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October 10, 2007
  Penn Awarded NIH Grant to Study Cardiovascular Disease Management

PHILADELPHIA – Cardiac researchers at the University of Pennsylvania have received a $2.1 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to pioneer studies in cardiovascular disease management and participate in a novel collaboration network to develop and implement research in this critically important field.

Penn is one of eight centers throughout the United States and Canada to be a named a Clinical Coordinating Center in the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI)-funded Clinical Research Network. This network will fund the creation of research and clinical trials that will answer questions in cardiothoracic surgery that have eluded researchers thus far.

The eight institutions that comprise the Cardiothoracic Surgical Network will collaborate over a five-year period to improve current technologies and create new ones to treat cardiovascular disease. “The establishment of this network will result in great benefit for patients. It also encourages leaders in cardiovascular surgery to share ideas, information, data and results,” said Michael Acker, M.D., Chief of Cardiovascular Surgery at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, and Principal Investigator for the grant.

“By enhancing the ability of research teams to evaluate new techniques, technologies and devices, the network promises to improve the scientific basis of care in cardiovascular disease,” said Elizabeth G. Nabel, M.D., Director of the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health.

As a clinical coordinating center, the Penn researchers will:

  • Propose protocols and participate in protocol development
  • Screen and recruit cardiac surgery for up to 5 randomized clinical studies in cardiac surgery
  • Develop strategies to encourage referrals from other specialty areas
  • Draft publications and distribute research findings
  • Collaborate with other centers

The seven other heart centers participating in this landmark NIH study are: the Cleveland Clinic, Columbia University, Duke Medical Center, Emory University, Montefiore-Einstein Heart Center, University of Virginia and the Montreal Heart Institute.


PENN Medicine is a $3.5 billion enterprise dedicated to the related missions of medical education, biomedical research, and excellence in patient care. PENN Medicine consists of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine (founded in 1765 as the nation's first medical school) and the University of Pennsylvania Health System.

Penn's School of Medicine is currently ranked #3 in the nation in U.S.News & World Report's survey of top research-oriented medical schools; and, according to most recent data from the National Institutes of Health, received over $379 million in NIH research funds in the 2006 fiscal year. Supporting 1,400 fulltime faculty and 700 students, the School of Medicine is recognized worldwide for its superior education and training of the next generation of physician-scientists and leaders of academic medicine.

The University of Pennsylvania Health System includes three hospitals — its flagship hospital, the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, rated one of the nation’s “Honor Roll” hospitals by U.S.News & World Report; Pennsylvania Hospital, the nation's first hospital; and Penn Presbyterian Medical Center — a faculty practice plan; a primary-care provider network; two multispecialty satellite facilities; and home care and hospice.


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