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The Cardiovascular Research Program is a joint partnership between the Research Institute and the Heart Institute led by Dr. Vaughn Starnes, who contributes significantly to its vision and financial support. The goal of the Cardiovascular Research Program is to support and advance the pediatric and adult cardiac and vascular programs through basic and applied research activities. The basic science research activities take place in the laboratories on the 4th floor of The Saban Research Institute, and the clinical research is carried out at Childrens Hospital Los Angeles and in the laboratories at the USC Health Science Campus (HSC).

At the Saban Research Institute of Childrens Hospital Los Angeles, Cardiovascular research is carried out by independent principal investigators. In a broad sense, these three areas comprise:

  • Heart Valve Biomechanics and Tissue Engineering
  • Molecular Aspects of Organ Graft Rejection
  • Mechanisms of Graft Fibrosis

The immediate goals of the Program are to establish the world-class presence of heart valve research in The Saban Research Institute, and to expand research in tissue engineering and computational modeling, and to identify new synergies within the group for continuing our pioneering work in basic and applied cardiovascular research.


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