Centers of Excellence

Heart & Vascular Center

Heart & Vascular Innovation and Discovery

Innovation leads to exceptional care. From developing the model for today’s defibrillators to the discovery that aspirin helps prevent heart attacks, the heart and vascular physician-researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital have continuously sought ways to improve patient care.

Explore the sections below for an overview of some of the innovative heart and vascular techniques and technologies that have been developed at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, videos of innovative procedures, stories about patients who have benefitted from heart and vascular advances, and details about ongoing research.

Innovation Timeline

2000 to Present
  • 2016 - First to implant the HeartMate 3 in New England
  • 2016 - Innovating the future of cardiovascular therapies focusing on angiotensin receptor Neprilysin and PCSK9 inhibitors
  • 2015 - First in New England to implant remote/wireless hemodynamic monitor for heart failure patients
  • 2013 - Performed the world's first transcatheter implantation of a Potts Shunt in pulmonary arterial hypertension
  • 2012 - First total artificial heart transplant in New England
  • 2012 - Implanted New England's first subcutaneous heart defibrillator (S-ICD)
  • 2012 - Launched the Heart & Vascular Center
  • 2011 - Pioneered concept and use of systems biology and network medicine
  • 2008 - Opened the Carl J. and Ruth Shapiro Cardiovascular Center
  • 2003 - Proved statins reduce inflammation and halve risk of heart attack and stroke
  • 2000 - Linked inflammation as a driver of atherosclerotic events
Before 2000
  • 1994 - Demonstrated ACE inhibitors after heart attacks prevent heart failure
  • 1989 - Discovered aspirin prevents heart attacks
  • 1989 - Mapped the gene for familial hypertrophic cardiomyopathy
  • 1984 - Launched the TIMI trials and pioneered clot-busting therapy
  • 1984 - Performed New England's first heart transplant
  • 1972 - First in New England to use porcine grafts
  • 1962 - Invented defibrillation and cardioversion
  • 1951 - Devised the Gorlin formula to quantify valvular stenosis
  • 1944 - World's first catheterization of the right heart and pulmonary artery
  • 1923 - Performed the world's first successful heart valve surgery

Today there are more recipients waiting for organ transplants than there are organs available. And while the current opioid crisis has produced more available organs for transplantation, those with hepatitis C viral infection have previously been considered ineligible. With a new antiviral treatment regimen, could it be possible to transplant these organs, prevent the establishment of hepatitis C in the recipients, and produce an excellent outcome in patients? A team of infectious disease experts, transplant physicians and surgeons from the Brigham proved, with an effectiveness of 100 percent, that it is.

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