Highlights

Welcome our new cardiovascular surgeon, Dr. John J. Nigro!

Please welcome Dr. John J. Nigro as the new division chief of the Cardiovascular Surgery division for Rady Children’s Specialists of San Diego and director of the Heart Institute at Rady Children’s Hospital. A thoracic and cardiac surgeon who has practiced for more than 20 years, Dr. Nigro received his medical degree from the University of Illinois College of Medicine and completed his fellowship at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.

El-SaidCongratulations, Dr. Howaida El-Said!

Dr. Howaida El-Said’s “Re-stenting Improves Vessel Patency, Lumen Area and Endothelialization: A Feasibility Study in Piglets Demonstrating Re-Stenting with Simultaneous Intentional Fracture of Previously Placed Stents” won the 2017 Pediatric Interventional Cardiac Symposium Oral Abstract Award recognizing the best oral abstract presentation at this year’s meeting.

Congratulations, Dr. Vishal Nigam!

Congratulations to Dr. Vishal Nigam on receiving an RO1 National Institutes of Health grant. The grant will be used to study novel echocardiography analysis of developing hearts, in which echo data will be used to improve the understanding of mechanics of blood flow through the heart. This data will then be used to develop and validate computational models of fetal and neonatal ventricular growth.

In addition, Dr. Nigam will study induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes from congenital heart patients to model disease. Here, Dr. Nigam seeks to elucidate the role of biomechanical responsive pathways in the pathogenesis of this severe heart defect and, thereby, provide the basis of novel pharmacological treatments for hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS) patients. The goal is to understand the molecular characteristics of HLHS cardiomyocytes and determine how these conditions are altered by various therapies. Induced pluripotent stem cells (IPS cells) are a new platform for studying cardiac diseases, making it possible to grow heart cells from the tissues of patients with different genetic mutations. Dr. Nigam seeks to create useful models of HLHS to better understand the characteristics of HLHS cardiomyocytes.

8th Annual Pediatric Research Symposium

Congratulations to the Cardiology and Cardiovascular Surgery teams for submitting 14 abstracts for this year’s Annual Pediatric Research Symposium.