At the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Heart Center, we’re committed to improving prevention and treatment of heart disease in children so that they can lead healthier lives. Our researchers are seeking innovative ways to improve the lives of children born with congenital heart disease (CHD) as they reach school age to prevent and treat the effects it has on children and teens.
We treat more than 40,000 heart patients each year and work closely with neighboring academic partners, including Emory University School of Medicine and Georgia Institute of Technology, to develop pediatric heart research. These research partnerships, combined with our experience in treating congenital heart defects in children of all ages, have allowed us to become a national leader in heart disease research.
The Emory University and Children’s Pediatric Research Unit is one of nine core sites in the Pediatric Heart Network (PHN). Created and funded by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute—part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH)—the PHN is a collaboration of clinical sites and a data coordinating center that conducts research studies in children with heart disease.
Learn more about the Pediatric Heart Network.
3D-printed heart valves that grow
Mike Davis, PhD, is leading the way in 3D-printed heart valve research for children with CHD by eliminating the need for multiple valve replacement surgeries as they grow.
The Children’s Heart Research and Outcomes Center (HeRO) is a research partnership between Children’s, Emory University and the Walter H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering at the Georgia Tech College of Engineering. HeRO seeks to reduce the morbidity of pediatric heart disease and leads the transformation of focused cardiac research into innovative therapies for young patients. Some of the primary focus areas of this research include regenerative and nanomedicine technologies, cardiac development, cardiac outcomes, cardiac devices and neurodevelopmental studies.
HeRO strives to create the next generation of pediatric-specific therapies through cutting-edge research using nanotechnology and stem cells, resulting in a better understanding of normal and abnormal cardiovascular development. Our researchers look at the whole picture and consider what will happen to these children from a neurodevelopmental standpoint as they age. By studying daily function and long-term outcomes, HeRO aims to have a better understanding of how to help children with heart disease regain normal function. This approach blends fundamental basic science with translational and clinical medicine to improve the quality of life for children with congenital heart disease.
At the Children’s Heart Center, we work closely with other pediatric heart centers across the country and use innovative technology to develop treatments for pediatric heart disease so that our patients can live healthy lives. Our pediatric heart research collaborations include:
Congenital Catheterization Research Collaborative (CCRC)
The Children’s Heart Center is home to the CCRC, which is a multicenter research consortium studying outcomes following catheterizations, and surgical and nonsurgical interventions. Nine other centers are involved. Since founding the CCRC in 2014, our team has received numerous awards and authored many publications.
Pediatric Heart Network
As one of 10 core sites in this NIH multicenter collaboration, we are working to define best practices for treating pediatric heart disease. We are leading a network investigation of collaborative learning to improve postoperative management.
Children’s Heart Research and Outcomes Center (HeRO)
HeRO is a dedicated research center focused on problems associated with pediatric heart diseases. The center promotes partnership of scientists with pediatric cardiologists and cardiothoracic (CT) surgeons at the Heart Center to align basic research with patient-oriented studies aiming to improve the lives of children with heart disease.
Cardiovascular Imaging Research Core (CIRC)
We provide noninvasive imaging services, including electrocardiogram (ECG), echocardiography, stress test, stress echocardiography and cardiac MRI, for cardiovascular research involving infants, children and adolescents. The CIRC has dedicated space, equipment and staff to provide quality cardiovascular imaging data that is systematically collected.
We provide investigators across the country with advanced pediatric cardiovascular imaging services and research support. In collaboration with Georgia Tech, our CT surgeons use imaging to reconstruct a heart in 3D before surgery. This enables surgeons to better plan an operation based on the unique features of a patient’s heart.
- Paul J. Chai, MD, Chief of Cardiothoracic Surgery and Co-Chief of the Children’s Heart Center
- William T. Mahle, MD, Chief of Cardiology and Co-Chief of the Children’s Heart Center
- Holly Bauser-Heaton, MD, PhD
- Erin Buckley, PhD
- Hee Cheol Cho, PhD
- Michael Davis, PhD, FAHA
- Lazaros Kochilas, MD
- Jennifer Q. Kwong, PhD
- Josh T. Maxwell, PhD
- Matthew Oster, MD, MPH
- Sung Jin Park, PhD
- Vahid Serpooshan, PhD
- Chunhui Xu, PhD