Department research, faculty prominently featured at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2017

Attracting nearly 20,000 attendees annually from around the world, the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions is one of the most prominent forums for disseminating the latest breakthroughs in cardiovascular surgery and medicine. The Stanford Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery was well-represented at this year’s conference. The event began with an early career session, which focused on providing guidance and mentorship to trainees and young surgeons.

Dr. Michael Fischbein, Associate Professor, co-chaired the Council on Cardiovascular Surgery and Anesthesia’s early career session and spoke on the future of aortic surgery. As a result of his superb work in developing and implementing an outstanding early career curriculum, in addition to his many other prior contributions, Dr. Fischbein was elected to serve as the chairman of the Council on Cardiovascular Surgery and Anesthesia for the 2019 term.

Also participating in the early career session were Department Chairman Dr. Joseph Woo, and Dr. Elan Burton, Clinical Assistant Professor. Dr. Woo led a talk on the transition from residency to practice, while Dr. Burton presented a comprehensive overview of funding options for early-career surgeon-scientists.

The early career session concluded with research presentations by the CVSA Resident Prize winners, which included Dr. Daniel von Bornstaedt, a postdoctoral fellow in Dr. Woo’s laboratory, whose presentation was entitled “A Novel Method of Rapidly Engineering Multi-level Cell Sheet-Derived Human Vessels Results in Functional and Patent Bypass Conduits”.

Also winning an award was Clinical Assistant Professor Billie-Jean Martin, M.D., Ph.D., who recently joined the Department after finishing her training at the University of Alberta. Dr. Martin’s abstract entitled “Cardiac Rehabilitation in Premature Coronary Artery Disease” won the Paul Dudley White International Scholar Award for being the highest scoring abstract from Canada.

Ngan Huang, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, was the Jay D. Coffman Young Investigator Award runner-up for her work entitled “A Small Molecule Derived from Carboxyethylpyrrole Protein Adducts Promotes Angiogenesis in a Mouse Model of Peripheral Arterial Disease”. Dr. Huang also presented an abstract entitled “Delivery of Hepatocyte Growth Factor mRNA From Nanofibrillar Scaffolds for Treatment of Peripheral Arterial Disease”.

Several other members of the Department also presented research at this year’s Scientific Sessions. Lyndsay Stapleton, a bioengineering Ph.D. candidate in Dr. Woo’s laboratory, presented an abstract entitled “A Novel, Shear-Assembling, Shear-Thinning Polymer-Nanoparticle Hydrogel Diminishes Post-Operative Thoracic Adhesions in a Rodent Model of Ischemic Cardiomyopathy”.

Ms. Amanda Steele, also a bioengineering Ph.D. candidate in Dr. Woo’s laboratory, gave a presentation on her research utilizing novel hydrogels to treat ischemic cardiomyopathy entitled “Minimally Invasive Delivery of Engineered Stromal Cell-Derived Factor 1-a via a Dynamic, Dual Crosslinking Hydrogel Limits Left Ventricular Remodeling After Myocardial Infarction”.

Masashi Kawamura, M.D., Ph.D., a postdoctoral fellow in Dr. Woo’s laboratory, presented an abstract entitled “Tissue-Engineered Smooth Muscle Cell-Endothelial Progenitor Cell Bi-level Cell-Sheets Combined with Internal Mammary Artery Myocardial Implantation Rescue Myocardium in Diabetic Cardiomyopathy with Acute Myocardial Infarction Model”.

In addition to presenting research, several of the Department’s faculty were asked to share their expertise on clinical topics at the conference. Dr. Jack Boyd, Clinical Assistant Professor, moderated a well-attended session on mitral valve surgery and served as poster professor for the session on coronary artery disease. Michael Dake, M.D., the Thelma and Henry Doelger Professor of Cardiovascular Surgery and world expert on thoracic endografts gave a seminar entitled “Innovations and Breakthroughs in Endograft Design and Implantation”.

Dr. William Hiesinger, Assistant Professor, shared his expertise on mechanical circulatory support and heart failure in a talk entitled “Minimally Invasive Devices for the Failing Heart”.

Anson Lee, M.D., Assistant Professor, whose practice and research focuses on minimally-invasive surgical treatment of arrhythmias, moderated a session on complex surgical decision-making and gave a talk entitled “Comparison of Surgical and Hybrid Ablation Technologies”.

Overall, the AHA’s Scientific Sessions 2017 highlighted the Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery’s numerous recent achievements, expanding its distinguished legacy of pioneering research and clinical excellence.