Cardiac MRI and Blood Markers

Olga Toro-Salazar, MD, Director of Noninvasive Imaging, received a $250,000 grant to support her research on cardiac MRI and blood markers used to identify early predictors of heart damage among pediatric cancer patients. Her research will allow for the development of new therapies to keep young patients’ hearts healthy as they grow into adults.

Dr. Toro-Salazar was one of 41 recipients across the United States honored with a 2012 Hyundai Hope Grant.

Immunodeficiency, Fontan Screening, and the Psychological Impact of CHD

Brooke T. Davey, MD, Director of the Echocardiography Laboratory, is the principal investigator for several research projects at Connecticut Children’s. T-Cell receptor excision circles: a novel approach to identify immunodeficiency in newborns with congenital heart disease is a cooperative effort with the Connecticut Newborn Screening Network to study pediatric patients with cardiac disease at Connecticut Children’s and Yale-New Haven Health. It has enrolled 581 children with congenital heart disease in Connecticut and evaluates T-cell Receptor Excision Circles (TREC) levels drawn during newborn screening and their role as a biomarker of immunodeficiency in this population.

Dr. Davey is also the principal investigator for the project parental reaction and psychological coping after diagnosis of congenital heart disease. In addition, she is a member of the New England Congenital Cardiology Association Fontan Working Group. She designed and implemented surveillance and screening of the Fontan patient, a survey for congenital cardiology providers within New England exploring the surveillance and management of low- and high-risk Fontan patients. The results of this survey will inform future research on single ventricle patients in New England.

Dr. Davey is committed to advancing the research program within the Division of Cardiology at Connecticut Children’s with the ultimate goal of providing evidence behind screening and management decisions to optimize care for patients with congenital heart disease.