Our clinical research team specializes in a variety of themes related to cardiovascular disease. It is our goal as a division that through clinical research, we can improve the care and treatment of our patients. Learn more about our clinical research efforts below.

Research within each of these themes include:

Advanced Heart Failure and Pulmonary Vascular Disease

The section of Advanced Heart Failure and Pulmonary Vascular Disease is a big part of UAB's Cardiovascular Clinical Trial Unit. We are actively participating in a number of clinical trials and national registries. Our focus is on HFrEF including familal, dilated cardiomyopathy, HFpEF including amyloid cardiomyopathy, pulmonary arterial hypertension, and pulmonary hypertension due to heart disease and due to lung disease. In particular, we are investigating (1) device therapies such as LVAD and cardioMEMS, (2) allogeneic cell therapy, (3) autonomic regulation therapy, and (4) pharmaceutical drugs such as sacubitril-valsartan, treprostinil, and tafamidis. Finally, we are enrolling patients in trials aimed at improving health system processes, in order to optimize care for patients with heart failure.

Our fellows frequently capitalize on the diversity and volume of pathology we manage here at UAB, and have published case reports, case series, retrospective analyses, and physiology studies featured in high impact journals such as Circulation: Heart Failure, Journal of Cardiac Failure, JACC: Cardiovascular Interventions, ASAIO, and American Journal of Cardiology. Our section is uniquely suited to multidisciplinary collaboration with the Departments of Medicine and Pathology, as well as UAB's School of Engineering. We also partner with the Department of Surgery and our colleagues at STS INTERMACS (Interagency Registry for Mechanically Assisted Circulatory Support), which has been headquartered here at UAB since it was first established in 2005.

Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance Imaging

Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is dedicated to providing cutting-edge patient care through state of the art clinical diagnostic imaging, the training of cardiologists, and innovative and interdisciplinary research.

Clinical Electrophysiology

Electrophysiology is a leading participant in clinical trials that evaluate catheter ablation and implantable device therapy for faster, more efficient, diagnosis, and treatment. Our focus is on improving the procedures and devices used in the treatment of atrial fibrillation and ventricular tachycardia.

Echocardiography

UAB's Echocardiography laboratory was the first to introduce color Doppler to the United States, and continues to develop new approaches to cardiac imaging. UAB is internationally known for its non-invasive innovations.

Interventional Cardiology

This internationally renowned comprehensive clinical and research program centers around life-improving and life-saving solutions for patients with advanced heart failure and pulmonary vascular disease.

Device and therapeutics evaluation that focuses on both vascular and structural heart disease:

• Balloon valvuloplasty for valvular stenosis using intracardiac echo
• Atrial septal defect and patent foramen ovale percutaneous closure
• Distal and microvascular protection
• Contrast nephropathy
• Novel stent designs
• Peripheral and cerebrovascular/intracranial stenting
• Gene therapy for angiomyogenesis
• Alcohol septal ablation for hypertrophic obstructive cardiomyopathy

Nuclear Cardiology

The UAB Nuclear Cardiology Research Program involves large single and multi-center trials and investigator-initiated projects that deal with imaging specific and disease specific problems. The emphasis is on new ideas that impact patient care.

We focus on imaging specific and disease specific problems, including the following:

• Cardiac disorders (such as coronary heart disease and LV dyssynchrony)
• Diabetes mellitus
• Chronic kidney disease

Vascular Biology and Hypertension

The Vascular Biology and Hypertension Program focuses on molecular and cellular approaches to important problems in cardiovascular medicine. Active in clinical trials include novel therapeutic agents for hypertension, dyslipidemia, diabetes/insulin resistance and obesity.

Fundamental aspects of hypertension and vascular biology research. Ongoing investigations include assessment of:

  • the role of inflammation in the response to acute vascular injury and its modulation by sex hormones and peptide mimetics of high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol
  • the role of natriuretic peptide signaling and mineralocorticoid receptor antagonism in protecting against adverse remodeling in the pressure-overloaded heart
  • the molecular pathogenesis of hypoxic pulmonary hypertension and pulmonary vascular remodeling
  • novel approaches to the treatment of resistant hypertension and atherosclerotic disease

In addition, the program is active in clinical trials of novel therapeutic agents for hypertension, dyslipidemia, diabetes/insulin resistance and obesity.