Gootter Foundation Supports Promising Research Projects at UA and Stanford
The Steven M. Gootter Foundation has, for a fourth consecutive year, funded the UA Sarver Heart Center Resuscitation Laboratory, led by Dr. Karl Kern. This support will allow the laboratory to pursue the newest techniques to improve survival from Sudden Cardiac Arrest. The lab is exploring new methods for aggressive post-resuscitation treatments including hypothermia and emergent opening of coronary blockages.
Dr. Christopher Pappas, a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Department of Cellular and Molecular
Medicine at the University of Arizona Sarver Heart Center, will study a structural defect that has been discovered in hearts of mice as well as in biopsies of human patients that have dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) which is the cause of 1/3 cases of human congestive heart failure. The goal of the study is to understand the consequences of this defect on cardiac function and how it might contribute to the pathology of DCM. It is the hope that molecular tools, recently developed in the U of A lab, can be used to prevent the mice from developing or attenuate the progression of DCM.
Dr. Curt Scharfe, Senior Scientist at the Stanford Genome Technology Center and Dr. Kitch Wilson, an MD with a PhD in Bio-engineering, are developing a genetic test for the early detection of heart defects on individuals with no symptoms using cost-effective tests for Sudden Cardiac Death (SCD) gene mutations. The goal is early intervention for patients before the disease strikes, and establishing the assay as a critical tool in the cardiologist’s toolbox for identifying patients at risk for SCD. “After validation of the SCD gene test, it will be made available to physicians around the globe,” said Dr. Joe Wu, Director of the Stanford Cardiovascular Institute.
Dr. Marco Perez, Director of the Stanford Inherited Cardiac Arrhythmia Clinic, is working on improving the diagnostic accuracy for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) and standardizing preventative measures for athletes. He will compare electrocardiogram (ECG) readings of HCM patients against those from student athletes to identify the ECG criteria that best distinguish normal athletes from athletes at risk for HCM and sudden death. ECGs from both groups will be analyzed to develop criteria to maximize diagnostic accuracy and minimize false positives.