Research Programs and Labs
San Francisco POstmortem Systematic InvesTigation of Sudden Cardiac Death (POST SCD) Study - Zian Tseng Lab
Dr. Roselle Abraham is a physician-scientist with a background in electrophysiology, imaging, and stem cell research. She is using multi-modality imaging for risk stratification of atrial and ventricular arrhythmias. The overall goal of her research program is to use a combination of multi-modality clinical imaging and studies in model systems to tailor therapies for patients with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.
Dr. Abraham's research is focused on early diagnosis and risk prediction in Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM). He also has an interest in using strain echocardiography for early diagnosis, monitoring disease progression, and prognostication in a variety of cardiac diseases, particularly, cardiomyopathies and heart disease in athletes.
Dr. Agarwal's research interests include clinical research in the areas of echocardiography, pregnancy in heart disease, adult CHD and CPET. In particular, she is interested in outcomes research aimed to reduce mortality, morbidity, and to improve quality of life for adults with CHD. She has been using large data methodology to help understand the health care needs of this patient population. More recently, she has been working on improving transitions of care for adults with CHD transitioning from pediatric to adult health care. Her primary goal is to promote patient empowerment to improve outcomes for these patients.
Dr. Agrawal is currently researching the utilization of MRIs in patients with chronic kidney disease during valve replacement in order to decrease their exposure to contrast medium. This is one of the largest patient populations where we have used this novel technique to limit all contrast exposure. He is examining the outcomes of percutaneous techniques for PFO closure after stroke. He is examining the achievability of same-day discharges of patients who have undergone structural heart valve replacements, as well as analyzing the research for the most effective strategies of coronary artery bifurcation interventions. He is also involved with looking at outcomes on patients who undergo patent ductus arteriosus interventions. Dr. Agrawal has published over 40 peer-reviewed research articles and is actively involved in clinical research at UCSF.
Dr. Aras's research interests are in understanding genetic and molecular mechanisms of heart failure, and developing novel biomarkers in patients with advanced heart disease.
Dr. Botvinick’s primary research interest has been scintigraphic methods. His research involves recent applications of the scintigraphic imaging agent indicates its ability to map the regional density of sympathetic nerves and support the hypothesis that an altered balance in the relationship of perfusion and innervation can increase vulnerability to life threatening arrhythmias.
Overall, Dr. Botvinick’s research has been a collaborative effort to develop non-invasive graphic and imaging methods for the identification and evaluation of cardiac anatomy and pathophysiology, and apply them to the diagnosis, risk stratification and monitoring of clinical disease.
Dr. Brusca's research interests include cardiac intensive care unit process improvement and educational initiatives and using peripheral biomarkers to phenotype and risk stratify patients with pulmonary hypertension and shock.
Dr. Cheng's research interests include temporary mechanical circulatory support, stents and stent-valves (tiny tubes that can be placed surgically to keep blood vessels open) in patients with heart failure, minimally invasive mitral and tricuspid valve repair, and coronary artery disease after heart transplantation.
Jan Christoph studies the heart from a complex and dynamical systems perspective. He is interested in arrhythmia mechanisms and the coupling between electrophysiology and tissue mechanics, as well as electromechanical feedback. He uses computational methods, artificial intelligence and high-resolution imaging to study the heart.
Dr. Delling's research has focused on mitral valve disease and the combined use of echocardiography, cardiac MRI, and molecular genetics as tools to better understand disease mechanisms and progression. She is currently an NIH-funded investigator (previously supported by the American Heart Association) with collaborators at the Framingham Heart Study and the Leducq MITRAL Network in Europe. Attended coursework essential for her research endeavors includes a Master in Public Health (Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health).
Teresa De Marco
Dr. De Marco is interested in translational research in the diagnosis, prognosis, medical and surgical treatment for advanced heart failure, cardiomyopathies, heart transplantation, mechanical circulatory support, and pulmonary hypertension.
Dr. Elmariah's research focuses on the prediction and optimization of clinical outcomes of patients with aortic stenosis and after transcatheter aortic valve replacement.
Dr. Fleischmann research looks at the relationship between noninvasive testing in cardiology and its outcome, the development and evaluation of efficient diagnostic and treatment strategies in acute ischemic syndromes, and the effect of secondhand smoke on outcomes in cardiac disease such as heart failure and acute ischemic syndromes.
Dr. Fung's research looks at health disparities primarily involving the Asian/Pacific Islander populations as well as clinical hypertension and prevention.
Dr. Gerstenfeld's laboratory is interested in better understanding the mechanism of atrial fibrillation using signal processing and humans and preclinical models studying differences between endocardial and epicardial activation during AF. Dr Gerstenfeld's laboratory has one of the only preclinical swine models of pacing-induced cardiomyopathy and seeks to better understand the mechanism of cardiomyopathy caused by premature ventricular beats. He also has performed preclinical work to improve ablation techniques for ventricular tachycardia, including hi-intensity ultrasound (HiFU) and multipolar linear ablation.
Dr. Harris' research focuses generally on the molecular mechanisms underlying cardiac development and growth and specifically on the transcriptional control of genes during cardiac development.
Dr. Hsia's research has helped to develop new treatment strategies by deploying a substrate-based ablation for ventricular tachycardia, particularly in patients with ventricular arrhythmias that are unstable, with multiple morphologies, and not amendable to conventional mapping techniques.
Dr. Klein's research is aimed at understanding the epidemiology of heart failure in women and sudden cardiac death in women with heart failure. In addition, I am developing new diagnostic sensors and therapeutic devices for patients with cardiovascular disease, including patients with heart failure. At UCSF, he is the Director of the Cardiology Clinical Research infrastructure.
In his research, Dr. Lamprea-Montealegre uses epidemiologic methods to investigate the cardiovascular consequences of chronic kidney disease. In addition, he leverages implementation science theory and frameworks to improve cardiovascular disease prevention through the early detection and treatment of chronic kidney disease.
In his research, Di Lang, PhD studies the membrane nanodomain mediated compartmentalized cellular and molecular functioning and regulation of proteins in cardiac physiology and pathology and developing therapeutic strategies targeting the cell cytoarchitectures using animal models, primary cardiomyocytes and human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs).
In his research, Dr. Lee studies an animal model of heart failure due to a particular disorder of heart muscle called ectopy-mediated cardiomyopathy. To improve patient care, he also studies the best methods of performing ablation for atrial fibrillation and investigates new diagnostic tools for arrhythmias.
Dr. Lee has a Masters Degree in Clinical Research. He had done research on arrhythmias after organ transplant, the effects of the TASER on the heart, ICD complications, risk stratficiation after myocardial infarction, cryoablation, and lead extraction techniques. Currently, he is the Co-PI of the VEST study, a multi-center, international randomized study to determine whether a wearable defibrillator vest can reduce the big early sudden death rate post-MI.
Dr. Lee's research interests include cardiac tissue engineering for myocardial repair/regeneration, cardiac engineering for the development of devices and monitoring of arrhythmias, and embolic stroke prevention. His research focuses on cellular and molecular aspects of cardiac arrhythmias and vascular regeneration. Dr. Lee uses genetic engineering techniques to investigate derangements during cardiac arrhythmias and myocardial infarctions and as possible therapeutic tools. Dr. Lee also is interested in cardiac development of the conduction system and the means to alter conduction, which then may be applied to diseased states.
Dr. Marcus is Associate Chief of Cardiology for Research at UCSF Health. His particular research interests include cardiovascular effects of alcohol and caffeine and other common, modifiable, lifestyle factors; atrial fibrillation (mechanisms, guideline adherence, novel therapies); consequences and optimal management of cardiac ectopy (PACs and PVCs); supraventricular tachycardia (diagnoses and national treatment patterns); implantable cardiac devices (patient and provider knowledge and experiences, optimal performance, patient selection); with broader interests in clinical research study design and genetic epidemiology. More recently, as one of the leaders of the Health eHeart Study and the NIH-funded Eureka platform, Dr. Marcus' interests have included mobile health technology and leveraging devices, sensors, mobile apps and the internet to understand "real time" and "real life" effects and to conduct clinical research more efficiently.
Dr. Moss both leads and participates in multiple clinical studies on existing and evolving techniques for treating patients with arrhythmias and congestive heart failure, including those with a ventricular assist device (VAD). Trained as an engineer prior to beginning his medical career, Dr. Moss also maintains an active research interest in novel device design for advanced cardiac rhythm management.
Translating basic science discoveries to clinical applications that improve understanding of underlying disease processes and effective treatments.
Dr. Olgin's basic research lab is interested in atrial and ventricular remodeling and how these processes occur to develop a substrate for atrial fibrillation and ventricular tachycardia. His work has demonstrated the circuit for human atrial flutter and has demonstrated the importance of atrial fibrosis as a cause for atrial fibrillation. He is currently interested in how TGFß signaling is regulated in the atria to produce atrial fibrosis and atrial fibrillation. His lab is translational in that he utilizes a spectrum of techniques and studies that span from mouse, large animal physiologic models, human tissue, human biomarkers and genetic approaches to understanding the disease. He also has active studies in understanding the remodeling that occurs in the ventricle in the setting of heart failure and myocardial infarction to create the substrate for sudden death and ventricular tachycardia and fibrillation.
Dr. Olgin’s clinical research has focused on atrial fibrillation and sudden cardiac death mechanisms, epidemiology, genetics and interventions. He has run clinical trial coordinating centers. He has developed mobile and digital health tools for performing large, pragmatic research studies. He has developed the Health eHeart Study, an eCohort to study cardiovascular disease prevention and to validate mobile health applications in disease outcomes studies, with many studies using the platform and over 300,000 participants recruited. This novel approach to doing clinical trials has been expanded beyond cardiovascular disease through an NIH grant to create the Eureka Research Platform for Mobilized Research. Through all of these programs, we have developed the infrastructure and experience to manage large blended teams of software developers, designers and research coordinators, data managers and epidemiologists to create a novel “digital” coordinating center.
Dr. Padmanabhan’s research focuses on understanding the gene-regulatory and epigenetic pathways that govern cell fate decisions during early cardiac development and cell state transitions in the pathophysiology of heart failure.
Dr. Parikh is a trained cardiovascular epidemiologist and population scientist. She demonstrated in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis that the hemodynamic changes of pregnancy may not revert back to normal, may be cumulative across successive pregnancies, and can lead to left ventricular remodeling on cardiac MRI in mid-life. Along with a research team at the Framingham Heart Study, she developed a risk score for incident hypertension and this work was cited in the recent version of the US hypertension guidelines. She has added to the scientific knowledge base demonstrating which specific reproductive factors are predictors of cardiovascular disease using data from the NIH sponsored Women's Health Initiative Study and has leveraged data from the Swedish Population Registers. Her work has been supported by grants from the American Heart Association, the NIH/National Heart Lung and Blood Institute and the UCSF Preterm Birth Initiative.
Other interests: Dr. Parikh has been an active volunteer for the American Heart Association (AHA) for over ten years. She currently serves AHA Leadership Committee of the Epidemiology and Prevention Council (national level).
Dr. Pirruccello studies cardiovascular and aortic diseases using machine learning and genetics. He uses machine learning to quantify the heart, and to create new types of measurements that can help us to better understand health and disease. He uses genetics to analyze these measurements to gain insight into mechanisms of disease. Further, Dr. Pirruccello uses both genetics and machine learning to develop tools to better understand risk, before the onset of disease.
Dr. Qasim is head of the echocardiography core laboratory which uses echocardiography to evaluate novel cardiac therapies for the treatment of heart failure and valvular heart diseases. The lab has expertise in strain imaging and in echocardiography of novel therapies for valvular heart disease including the Mitraclip system and other transcatheter valve devices.
Dr. Redberg’s research interests are in our use of medical procedures and devices. She studies the regulatory process for medical devices and the strength of evidence that supports them, particularly high-risk devices, both before and after they are marketed. She is a strong proponent of high-quality data to support safety and effectiveness for medical devices, in order to provide the best quality and appropriate medical care and advice. Dr. Redberg has testified before Congress multiple times on these issues.
Dr. Shah's research focuses on quality improvement efforts to optimize the effectiveness of echocardiography, patient care, and healthcare systems.
Dr. Soni remains dedicated to improving the quality and value of care provided to cardiovascular patients and is involved in numerous projects within the cardiac cath lab and the Division of Cardiology. He continues to fulfill his passion for medical education and actively teaches medical students, residents and fellows at UCSF.
In collaboration with his colleagues, Schiller is involved in research in quantitation of cardiac function and structure, the biology and function of the left atrium, exercise physiology and hemodynamics in heart disease, body composition in heart disease, adult congenital heart disease, three-dimensional reconstruction, echocardiographic contrast agents for quantitation and myocardial perfusion, transesophageal echocardiography, physiology of renal disease, and outcomes in coronary disease as predicted by quantitative phenotyping.
Dr. Simon’s research primary research focus involves developing new therapies for pulmonary hypertension and better understanding right-sided heart failure in pulmonary hypertension (PH). Notably, right-sided heart failure and PH are associated with poor outcomes and in particular have been noted to occur in another type of heart failure, called heart failure with preserved ejection fraction or HFpEF, in which the heart seems to function normally but causes difficulty breathing due to a stiffening of the heart and blood vessels.
Dr. Stock's research focuses on the mechanisms involved in the development and progression of atherosclerosis (the accumulation of fat on artery walls), prevention of atherosclerosis, heart disease and stroke.
Dr. Tison brings expertise in clinical research, advanced machine learning algorithms and digital health to bear to further his research goals in cardiovascular disease prevention. An expert in machine learning and artificial intelligence as applied to medicine, he obtained formal training in epidemiology, statistical methods, machine learning and clinical research during his tenure at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and as a National Institutes of Health T32 scholar. He has led multiple research projects in large cohorts such as the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis and the Women’s Health Initiative. Dr. Tison is an investigator in the UCSF Health eHeart study and leads several clinical research studies at UCSF. Dr. Tison’s current interests include applying machine learning and deep-learning techniques to large-scale electronic health data from heterogeneous sources in order to achieve the goal of personalized cardiovascular prognosis and disease prevention.
Dr. Tolstrup's research interests are primarily centered around valvular heart disease and echocardiography as they relate to clinical aspects.
Dr. Vedantham's research explores the biogenesis of heart rhythm in normal and diseased hearts, with particular interests in sinus node dysfunction, cardiac conduction system disease, and atrial fibrillation. His current focus is on the development and function of pacemaker cells in the sinoatrial node. He has characterized the transcriptome of this rare but critical cell type and identified specific gene regulatory networks active in these cells. His lab is currently focused on building a comprehensive model for development, normal and diseased physiology, and regenerative potential of specialized cells responsible for heart rhythm.