Division of Cardiac Surgery Research


Recognizing its importance as the site of the first successful heart valve surgery nearly a century ago, the Brigham and Women’s Hospital strives to hold its international recognition as a leader in the development of groundbreaking innovations. Cardiac surgery is a complex procedure that is not without risk, which furthers the need for better approaches that reduce those risks without affecting care, as well as patients' pain and recovery time. With the rise in cardiovascular diseases worldwide, the need for cardiac surgery has never been higher, and the Division of Cardiac Surgery is committed to the care of affected patients.

Our mission is to advance the field through the development of innovative surgical procedures, novel diagnostic tools and groundbreaking therapies to not only reduce patient mortality, but also improve postoperative care. Fundamental, translational and clinical research is key to achieving these goals.


Research is an integral part of the Division of Cardiac Surgery and is based around a community of PhD and medical experts in various arenas, from molecular and cellular biology, to bioengineering. Faculty in the division are involved in close to 30 clinical trials, including major international and multicenter clinical trials, and numerous externally funded research projects in collaboration with investigators within the Brigham community and beyond.

Current research efforts in the division focus on:

  • Thoracic aortic disease: Studies of aortic aneurysm biology, biomechanics and clinical progression;
  • Surgical outcomes of cardiac procedures, including coronary artery bypass, valve repair/replacement and minimally invasive procedures;
  • Clinical trials evaluating new surgical techniques and new devices;
  • Correlative studies connecting preoperative patient status with outcomes of heart transplantation.

Research Opportunities

The aim of clinical research is to demonstrate results and trends of new therapeutic procedures and compare interventions in cardiac surgery through retrospective and prospective studies that will help establish more effective treatments and therapeutic protocols. Work includes literature reviews, sampling and processing of patient data and simple statistical (descriptive) analysis. In addition, manuscripts are prepared for publication, depending on the importance of the results.

Research Collaborator

Collaborators are employed full-time outside of the Brigham and are working at the Brigham under the direction of their primary employer/home institution.

Unpaid Research Trainees

Unpaid trainees are persons who do not yet have the requisite skills to function as a Brigham research employee and are actively enrolled in a closely supervised Brigham research program. Trainees are at the Brigham to gain experience and develop relevant skills in a research laboratory.

For more information, please contact bwhctinquiries@bwh.harvard.edu.

Learn about Cardiac Surgery Research

Click on a surgeon’s name to learn more about cardiac surgery research projects.

We Need Your Help

Your contributions to our research will provide even better care for the next generation of patients. Donations can be directed toward the following areas:

  • Improving the role of surgery to improve patient outcomes
  • Improving surgical processes, techniques and protocols
  • Improving recovery after surgery
  • Understanding the needs of surgery patients

Support Our Work

Learn how you can support our cardiac surgery research projects.