Starting this month, Dr. Greg Hundley, director of VCU Health Pauley Heart Center, will be introducing each issue of The Beat. He takes over the task from Dr. Kenneth Ellenbogen, who has done an outstanding job in helping us put together the issues over the years. Thank you, Dr. Ellenbogen!
Letter from the Director
It’s been nearly a year since I first moved into my office in the West Hospital—and what a whirlwind it’s been.
In October, a team led by Dr. Vigneshwar Kasirajan successfully completed our center’s 600th heart transplant. In this issue, you can read the heartwarming story about the patient, a mother of three who was turned down for a transplant four times before receiving the lifesaving surgery at VCU Medical Center.
In the new Cardiovascular Imaging Suite, Justin Canada, Ph.D., is working to determine which body compartment causes exercise intolerance in patients with heart failure—something that has never been done before—using a new technology that merges cardiopulmonary exercise testing with MRI scanning. VCU Medical Center is one of only a few sites in the world with this capability, so we’re very excited by it. Many other clinical trials are under way throughout the heart center, as you’ll see in the cover story.
We talked a lot about research at our first-ever Pauley retreat, held Sept. 8 at the Frontier Project in Scott’s Addition. About 70 health care professionals and scientists from the health system and university gathered together. We discussed several big ideas, including a joint incubator for research in cardiovascular disease.
More and more, we will be seeing collaborations between the faculties of cardiovascular medicine and biomedical engineering. We’ve recently hired two new faculty members with biomedical engineering backgrounds who will be helping us to create new technologies to better cope with heart disease.
Over the past year, I’ve enjoyed meeting so many wonderful new people—from our highly dedicated faculty and staff and our thankful patients to our incredibly supportive donors who make our work possible. I hope you’ll enjoy meeting some of these individuals in this issue.
Dr. Greg Hundley