Heart Failure Research Accelerates at Emory

Woodruff Health Sciences Center | Jan. 31, 2012

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Jennifer Johnson
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Javed Butler, MD, MPH (center) will lead Emory’s Heart Failure Clinical Research Network efforts

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ATLANTA – Emory University’s Center for Heart Failure Therapy and Transplantation has been selected as one of nine members of the Heart Failure Clinical Research Network (HFCRN) by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Emory will receive a seven-year, $2.5 million grant to develop clinical trials in heart failure and additional funding over time to carry out these trials.

The HFCRN is a cooperative network of advanced heart failure clinical and research centers. HFCRN is charged with accelerating innovative research and developing strategies to diagnose, manage and treat all forms of heart failure.  

Emory Healthcare cardiologist Javed Butler, MD, MPH, will serve as principal investigator and lead Emory’s HFCRN efforts. 

“This is a tremendous honor for our heart failure program. The centers participating in this research consortium carry out the highest quality clinical research in our field,” says Butler, director of heart failure research for Emory Healthcare and professor of medicine (cardiology) at Emory University School of Medicine.

One of only nine HFCRN sites in the United States, Emory will collaborate with other participating centers including the Mayo Clinic, Cleveland Clinic, Duke University, Washington University, University of Pennsylvania and Harvard University.

 “By combining our diverse patient populations and working together to design and conduct innovative clinical trials, we are working toward our common goal of saving lives and finding better treatment options for patients with heart failure,” adds Butler.

Other collaborators on this grant include Arshed Quyyumi, Andrew Smith, Andreas Kalogeropoulos, Vasiliki Georgiopoulou, Michael Ross, Maziar Zafari, Modele Ogunniyi and Vikas Bhalla from Emory University School of Medicine and Sandra Dunbar from Emory School of Nursing.

 “This award is evidence of outstanding vision and teamwork and a shining example of the successful integration of Emory’s clinical and research efforts,” says W. Robert Taylor, MD, PhD, director of the division of cardiology for Emory School of Medicine.  “It is an exceptional honor that comes with the great responsibility of helping shape major research efforts of the NIH.”

More than 5 million people in the United States have heart failure, a condition in which the heart cannot pump enough blood to supply the body's needs. Incidence is steadily rising, with more than 650,000 new cases reported every year.

 “Our patients from all over Georgia and the region will benefit from some of the most current and important work in the field of heart failure today because of Emory’s participation in this Network,” says Andrew Smith, MD, and the medical director of Emory’s Center for Heart Failure
Therapy and Transplantation.

“It recognizes Emory’s unwavering commitment to research and becoming international leaders in developing therapies for heart failure.”

According to Butler, heart failure remains one of the most common high-risk diseases affecting Americans. Approximately 50 percent of patients die within five years of developing heart failure and once hospitalized for this condition, patients have a 30 percent risk of dying within one year.