R.I. Hospital gets $7.36M
for cardiovascular research

Rhode Island Hospital’s Cardiovascular Research Center has received a $7.36 million grant to research cardiac arrest from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health. More

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life sciences

R.I. Hospital gets $7.36M
for cardiovascular research

COURTESY RHODE ISLAND HOSPITAL
The research aims to develop new therapies and approaches to preventing sudden cardiac arrest – when the heart stops pumping blood to the brain and organs – which affects over 300,000 people each year, according to a Lifespan press release.
Posted 10/14/13

PROVIDENCE – Rhode Island Hospital’s Cardiovascular Research Center has received a $7.36 million grant to research cardiac arrest from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health.

The research aims to develop new therapies and approaches to preventing sudden cardiac arrest – when the heart stops pumping blood to the brain and organs – which affects over 300,000 people each year, according to a Lifespan press release.

Dr. Gideon Koren, director of the Cardiovascular Research Center, said the research team is comprised of 12 experimentalists and computational biologists from the center, Brown University, and several other universities.

When it comes to cardiac arrhythmia, most people fall into the “safe zone,” meaning they are unlikely to experience irregular heartbeats,” Koren said. But some of those people transition into the “unsafe zone,” they experience cardiac arrest, and may die within minutes.

The team has developed an experimental system that allows them to study the shift between the safe and unsafe zones. They are examining how cardiac arrhythmia spreads from a single cell to a group of cells, and finally, to the entire heart, Koren said, causing an “electric storm” that kills the patient. The goal is to develop new therapies that will stop these electrical storms.

The center started eight years ago and has since grown into one of the largest cardiovascular research centers with 43 investigators, Koren said.

The new grant, which is the largest of its kind in Lifespan’s history, will be distributed over a five-year period in approximately $1.5 million increments.

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