I am motivated to pursue this specialized area of research due to the high number of heart failure patients that have poor treatment. My ideas for a new imaging modality to study heart failure will push the field to better understand mechanisms in heart failure.
Thousands of heart failure patients have very poor outcomes and suffer when performing daily tasks. I am motivated to improve their quality of life by designing and testing this new imaging tool to better understand how failing hearts respond to increased work.
The heart has intrinsic mechanisms in place to temporarily compensate for poor energy supply and demand. This is particularly evident in heart failure, where failing muscle can still respond to moderate work. However, when the heart is overly stressed, the tissue may respond poorly and create an environment where life-threatening arrhythmias may occur. To better understand the regional distribution of this poor energy supply across the heart, I have developed an imaging solution to quantify the spatiotemporal distribution of these energetics in the heart.
Why is this important?
This research is important since it will improve the understanding and treatment of heart failure. Recently, expert consensus has called for a better understanding of cardiac energy supply and demand as a way forward in developing better therapeutics for heart failure patients. This project will fill that need, where drugs can be tested in hearts and the resulting energetics across the heart can be visualized and thus quantified. This will provide a platform for specialized drug manufacture, as well as provide a new diagnostic tool for use in the clinic.
Who will benefit?
This research project will directly impact clinicians who treat heart failure patients, by bolstering their understanding of the distribution of energy supply and demand across failing heart tissue. Heart failure patients will have improved treatment due to this increased knowledge.