Press Release 02.25.15


TSFRE Awards $270,000 in New Grants to Support Cardiothoracic Surgery Research
Awards aim to help expand the specialty’s knowledge about cardiothoracic surgical treatment options, enhance the care of patients, and develop the skills of cardiothoracic surgeons

CHICAGO, IL (February 25, 2015) – The Thoracic Surgery Foundation for Research and Education (TSFRE) announced six new cardiothoracic surgery research grants to support young investigators.

“The TSFRE is pleased to fund the work of these six researchers. A committee of 22 cardiothoracic surgery research leaders in the field, including representatives from the nation’s best academic institutions, selected the most worthy applications,” said TSFRE President John H. Calhoon, MD. “Each application was analyzed thoroughly. It was a tough decision, but six proposals rose to the top. We know their contributions to the field will be significant.”

Dr. Calhoon is Professor and Chair of Cardiothoracic Surgery at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio and he has been on the faculty there for over two decades.

The TSFRE Board of Directors accepted the recommendation of the TSFRE Research Committee and voted unanimously and enthusiastically to support the following projects:

1. Bryan A. Whitson, MD, PhD, The Ohio State University, Research Grant, $80,000, MG53 Mitigation of Ischemia-Reperfusion Injury in Lung Transplantation: Mechanisms of Action in Ex-Vivo Lung Perfusion

2. Bo Yang, MD, University of Michigan, Research Grant, $80,000, Determining the Effect of TGFBR Mutations on Myocardin-dependent Smooth Muscle Differentiation Using Human iPS Cells

3. Heidi J. Reich, MD, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Braunwald Fellowship, $30,000, Repeat Dosing of Allogeneic Cardiosphere-derived Cells After Myocardial Infarction in Immunocompetent Rats

4. Hanghang Wang, MD, Duke University Medical Center, Braunwald Fellowship, $60,000, Metabolomic and MicroRNA Signatures in Peripheral Blood of Patients with Thoracic Aortic Aneurysm

5. Jessica S. Donington, MD, NYU School of Medicine, Carolyn E. Reed Fellowship, $10,000, Robotic Thoracic Surgery at the University of Alabama at Birmingham

6. Melanie A. Edwards, MD, Saint Louis University, Carolyn E. Reed Fellowship, $10,000, Robotic Thoracic Surgery at the University of Alabama at Birmingham

TSFRE is a pivotal force for growth and vitality in cardiothoracic surgery, especially for research and academic career development. TSFRE was first established in 1988 as a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit charitable organization and is the charitable arm of The Society of Thoracic Surgeons. The foundation represents thoracic surgery in the United States and its research and educational initiatives support the broad spectrum of thoracic surgery. The mission of TSFRE is to foster the development of surgeon scientists in cardiothoracic surgery; increasing knowledge and innovation to benefit patient care.

Contact: Priscilla S. Kennedy, TSFRE Executive Director