Press Release 03.06.14


TSFRE Awards $375,000 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 18, 2015) – 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 winning applications,” said TSFRE President, John H. Calhoon, MD. “Each application was analyzed thoroughly. It was a tough decision, but these 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. In 2014, he became TSFRE President; he is preceded by TSFRE Past President, G. Alexander Patterson, MD.

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

1. Ravi K. Ghanta, MD, TSFRE Research Grant, $80,000, “Therapeutic Mechanical Modification of Myocardial Infarcts with Tunable Nanofibers to Prevent Ventricular Remodeling”
2. Ann C. Gaffey, MD, TSFRE Braunwald Fellowship, $60,000, “A Novel, Vascularized Clinically Translatable Tissue Engineered Construct to Provide Aniogenic Endothelial Projenitor Cell Therapy to Treat Ischemic Cardiomyopathy”
3. Emily A. Downs, MD, TSFRE Braunwald Fellowship, $60,000, “Anisotrophic Reinforcement of Acute Right Ventricular Dysfunction”
4. Dawn S. Hui, MD, TSFRE Simulation Grant, $15,000, “Defining Nontechnical Predictors and Number of Repetitions to Reach Technical Skill Proficiency on Coronary Anastomosis Simulation Prior to Patient Experience”
5. Linda W. Martin, MD, Carolyn E. Reed Traveling Fellowship, $10,000, “Robotic Thoracic Surgery at the University of Alabama at Birmingham”
6. Edward Cantu, MD, NIH Matching K23 Grant, $150,000, “Lung Transplant Donor: Prediction, Evaluation, and Mechanism”

The TSFRE was established in 1988 as a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit charitable organization. Representatives from the four leading thoracic surgery societies – the American Association for Thoracic Surgery (AATS), the Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS), the Southern Thoracic Surgical Association (STSA), and the Western Thoracic Surgical Association (WTSA) – serve on the TSFRE Board of Directors. 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