding the optimal treatment plan for several difficult clinical cases, as well as the CVSA early career session focused on providing guidance for career advancement and success to medical students, residents, and junior faculty.

Dr. Katsuhide Maeda, Clinical Associate Professor, presented on technical issues and surgical strategies for mechanical circulatory support and transplantation in patients with heterotaxy. Dr. Maeda also presented a research poster entitled “Modeling mitral regurgitation ex vivo using bioreactor flow-culture demonstrates rapid induction of pro-fibrotic gene regulation by regurgitant flow.”

Dr. Yasuhiro Shudo, Clinical Assistant Professor, presented a talk discussing minimally invasive techniques for left ventricular assist device therapy. This clinical session was moderated by Dr. Anson Lee, Assistant Professor. Dr. Shudo additionally moderated a basic science and translational research session focused on new advances in cell therapy for cardiovascular disease.

Dr. Ngan Huang, Assistant Professor, spoke on developing tissue engineering methods for skeletal muscle regeneration, and also presented her laboratory’s research on using nonfibrillar scaffolds to augment angiogenesis and nanofibrillar scaffolds to modulate endothelial cell survival and function. Dr. Huang additionally served as poster professor for the subject of vascular medicine, and also moderated a session on interventions for peripheral vascular disease.

Dr. Betsy Colwell, a 6th year resident in Stanford’s Integrated Cardiothoracic Surgery Training Program, opened the CVSA early career session by speaking on the importance of balance in life during residency, and offered several strategies for achieving success. 

Dr. Michael Paulsen, a 5th year resident in Stanford’s Integrated Cardiothoracic Surgery Training Program and a postdoctoral research fellow in Dr. Woo’s laboratory, presented a talk discussing the biomechanical validation of the mitral valve repair technique known as posterior ventricular anchoring neochordoplasty using a 3D-printed ex vivo left heart simulator. Dr. Paulsen also presented a research poster entitled “Development and ex vivo validation of novel force-sensing neo-tendons for measuring chordae tendineae tension in the mitral valve apparatus using optical fibers with embedded Bragg gratings.”

Dr. Hanjay Wang, a 4th year resident in Stanford’s Integrated Cardiothoracic Surgery Training Program and a postdoctoral research fellow in Dr. Woo’s laboratory, competed in and was named the winner of the CVSA Resident Prize Oral Abstract Competition. Dr. Wang described how a computationally-engineered analog of the chemokine stromal cell-derived factor 1α preserves the biomechanical properties of infarcted myocardium under planar biaxial tension. He received his award from AHA president Dr. Ivor Benjamin and CVSA chair Dr. Jennifer Lawton.

Dr. Yuanjia Zhu, a 2nd year resident in Stanford’s Integrated Cardiothoracic Surgery Training Program, presented a research poster illustrating the 50-year ultra-long term outcomes of heart transplantation at Stanford. This work celebrates Stanford’s longstanding expertise and success with heart transplantation, and commemorates the contributions of Dr. Norman E. Shumway, who performed the first adult heart transplant surgery in the United States at Stanford in 1968.

Hunter Bergamasco, a clinical perfusionist, presented a through overview of Del Nido cardioplegia and reviewed the latest data for its use in cardiac surgery.

Lyndsay Stapleton, a bioengineering Ph.D. candidate in Dr. Woo’s laboratory, presented a research poster entitled “A novel, shear-thinning and rapidly self-healing nanoparticle hydrogel diminishes post-operative adhesions in rodent and ovine models of cardiac adhesion formation.”

Annie Imbrie-Moore, a mechanical engineering Ph.D. candidate in Dr. Woo’s laboratory, presented a research poster entitled “Experimental insights into transapical neochordplasty: a quantitative examination of neochord placement using an ex vivo left heart simulator.”

Dr. Yasushi Tashima, a visiting Assistant Professor from Japan currently conducting research in Dr. Fischbein’s laboratory, presented a research talk entitled “Androgen potentiates TGF beta-induced P-Erk1/2 signaling in thoracic aortic aneurysm of Marfan syndrome male mice.”

Dr. Isaac Perea Gil, a postdoctoral research fellow in the laboratory of Dr. Ioannis Karakikes, presented a research talk entitled “High-throughput phenotypic screening using induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes identifies compounds that rescue genetic dilated cardiomyopathy.”

Dr. Kirk Riemer, Director of the Pediatric Cardiac Surgery Laboratory, presented a research poster entitled, “Deep hypothermic circulatory arrest activation of neural precursor cells in neonatal brain subventricular zone is prevented by antegrade cerebral perfusion.”