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University Of Pittsburgh Tops in Funding by the American Heart Association


For the first time, the University of Pittsburgh ranked first among U.S. academic medical centers and hospitals for heart disease and stroke research funding from the American Heart Association (AHA). The total amount of AHA funding for 2006 was $8,949,945.

“The University of Pittsburgh prides itself on recruiting prolific researchers, scientists and clinicians who are dedicated to elucidating the fundamental causes of heart disease. I am most proud of Dr. Barry London, chief of cardiology and director of the UPMC Cardiovascular Institute (CVI) and his team of cardiologists and scientists who advance our mission at both the laboratory bench and patient’s bedside, ultimately helping patients lead better, healthier lives,” says Arthur S. Levine, M.D., senior vice chancellor for the health sciences and dean, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

The Cardiovascular Institute has a strong foundation of both clinical and basic science research. For example, at any one time, the CVI faculty trains 30 general cardiology fellows (10 per year for 3 years), as well as subspecialty clinical fellows in interventional cardiology, electrophysiology, congestive heart failure, transplantation, and heart imaging. Additionally, a variety of specialized research fellowships concentrating in molecular genetics, molecular imaging techniques, and clinical epidemiology are performed by trainees committed to academic and investigative careers. CVI researchers are principal investigators on more than 20 grants from both the AHA and the National Institutes of Health, in addition to dozens of other clinical and translational trials funded by other foundations and industry.

For a complete list of awards to the University of Pittsburgh, including various schools, departments and divisions, visit the AHA website at and click on the science and professional link and again on the research link. The AHA’s list of awardees is mentioned in alphabetical order by institution. The complete list of the University of Pittsburgh awardees begins on page 91 and ends on page 97.

“The American Heart Association’s generous funding is a testament to their commitment to understanding the mechanisms that contribute to heart disease,” commented Barry London, M.D., Ph.D., Harry S. Tack Professor of Medicine and director of the UPMC Cardiovascular Institute. “These funds will help our junior investigators, in particular, to push forward with their important research that may someday lead to effective therapies for patients.” Studies by junior investigators focus on the genetics of congestive heart failure and sudden death, racial differences in the presentation of coronary artery disease, and the role of the appetite-regulating hormone leptin in heart disease.

On the clinical side, the UPMC Cardiovascular Institute provides many services for patients with various forms of heart disease. With more than 80 cardiologists serving at 22 locations in western Pennsylvania, the Cardiovascular Institute’s clinical services include the women’s heart program, advanced cardiac imaging, cardiac catheterization, preventive and rehabilitative cardiology, the advanced heart failure center, the cardiac electrophysiology program, the cardiovascular genetics center, and the newly established acute cardiogenic shock center, which aims to be the cardiac safety net for the region for patients with acute heart failure.


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