Current research and innovation projects

Nationally-funded projects | Virtual health and 3D technology | Our research labs

Quality, outcomes and research report

View the 2021 report and learn how our investment in research translates into the care we provide.

Herma heart institute annual report

View report

Herma Heart Institute-funded projects

Research spotlight: PTSD Project

Funding the next wave of advancements in congenital heart disease is not always easy. Learn more about the Herma Heart Institute’s commitment to funding future research.
Below are recent fund recipients:  

Herma Heart Institute research grants

  • Dnase 1 impact on ncfDNA and mcfDNA levels when delivered via ECMO and cardiopulmonary bypass — Justin Tanem, MD
  • Exploring endothelial restoration as a therapeutic target in the treatment of congenital bicuspid aortic valve disease — Joy Lincoln, PhD, Michaela Patterson, Michael Mitchell, MD
  • Head to head comparison of mitochondrial cell-free DNA and cardiac troponin as a biomarker for the extent of cardiac injury following high risk infant cardiac surgery — Michael Mitchell, MD, John (Jake) Scott, MD
  • Generating heart valve cell populations from human umbilical cord blood — Joy Lincoln, PhD
  • Pediatric VAD Internship and Research Mentorship — Robert Niebler, MD
  • Pharmacologic targeting of CCR2+ monocytes to treat mitral valve disease in a mouse model of neonatal Marfan syndrome — Andrew Kim, MD, PhD, Joy Lincoln, PhD 
  • Pulmonary arteriovenous malformations in univentricular congenital heart disease — Andrew Spearman, MD 

Herma Heart Institute quality improvement grants

  • School Screening and Health Plan Improvement Project – Christie Ruehl, JD, MBA
  • MI-SMART Plan Improvement Project for School-Aged Cardiac Patients — Kyle Landry, MS 

Herma Heart Institute Programmatic grants 

  • Cardiogenetics Program Support — Donald Basel, MD
  • Herma Heart Institute Tissue Repository — Precision Medicine Program 

Featured nationally-funded projects

Below are just a few of the many nationally-funded projects our team is leading:  

Racial and socioeconomic disparities of children at risk for cardiovascular disease in southeast Wisconsin

  • Black adults have a higher prevalence of cardiovascular disease, including heart attacks and stroke, compared to white adults in Wisconsin. Many of the pathological changes in blood vessels that ultimately lead to heart attacks and stroke, are present as early as childhood are due to underlying dysfunction of endothelial cells that line the vessel wall. The goal of the study, led by Sal Ginde, MD and Ben Goot, MD, is to measure endothelial function in a diverse group of 300 children ages 8 to 18 and identify racial and socioeconomic factors that are associated with a higher prevalence of endothelial dysfunction.

Exploring the mechanisms promoting human iPSC-derived cardiomyocyte maturation

  • Lu Han, PhD, recipient of the 2022 Michael H. Keelan, Jr., MD Scholar award, is advancing her research to better understand the mechanisms that regulate the dynamics of heart muscle (cardiomyocytes) in physiological and pathological growth of the heart in order to advance the development of new treatments for congenital and adult disease. 
    Dr. Han’s project will endeavor to produce induced Pluripotent Stem Cells (iPSC)-derived cardiomyocytes that closely resemble naturally existing cells within the adult human body in terms of structure and function. These optimized cells will allow scientists to test ideas and develop novel treatments for humans, and hold an enormous promise for personalized medicine, drug testing, and regeneration therapy. 

A new diagnostic tool for high-risk pregnancies

Virtual health and 3D technology

The Stanford Virtual Heart

  • Developed by Lighthaus Inc. with the support of the Betty Irene Moore Children’s Heart Center at Stanford and Oculus VR, the Stanford Virtual Heart is a cutting-edge virtual reality education tool. The Herma Heart Institute is currently one of 20 pediatric hospitals with The Stanford Virtual Heart. Watch this video to learn how else we’re using the Stanford Virtual Heart at the Herma Heart Institute.

The Heart Summit

3D surgical encyclopedia

  • With the help of our 3D camera, we continue to grow our collection of recorded surgical procedures in a 3D format. These recordings will help enhance education and training for the next wave of providers at peer institutions across the world.

Interstage home monitoring app

Our congenital heart disease research labs

Read more about the congenital heart disease research underway at our dedicated research labs: