Heart Valve Translational Research Program

Heart valve disease management represents an unmet clinical need. Studies have shown that valve disease has an increasing incidence with age, dramatically spiking after age 65.

There is an overall prevalence of 2.5% for any valve disease. Bicuspid aortic valve disorder is the most common cardiovascular defect. Patients who have valve disease have a 79% survival rate at five years and 68% at eight years following diagnosis. Patients without valve disease have a 93% survival rate and 86% survival rate and five and eight years, respectively.

The Heart Valve Translational Research Program (HVTRP) at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) was developed to find treatments to cure heart valve diseases through innovative, multidisciplinary research.

Multidisciplinary Team Approach

To address the complexities of valve diseases and expedite new treatment options, we have assembled a multidisciplinary team from departments throughout BWH. The team approach allows us to:

  • Collect surgically removed tissues from patients with valve disease for endpoint analyses.
  • Identify targets via global and layered proteomics and genomics approaches.
  • Perform in vitro and in vivo validation of new therapeutic targets.
  • Develop imaging probes for early identification of valve diseases and expedite clinical employment of these probes.
  • Identify new biomarker using patient samples available at BWH.
  • Design new therapeutic strategies to treat patients with valve diseases.

Our Goals

The goals of the Heart Valve Translational Research Program are to:

  • Facilitate and create new collaborations between basic research scientists and clinicians within Cardiovascular Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH).
  • Move from a reductionist approach to a systemic approach to better understand the heart valve as a whole, based on its molecular and environmental elements.
  • Leverage the unique location of BWH within the Longwood Medical area, including Harvard-affiliated hospitals, Harvard Medical School, MIT and other Boston-based institutions.

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