Please also see the archives
for the president's "Heart to Heart" e-newsletter.
February 23, 2015
Texas Heart Institute and The University of Texas System renew affiliation agreement
Texas Heart Institute (THI) and The University of Texas System renewed
their decade-plus affiliation that allows them to collaborate on many
fronts. The agreement has allowed UT System and THI to work together to
recruit world-class scientists and cardiac specialists; provide
internships and training for students; and engage in many cooperative
efforts. Read more about the chancelor's visit to Houston on his blog.
(left to right), Denton A. Cooley, MD, president emeritus, THI; William
H. McRaven, chancellor, The University of Texas System; James T.
Willerson, MD, president, THI; David M. Grimes, chairman, THI Board of
Trustees; back row (L to R) Fred Zeidman; Bud Frazier, MD; Randa Safady, PhD; Doris Taylor, PhD; Billy Cohn, MD; John Greer
February 19, 2015
Pastor heeded warning signs of stroke
The Rev. Kirbyjon Caldwell drove to the Texas Heart
Institute at CHI St. Luke's Health-Baylor, and by the time he needed to
sign medical forms, he couldn't sign his name with his right hand. "At
the risk of sounding like a preacher, the Lord impressed upon me, 'Go to
the ER now,' " said Caldwell, who is 61. Dr. James T. Willerson,
Pastor Caldwell's cardiologist, says that a stroke patient's best
prognosis comes when he or she - women have more strokes than men -
recognizes the symptoms of a stroke and gets to a hospital within an
hour of its occurrence. Read more in The Houston Chronicle.
February 11, 2015
Heart disease risk can start in childhood
Though heart disease is not a major cause of death among children and
teenagers, it is the largest cause of death among adults in the United
States. There is a death every 37 seconds from some form of
cardiovascular disease, according to Texas Heart Institute. Read more in the Paris Post-Intelligencer.
February 5, 2015
Pioneers of Regeneration
Across the Texas Medical Center, scientists and physicians are
leveraging stem cell and regenerative medicine research to usher in a
new era of treatment.
In the world of regenerative medicine, the realm of science fiction is
infiltrating the domain of real science. At Texas Heart Institute,
cadaverous pig hearts, stripped of their cellular makeup, exude stark,
ethereal beauty while cardiac tissue stem cells pulse rhythmically in a
dish. Read more in TMC Pulse.
February 3, 2015
Occidental Petroleum Recognized for $4 Million Gift to Fund THI’s Cardiovascular Research
Officials with the Texas Heart Institute (THI) at CHI St. Luke’s
Health-Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center announced today a gift from
Houston-based Occidental Petroleum Corporation of $4 million to support
research to prevent, treat and cure cardiovascular disease.
“We are very grateful to Occidental for their generous gift that will
help us change and save many lives,” said THI President James T.
Willerson, MD. “We applaud Occidental for recognizing that heart disease
is the No. 1 threat to the health of their workforce and to the people
of the world.”
January 18, 2015
In Dr. Denton Cooley's recent letter to the editor of
the Houston Chronicle, he congratulates Texas Children's Hospital on its
announced plans to enlarge its facilities for care of children with
cardiovascular anomalies and disease. Read more in the Houston Chronicle.
December 15, 2014
The echoes of hearts long silenced
The artist, Dario Robleto, was doing research on
artificial hearts for a conceptual art installation in Houston when he
met the historian, Patrick Feaster, while both were on a fellowship at
the Smithsonian Institution in 2011. Using modern digital processing,
they have given sound to some of the earliest written recordings of
pulses and heartbeats.
To Dr. O. H. Frazier, a cardiac surgeon and researcher
at the Texas Heart Institute in Houston (and a co-inventor of a beatless
artificial heart), the recordings “open up a new arena to be studied.” Read more in the New York Times.
December 15, 2014
British Cardiac Pioneer Sir Terence English Receives THI’s 2014 Ray C. Fish Award for Scientific Achievement
Sir Terence English KBE, a pioneer in cardiac surgery who performed
Britain’s first successful heart transplant, has been named the
recipient of the 2014 Ray C. Fish Award for Scientific Achievement,
presented annually by the Texas Heart Institute.
November 24, 2014
Hispanic mothers of large families in danger of this heart issue
Hispanic women with five or more children are more likely to
develop the heart condition, ventricular diastolic dysfunction, compared
to women who have fewer children. Women who have ventricular diastolic
dysfunction experience an abnormal heart pumping cycle. According to the
Texas Heart Institute, electrical signals in the heart muscle cause it
to contract, pushing blood from the top chambers to the lower chambers.
In people who have diastolic dysfunction, the lower chambers of the
heart fail to relax while blood is being pumped into them. Read more in LaOpinion.
November 19, 2014
Capstone Pioneers in health science careers
Students from Capstone College and Career Advising recently toured the
Texas Heart Institute as part of their initiative, Capstone Pioneers, a
group formed to help students explore their dream careers. Student
Joseph Goodwin spoke of the impact that meeting Dr. Denton Cooley
had on on him during the tour, "When I heard Dr. Cooley say, this is
what it's all about, that he was able to save the life of another person
through his work—this definitely inspired me to continue on my path to
becoming a surgeon and being able to help and save lives just as Dr.
Cooley has done.” Read more in Tyler Morning Telegraph.
November 17, 2014
Medical Breakthroughs Made In Texas: The Future of Medicine is Stem Cell Research
Doris Taylor, Ph.D. at Houston’s Texas Heart Institute
is regenerating hearts and lungs in awe inspiring work. Imagine not
having to wait on a heart transplant donor, but to have a new perfectly
matched heart made from your own stem cells. Read more in Texas CEO Magazine.
November 17, 2014
November 5, 2014
Center for Cell and Organ Biotechnology convenes external Commercialization Advisory Group
Female stem cells could be better for heart repair, disease treatment
Some of the
most prominent diseases that older people have to fight - heart
disease, diabetes, age-related degenerative diseases and other disorders
- may meet their match in the coming decade with the development of
stem cell therapies. And when it comes time to enter the ring, research
shows you may want to place your bets on female stem cells to pack the
stronger punch. "We always knew women were awesome," said Dr. Doris Taylor, director of Regenerative Medicine Research at the Texas Heart Institute. "Now we have science to back it up." Read more in Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
November 13, 2014
Texas Heart Institute Announces Appointment of Dr. David A. Ott as Surgeon-in-Chief
Dr. Denton A. Cooley, founder and President Emeritus of the Texas Heart
Institute (THI) and Dr. James T. Willerson, President of THI, have
announced the appointment of Dr. David A. Ott as THI’s Surgeon-in-Chief.
Dr. Ott, who has been a member of the THI professional staff for 35
years, succeeds Dr. Cooley, who held the position for the past 50 years
and now will be Surgeon-in-Chief Emeritus.
November 6, 2014
Deep in the Heart of Texas
Dr. Denton Cooley is one of the most respected heart surgeons in the world.
He is the man who implanted the first total artificial heart and saved
more than 100,000 people's lives. One of those lives saved is from
Tyler, 50 years ago, and that person got to reunite with the doctor who
repaired her heart and gave her another chance at life. Read more at KETK NBC news.
The Center for Cell and Organ Biotechnology convened its External
Commercialization Advisory Group here on Nov. 4, 2014, to discuss
commercialization opportunities for the research collaboration between
the Texas Heart Institute and the Texas A&M University College of
Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences. The group is chaired by Dr. Richard Dixon
, director of THI’s Wafic Said Molecular Cardiology Research Lab.
October 20, 2014
Radically changing human life
THI's Dr. Doris Taylor is leading a team competing for the Palo Alto Longevity Prize -
aimed at extending the healthy human lifespan beyond its current
limits. The new health-related incentive prize competition pays $1
million to the winner and reflects a turning tide in the way that
doctors and scientists look at aging. Go to the McGill Daily to find out more.
October 14, 2014
THI begins study to help identify patients at increased risk for heart attacks
Heart Institute at Baylor St. Luke's Medical Center is enrolling
participants in the Lipid-Rich Plaque (LRP) Study - a large-scale,
multi-center, international study aimed at linking the presence of LRP, a
type of fatty coronary artery plaque, to the occurrence of a heart
attack or other cardiac event. Read more in the Spring Observer.
October 6, 2014October 2, 2014THI Grateful Beneficiary of $5 million ExxonMobil Gift for Cardiovascular Research
ExxonMobil donates $18 million to top Houston health institutions
ExxonMobil said it is donating $18 million to the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Texas Heart Institute
and Texas Children's Hospital for research, prevention programs and
patient care. "These world-renowned institutions are helping improve the
health and lives of families in the greater Houston area and around the
world, and we're proud to support their important mission," said Rex W.
Tillerson, Exxon Mobil Corp.'s chairman and CEO. Houston Chronicle
Officials with the Texas Heart Institute at CHI St. Luke’s Health-Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center expressed
their gratitude today to ExxonMobil for a pledge of $5 million to fund
ground-breaking cardiovascular research. It is the largest such
corporate gift in the more than 50-year history of the nonprofit Texas
September 24, 2014
Study aimed at
linking the presence of LRP, a type of fatty coronary artery plaque to heart attack
Heart® Institute (THI) at CHI St. Luke’s Health–Baylor St. Luke’s
Medical Center announced today that it is enrolling participants in the
Lipid-Rich Plaque (LRP) Study - a large-scale, multi-center,
international study aimed at linking the presence of LRP, a type of
fatty coronary artery plaque, to the occurrence of a heart attack or
other cardiac event.
September 23, 2014
Known as "Trip" to his many friends, Dr. Ward Casscells
was an admired colleague, a brilliant and caring physician-scientist,
and an American patriot who dedicated his life to serving others. His
impact on THI was and still is profound and we miss him. This Forbes article reflects the high esteem he carried with all his associates.
September 23, 2014
Dr. Deborah Ellen Meyers,
medical director of Heart Failure Programs at THI, and her team works
together with clergy, pharmacists, social workers, and psychologists to
address the spiritual, physical, and emotional concerns that arise
during treatment of advanced illness. Read more at Health for America.
September 18, 2014
Two THI scientists named to the executive committee for the 2015 Medical World Americas Conference
Dr. Todd K. Rosengart, DeBakey-Bard Chair of Surgery at Baylor College of Medicine and a professor and a research scientist at THI, and Dr. Doris Taylor, director of Regenerative Medicine Research at THI, are among 17 members recently announced as participants on the Medical World America's Conference and Expo Executive Committee.
The committee represents expertise ranging from health policy and
ethics to nursing and chronic diseases. The second annual event will be
held April 27-29, 2015 at Houston’s George R. Brown Convention Center.
September 16, 2014
Experts debate implications of relaxed blood pressure target for high-risk patients
THI's Dr. Amy Woodruff was interviewed by Cardiology Today concerning the recent review published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology that discusses the recommended lower BP target for high-risk groups and its implications. Read more.
September 15, 2014
THI named top 100 hospitals and health systems with great heart programs
Hospital Review has named Texas Heart Institute as one of the top "100
hospitals and health systems with great heart programs" on its list for
The hospitals on the list lead the nation in
cardiovascular and thoracic healthcare. Many have pioneered
groundbreaking procedures, and all have received recognition for
top-of-the-line patient care.
September 12, 2014
THI mourns the loss of Charles Washington, one of the longest surviving heart transplant recipients
Heart Institute expresses its most sincere condolences to the family of
Charles A. Washington, Sr., of Oak Ridge, Tenn., who at the time of his
death on Sept. 7, 2014, was one of the longest surviving heart
Washington, a research chemist retired
from the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, underwent his transplant at THI
on March 27, 1983.
During a visit to THI in November 2012, after the 29th anniversary of his transplant,
Washington, then age 75, described his new heart, which he said, “began
beating automatically [at the end of his surgery] and it hasn’t
He added, “I’ve seen all of my children grow up and
become adults. I’ve seen my grandchildren be born and some of them are
married. And I’ve seen some of my great-grandchildren grow up and
become contributing members of society.”
In a 2011 article,
Washington told his hometown newspaper, The Oakridger, that he would be
forever grateful to the family of a 18-year-old heart donor who was the
victim of a motorcycle accident.
Receiving a donated heart, he
said, "is one of the most civilizing things someone can get when you
think about your relationship with God."
Dr. O.H. “Bud
Frazier, who performed the transplant surgery, said, “We are humbled
that we were able to help Mr. Washington live such a full life. He was a
remarkable man and an inspiration to us all for more than 30 years.”
is survived by his son, Charles A. (Jody) Washington Jr.; daughter,
Charlotte (J.R.) Jeffreys; grandchildren, Mankell, Shavi, Charles, III,
Christopher, Colin, and Austin, and host of great-grandchildren.
Funeral services are scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 20, at First Presbyterian Church in Oak Ridge, Tenn.
September 10, 2014
Read food labels correctly to lower heart disease risk, physician says
an interview with the health and medical information site WebMD,
cardiologist Mehdi Razavi, MD, says food labels can be your biggest
friend or your worst enemy. While food labels contain useful information
that can help you take charge of your health, they can also be
confusing and even misleading if you don't know how to properly
interpret the information they provide. To view tips and become
food-label "savvy," read more in Las Vegas News and Web MD.
September 9, 2014Hacking the code on aging
THI's Dr. Doris Taylor
is leading a team to "hack the aging code" in a new health-related incentive prize competition - the $1 million Palo Alto Longevity Prize.
The event challenges 11 teams from all over the world to solve the underlying process of aging. Read more about the teams and their projects at the Washington Post.
September 4, 2014
Seizures and Sudden Death
THI's Dr. Edward Yeh, chair of cardiology at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, published research that shows a gene crucial for brain and heart development may also be associated with sudden unexplained death in epilepsy. Read more at M.D. Anderson News.
September 3, 2014The Cooley Legacy
legacy of Dr. Denton A. Cooley reaches far beyond the walls of the
Texas Heart Institute. It is alive in the patients around the world
whose hearts are still beating today because of Cooley and his team.
treating patients to developing new surgical techniques or mechanical
assist devices, THI has been impacting lives for 52 years. For those who
have worked alongside Cooley in that time, credit is due, in no small
part, to his personal commitment to the institute and the patients. Read TMC News article.
August 26, 2014Artificial heart that skips the beat
xas Heart Institute BiVACOR total artificial heart project is listed as one of "25 ideas to change the world" in the Australian newspaper, The Courier Mail. Instead of using a pumping action to maintain a continuous flow of blood throughout the body,the BiVACOR device propels blood using blades which rotate at 2000 times per minute and is the size of a fist.Read more here.
August 25, 2014Dr. Stephanie Coulter
, director of Texas Heart Institute's Center for Women's Heart & Vascular Health, discusses how the chances of dying from heart disease and stroke—the number one causes of death in America—have decreased by 50 percent in the last 20 years due to factors such as reduced smoking and improved medicines. See more at CW 39.
August 14, 2014Depths of human heart meet science and art in solo exhibit
Artist Dario Robleto explores the history of the human heartbeat in his new exhibition,
The Boundary of Life is Quietly Crossed,
to be showcased at the Menil Collection from August 16-January 11, 2015.
The installation and series of public talks will link together the earliest historical attempts to record and visualize the human pulse and heartbeat, the female brain wave and heartbeat recordings onboard a NASA probe at the edge of the Solar System, and recent developments in artificial heart research that suggest a “beatless” heart may hold the answers for this life-saving technology to progress. Houston Chronicle.
August 12, 2014How to protect your heart in the heat
An estimated 675 Americans die of heat-related health problems every year — more deaths than from hurricanes, tornadoes, and any other weather event combined, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Although anyone can have a problem in the heat, the hottest days are particularly hard on
those with atrial fibrillation (afib)
and other heart conditions, the Texas Heart Institute warns. Visit the Everyday Health website to read more.
August 1, 2014Houston scientist tackles medicine's big questions
, PhD, director of regenerative medicine research at the Texas Heart Institute, is using a "ghost heart" as a framework to build a new heart with stem cells. Houston Chronicle
June 5, 2014
Stem Cells: Men vs Women
Dr. Doris Taylor
and her research team at Texas Heart Institute are looking at differences between men and women's stem cells. Women's stem cells seem to have advantages. See more at KPRC-TV Channel 2 Houston
May 12, 2014
Surgeon Reflects on Distinguished Career
In a May 12 Houston Chronicle feature article, Texas Heart Institute surgeon Dr. O.H. "Bud" Frazier, who holds the record for performing more heart transplants than any other surgeon in the world, discusses his 30 years of work to develop heart-assist devices such as the continuous-flow pump. Frazier's contributions will be celebrated May 15 at a fundraiser for Texas Heart Institute and CHI St. Luke's Health at the St. Regis Houston. View a video of Frazier's career which debuts at the event.
May 7, 2014
Texas A&M Students Place Second in Bioengineering Contest with Help from THI Physician
team of Texas A&M University biomedical engineering students,
mentored and advised by Dr. Mehdi Razavi, director of Electrophysiology
Clinical Research at Texas Heart Institute, took second place in the
university's annual Engineering Projects Showcase. Dr. Razavi's team was
recognized for its invention of a small, electronic, early-detection
device to alert congestive heart failure patients about fluid build-up
in their lungs so they can seek treatment before the condition warrants
hospitalization. Read more about the device here.
May 7, 2014
Surgeon's Contributions Highlighted
Heart Institute surgeon Dr. O.H. "Bud" Frazier is profiled in the cover
story for the Texas Medical Center Corporation's magazine, TMC Pulse. Read more on Texas Heart Institute's Facebook site.
May 6, 2014
THI Physician Helps Women Detect Heart Disease
Coulter, MD, director of Texas Heart Institute's Center for Women's
Heart and Vascular Health, is featured in a Houston Chronicle article
that provides women with tips on how to recognize the signs or symptoms
of heart disease. Sixty-three percent of women who die from a heart
attack never experienced symptoms, according the article, which appeared
in the Chronicle's Health Zone section.
April 28, 2014
Surgeon's Career Celebrated
Frazier Holds World Record for Heart Transplants, LVADs
Heart Institute surgeon Dr. O.H. "Bud" Frazier, who has performed more
heart transplants and left ventricular assist device implantations that
any other surgeon in the world, was honored at an April 17 dinner
attended by Houston's medical and community leaders. View photos and
read more about the event at CultureMap.
April 16, 2014
THI Researcher on Team that Transplants Regenerated Esophagus
Doris Taylor, director of regenerative medicine research at Texas Heart
Institute, is on an international team of scientists that today
announced success in transplanting an esophagus grown from stem cells in
the lab. Read more about this milestone here and in BioNews Texas.
April 8, 2014
Rice Business Plan Competition spotlight: Startup works to heal hearts
Mehdi Razavi, a physician at the Texas Heart Institute, started working
with Rice students on how to use a new fiber technology to help treat
heart conditions.Houston Business Journal
April 4, 2014Today Marks 45th Anniversary of First Total Artificial Heart Implantation
years ago today, Texas Heart Institute founder Dr. Denton A.
Cooleyperformed the world's first full artificial heart implantation in a
human patient. Read more in the Houston Chronicle
March 31, 2014
Saturated Fat OK on Occasion?
Dr. Stephanie Coulter,
cardiologist and director of the Center for Women’s Heart and Vascular
Health, appeared live on NPR’s OnPoint radio program March 31 to discuss
a new study that suggests saturated fats, in moderation, don’t always
lead to heart disease. Hear the program, carried on 269 stations
nationwide, on NPR's OnPoint.
March 21, 2014
THI Professional Staff to be Featured at Mega-Sized Medical Conference
A large, new medical conference and trade show debuts in Houston April 28-30, 2014, at the George R. Brown Convention Center.
March 13, 2014
Texas Heart Institute Doctors Participating in Clinical Study of New Device to 'Seal' Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms
Heart Institute doctors at CHI St. Luke's Health Baylor St. Luke's
Medical Center, are the first in Texas to have implanted a device
designed to seal abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAAs), rather than bridging
through the aneurysms using a traditional stent.
March 3, 2014TX Heart Institute Conducts Spring Break Heart Screenings for Students
in Study of Sudden Cardiac Death in Young People
The screenings will be conducted in the Texas Medical
Center at no cost to participants, but parental consent is required and
parents must make appointments by calling 713-218-2112 or emailing email@example.com
. For more on the study visit www.texasheart.org/screening
February 22, 2014
Surgeon Holds World Record for Heart Transplants
O.H. "Bud" Frazier of Texas Heart Institute holds the world
record for performing more heart transplants than any other surgeon in
the world, and has pioneered the development of heart pumps and total
artificial hearts that have saved thousands of lives. In this KTRK-TV,
Channel 13 report, medical reporter Christi Myers takes a look at Dr.
Frazier's distinguished career and some of the patients he has touched. View Channel 13 story
February 19, 2014
Growing Hearts in the Lab
Dr. Doris Taylor
and her Texas Heart Institute team are using stem cell technology to
create human hearts from pig hearts. Though still in its infancy, this
research may someday benefit thousands who are waiting for donor hearts
which are always in short supply. View Channel 2 VIDEO
February 9, 2014
Gender's Effect on Drugs
Dr. Doris Taylor is interviewed by Leslie Stahl on CBS 60 Minutes about how drugs can affect men and women differently. View 60 Minutes interview.
February 5, 2014
Drug Tested for Prevention of Sudden Cardiac Death in Athletes
Dr. Ali Marian is leading a Texas Heart Institute at St. Luke's clinical trial
to test the effectiveness of an over-the-counter drug in preventing
hypertrophic cardiomyopthy, a heart defect that causes sudden death in
dozens of teenage athletes each year. KPRC-TV, Channel 2
February 4, 2014
First in Texas to Test Hybrid-Design Carotid Stent
The first eight patients have been treated at Texas Heart Institute
at St. Luke's Medical Center in a multi-center, clinical trial of a new
carotid artery stent that can be used as an alternative to surgery, for
surgical high-risk patients with potentially stroke-causing carotid
St Luke's Medical Center website
February 2, 2014
Women Underrepresented in Cardiovascular Research Studies
Dr. Stephanie Coulter, director of Texas Heart Institute's Center for Women's Heart & Vascular Health, is featured in this month's issue of Ciao Bella!
magazine. In the article "One Heart Helping Many," Dr. Coulter dicusses
how women are underrepresented in cardiovascular research studies, and
how heart disease symptoms differ between men and women. Ciao Bella! Magazine
January 26, 2014
Dr. Abdi Rasekh and Dr. Mehdi Razavi
use a groundbreaking new 3-D atrial fibrillation mapping system at
Texas Heart Institute to find the source of an abnormal heart rhythm in
their patients. Houston Chronicle
January 24, 2014
A medical giant: Houston doctor most innovative surgeon in the world
own Dr. Denton Cooley has been named
the most innovative surgeon alive.
Healthcare-Administration-Degree.net profiled 20 groundbreaking
surgeons from around the globe, emphasizing their educational
backgrounds and accomplishments in the medical field. Cooley, arguably
the world's most famous cardiovascular surgeon, was placed at No. 1 on
the prestigious list that included many medical pioneers. Culturemap Houston
January 18, 2014
Here's a good marriage
betrothal of CHI, Baylor College of Medicine has great promise for all.
The deal also calls for CHI and Baylor to create a "hospital within a
hospital" facility for the Texas Heart Institute within the new St. Luke's Hospital at Baylor's McNair Campus. The heart institute is considered St. Luke's greatest asset. Houston Chronicle editorial
January 12, 2014
One Thousand Left Ventricular Assist Devices
St. Luke's and Texas Heart Institute are marking an important milestone having implanted the 1000th LVAD. Video report on KPRC website.
January 10, 2014January 7, 2014Bold New Alliance Among Houston’s Leading Health Care Providers
CHI St. Luke's Health, Baylor, Texas Heart leaders: In their own words
write about what the new alliance means to Texas and the world beyond... Houston Business Journal (blog)
Clinical Services, Research and Education Greatly Enhanced
by New Collaborations for CHI, St. Luke’s, Baylor College of Medicine
and Texas Heart Institute.
December 12, 2013
December 10, 2013Dr. Alain Cribier Receives Texas Heart Institute's Ray
C. Fish Award for scientific achievement
St. Luke’s Medical Center and the Texas Heart Institute first in Houston to implement new approach for treating heart failure.
previously tested in Europe - is part of a global
study to determine its safety and efficacy. INOVATE-HF (INcrease Of
VAgal TonE in Heart Failure) will evaluate the
system’s ability to reduce hospitalization and death among patients with
HF, and whether combined treatment with CardioFit and prescription
drug therapy is more effective than drug therapy alone.
Pioneer of heart
valve replacement with catheter (TAVR
), Dr. Cribier
became widely recognized for performing the first balloon dilatation of
the aortic valve in 1985, and after 10 years of research, the first
implantation of an aortic valve prosthesis using cardiac catheterization
techniques in 2002.
December 2, 2013
Learning to Defuse the Aorta
Helping kids with Marfan syndrome; detecting and treating enlarged aortas
Dr. Hal Dietz arrived at Johns Hopkins University in the 1980s, he
became obsessed with helping children with Marfan syndrome, a rare and
often fatal disorder that can cause the aorta, the large blood vessel
that carries blood from the heart, to grow and grow until it bursts....
That journey has led to surprising discoveries about Marfan's causes and
a soon-to-be published clinical trial of a drug that may help its
Time is of the essence. Patients whose aortas are breaking apart "all need immediate treatment," said Dr. Scott A. LeMaire,
a professor of surgery and of molecular physiology and biophysics at
the Baylor College of Medicine [and a member of the Texas Heart
Institute professional staff].
— New York Times Science.
Learn more about Marfan Syndrome and Aneurysms & Dissections.
November 26, 2013 First 4 Patients Enrolled in Study to Test Dissolving Device in Treatment of Heart Disease
Luke's Medical Center, home of the Texas Heart Institute, recently
enrolled 4 patients with coronary artery disease (CAD), into a study to
evaluate the potential benefits of a dissolving device, similar to a
metallic stent. THI's Dr. Emerson Perin explains. — St. Luke's Medical Center news
See a previous interview with Dr. Perin. — Houston Chronicle.
November 24, 2013
Cholesterol battle takes a new turn
of the top cardiologists in the country are having a public
disagreement about who should take statin drugs and how to calculate the
risk of heart attack or stroke. Dr. Jim Willerson,
president and medical director of the Texas Heart Institute, said
qualified doctors won't reactively upend the way they're treating
patients anyway. — Houston Chronicle Health.
Statins help heart health, but come with side effects
... and, Dr. Willerson reviews the most common side effects from taking
statins, which may include muscle pain, elevated liver enzymes, risk of
diabetes, and mental confusion. — Houston Chronicle.
Statin Recommendations Focus Less on Lab Numbers, More on Lifestyle
— Texas Medical Center News
November 21, 2013BCM, Texas Heart Institute Report Breakthrough In Adult Heart Repair
Researchers led by Dr. James Martin, director,
Cardiomyocyte Renewal Laboratory at THI, reported new discoveries into
how cardiologists can dramatically improve heart repair, particularly
after a heart attack. Read article on Bio News Texas website
November 15, 2013
Artificial Heart Valve Carries Very Low Risk of Stroke, Study Says
A landmark artificial heart valve trial that included patients from Texas Heart Institute
showed positive results for those diagnosed with aortic stenosis, a
condition in which the aortic valve stiffens and fails to open properly.
The clinical trial evaluated the CoreValve System, an artificial heart
valve and nonsurgical delivery system made by Medtronic.
Read more from Texas Medical Center News.
See also THI Center for Heart Valve Disease.
November 7, 2013
Dr. Billy Cohn on the THI BiVACOR total artificial heart project
In "Medical Innovations", Alaska Airlines magazine reports on the THI BiVACOR total artificial heart (TAH) project with quotes from our Dr. Billy Cohn. The full article is available on page 68 here.
November 5, 2013
Doctors explain Texans coach's medical scare
Houston Texans head coach's experience with a transient ischemic attack
(TIA), sometimes called a mini-stroke, has been widely reported. Dr. Michel Mawad, Texas Heart Institute, explains the medical condition and prognosis for those who suffer a TIA. See the story and video on ABC13.
Learn more about Stroke.
November 4, 2013
Future Blood Test May Detect Aortic Aneurysm and Dissection
team of investigators has developed a blood test that may provide a
faster, simpler way for emergency room doctors and others to diagnose
and monitor potentially deadly aortic aneurysms – abnormal "ballooned"
areas in a weakened section of the aorta, as well as aortic dissections –
a tear in the wall of the aorta, for which early diagnosis is critical
for survival. The researchers [including Texas Heart Institute
professional staff members Scott LeMaire, MD and Joseph Coselli, MD] published their findings recently in the journal Circulation Research. Read more in Texas Medical Center News.
Learn more about Aneurysms and Dissections
October 22, 2013
Medical animation gets the message out
Cohan and Mark Johnson of Amerra produce videos that show how to
perform surgeries and other medical procedures. They also are working on
a heart atlas with the Texas Heart Institute (THI). They have heard the
tales of "Death by PowerPoint." Ambitious presenters unleash a barrage
of slides, charts and graphs ... a haggard audience struggles to keep
up, eyes glazed over... "What takes 45 minutes with a PowerPoint could
be condensed into a 90-second animation that people understand and enjoy
watching," said Johnson. They predict their ongoing project with the
institute, the Heart Defect Atlas, will become a global
teaching tool for identifying and learning about heart maladies."They
are the gurus of medical animation in Houston," said THI's Dr. William E. "Billy" Cohn.
Read more from the Houston Chronicle. [Photo credit Karen Warren]
October 18, 2013
Device to Control Bleeding Complications Awarded a First Place Prize
Inc. is one of two companies awarded First Place in the competition for
the Houston Technology Center's (HTC) prestigious 2013 Goradia Innovation Prize.
The company, founded by Dr. Mehdi Razavi, promotes new technology
designed to help prevent costly internal bleeding complications
associated with some common medical procedures. The technology is
licensed from THI.
Read more ...
October 15, 2013
Researcher Probes Science to Building a "Bio-Artificial" Heart
of our organs contain enough stem cells to repair and regenerate
themselves after injuries. But not the heart, that most central of
muscles. And finding a way to compensate for that fact has become a
life's mission for Doris Taylor, a new arrival at the Texas Heart
Institute in Houston."
Read the interview with Angela Shah from Xconomy.
October 15, 2013
Patients with Peripheral Artery Disease being Recruited for Clinical Trial
Doctors and researchers at THI are recruiting patients who suffer from
peripheral artery disease (PAD) for a new clinical trial to assess the benefits
and risks in the use of adult stem cells from patients' own bone marrow to treat
leg pain commonly associated with the disease.
Read more ...
October 8, 2013
Recruiting Patients for Clinical Trial to Address Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy
Doctors and researchers at THI are
recruiting patients to participate in a clinical trial they hope will lead
to a way to prevent and
reverse hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), the most
disease, and a common cause of sudden
(SCD) in young people,
Read more ...
October 7, 2013
KUHF "Houston Matters" discusses heart disease
Stephanie Coulter was one of the guests on the NPR news program,
"Houston Matters" for a discussion of cardiovascular disease. Heart
disease is the number one cause of death in the nation, and Houston is
no exception. According to the American Heart Association, nearly 28
percent of deaths in the Houston area are related to cardiovascular
disease. Two cardiologists talk about recent research on heart disease
and what you can do to prevent it in the first place.
Listen to the podcast from HoustonMatters.org
or from SoundCloud.com
September 16, 2013
thankful that our story of achievement appears likely to continue at a
level of excellence worthy of its founder, Dr. Denton Cooley. Read this Houston Chronicle editorial.
September 16, 2013
Blood Test to Detect Aortic Aneurysm and Dissections Researchers Identify Key Biomarkers Associated with Lethal Condition.
September 16, 2013
Catholic Health Initiatives, Texas Heart Institute Sign Letter of Intent to Finalize Partnership Agreement Worth
$220 Million THI moves to dismiss lawsuit.
September 13, 2013
Gov. Perry Announces $3 Million Grant to Create Center for Cell and Organ Biotechnology
Rick Perry today announced a $3 million investment through the Texas
Emerging Technology Fund (TETF) to create the Center for Cell and Organ
Biotechnology in collaboration with the Texas Heart Institute (THI) and Texas A&M University
College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. "This center
represents another step toward making Texas the forefront of
biotechnology for generations to come," Gov. Perry said. Read the details in the full press release.
September 12, 2013
Scientists renew stem cells' healing properties in mice
at THI have discovered what might be the fountain of youth for stem
cells, a method they say could be used to develop a potential treatment
for elderly patients suffering from heart and vascular diseases. "What
we are doing is restoring the older cells to a far better and more
youthful functional capability," said Dr. James T. Willerson, president of THI and the study's principal investigator (published in Circulation Research). Read more from the Houston Chronicle. Also see "Heart to Heart" July 8, 2013 for a closer look at the research.
September 4, 2013
Bismuth-carrying nanotubes show promise for CT scans
work by Rice team and collaborators at the University of Houston, St.
Luke’s Episcopal Hospital, and the Texas Heart Institute appears in the
Journal of Materials Chemistry B. Details on Phys.org.
September 3, 2013
A Heart Can't Skip a Beat Without a Pulse
A profile of Dr. William Cohn, cardiovascular surgeon at THI, and his work with the BiVACOR artificial heart team, headed by Daniel Timms.
Read more in Houstonia [photo credit Charles Ford].
Learn more about the BiVACOR team at THI.
August 30, 2013
'Mattress Mack' tweets after heart procedure
wishes flooded Jim McIngvale's Twitter page following his tweet about
undergoing a heart procedure at Texas Heart Institute. The procedure was
done to close a hole in the heart known as PFO or patent foramen ovale.
Read more in the Houston Chronicle [photo credit James Nielsen].
Learn more about Jim & Linda McIngvale.
Learn more about the congenital condition PFO.
August 21, 2013 McNair Foundation Names Dr.
Emerson Perin THI McNair Scholar
Emerson Perin, director of the Stem Cell Center, has been named a McNair
Scholar at THI. The
Robert and Janice McNair Foundation established the McNair Medical Institute
and the McNair Scholars Program to recognize and support the work of outstanding
scientists and physicians.
Read more ...
August 12, 2013
Recruiting students for heart study aimed at preventing sudden death
Texas Heart Institute Center for Coronary Artery Anomaliesresearchers are testing 10,000 students, looking for common but lethal heart malformations that can lead to sudden death. View ABC13 video report. See also from CBN News: Group Hopes Free MRIs Will Stop Teen Athlete Deaths. Free screening appointments are available this summer, call 713-218-2112.
August 6, 2013
Heart Stent Procedure Explained for NPR
Former President George W. Bush underwent a successful heart procedure to clear a blockage discovered during a routine physical. Dr. James T. Willerson, THI president, explains the stent procedure and the consequences of coronary artery disease for National Public Radio. Listen to the 3 minute interview at WBUR.org in Boston.
Heart Information Center: learn more about stents ...
July 31, 2013
Farish Fund Supports Collaboration to Study Plaques That Cause Most Heart Attacks
The William Stamps Farish Fund in Houston has donated $400,000 to a collaboration between the Institute for Computational Engineering and Sciences (ICES) at The University of Texas at Austin and the Texas Heart Institute (THI) to study life-threatening vulnerable plaques. Read more ...
July 26, 2013
Disappearing stent could reduce bypass surgeries
A person suffering from a coronary blockage typically can avoid bypass surgery by having a tiny, metallic stent implanted to open up the blood vessel. Afterward, that little piece of metal will remain in the patient's heart, forever embedded in the vessel. But cardiologists at the Texas Heart Institute, led by Dr. Emerson Perin, are trying something new: a disappearing heart stent. Read more from the Houston Chronicle. [Photo credit, Johnny Hanson]
July 24, 2013
Artificial heart inventor honoured as
QUT Young Alumnus
a fist-sized piece of titanium with one internal moving part that
employs magnetics to spin a disc that creates centrifugal force to
deliver blood around the body. But the BiVACOR is being
hailed as the 'holy grail' of artificial hearts by the world-leading
Texas Heart Institute after five decades of research by teams around the
world to invent a device that could be implanted in the body and
sustain life. Dr Daniel Timms' work was honoured with
the QUT [Queensland University of Technology] Young Alumnus of the Year
award in Brisbance, Australia. Read more from the QUT News.
July 16, 2013 Texas Heart Institute Among America's Top 10 Heart
Centers for 23rd Consecutive Year
For the 23rd consecutive year, The Texas
Heart Institute has been named one of the top 10 heart centers in the
nation in the annual U.S. News &
rankings announced today. THI has been ranked in the top 10
every year since the prestigious rankings began in 1990. Read more ...
July 16, 2013
US News "Best Hospitals" rankings good news for Houston
• Houston again tops on list of best hospitals ... St. Luke's (home of Texas Heart Institute) is number two in Houston. — ABC 13 Local
Houston Hospitals Stand Out In National Hospital Rankings ... making
the national top-ten lists for medical specialties ... the Texas Heart
Institute at St. Luke's, for cardiac care. — KUHF
• Houston's best hospital is . . . . New US News & World Report
rankings see streak continue ... most of the Houston-area hospitals
remain in the same top positions as the previous year's rankings. — Culture Map
July 3, 2013
Doctors warn of heat dangers during summer
summertime here, when many are planning outdoor activities, doctors at
Texas Heart Institute (THI) are warning about the risks of the intense
summer heat, particularly for heart patients and those who might have
undiagnosed heart conditions. Learn more about how to protect your heart
throughout the summer. Read more ...
June 21, 2013 Read more about fish in a heart-healthy diet: Straight Talk
Have fish oil supplements lost their luster?
Fish oil supposedly helped prevent a range of health issues...That's changing a bit now. Read the article from the Houston Chronicle. "Pills
are not a substitute for a good diet," says Dr. Stephanie Coulter who
directs the Center for Women's Heart & Vascular Health at the Texas
June 20, 2013
Research: Sugar overload can damage heart
much sugar can set people down a pathway to heart failure, according to
a study led by The University of Texas Medical School researchers. A
single small molecule, the glucose metabolite glucose 6-phosphate (G6P),
causes stress to the heart that changes the muscle proteins and induces
poor pump function. Dr. Heinrich Taegtmeyer is
principal investigator, professor of cardiology, and member of the Texas
Heart Institute (THI) professional staff. Tests performed on tissue
taken from patients at THI led in part to the discovery of the damage
caused by G6P. The study has opened doors to possible new treatments.
Read UTHealth News.
June 17, 2013
To ease shortage of organs, grow them in a lab
Lungs and other organs for transplant are scarce. But what if there
were another way? What if you could grow a custom-made organ in a lab? .
. . "I believe the future is ... a pig matrix covered with your own
cells," says Doris Taylor of the Texas Heart Institute
in Houston. She reported creating a rudimentary beating rat heart in
2008 with the cell-replacement technique and is now applying it to a
variety of organs ... from the Houston Chronicle.
For more about Dr. Taylor's work, see Regenerative Medicine Research.
June 6, 2013
Denton A. Cooley, MD makes major gift to Texas Medical Center Library
heart surgeon Denton A. Cooley, MD has made the largest single gift
from an individual to the Texas Medical Center Library since Jesse H.
Jones funded the original building’s construction. Read more ...
May 29, 2013 FDA-Approved Clinical Trial to Test Effectiveness of
at the Texas Heart Institute announced
that they have performed an investigational procedure on six patients in a new
FDA-approved clinical trial (ATHENA) to evaluate therapy that uses regenerative cells
derived from a patients' own adipose (body fat) tissue to treat a severe form
of heart failure.
Read more ...
May 7, 2013
Medical advancements that sound like science fiction
first 2 slides in this gallery refer to Texas Heart Institute research:
a heart pump with no pulse featuring Dr. Bud Frazier and heart
transplant with no human donor, featuring Dr. Doris Taylor. See the Houston Chronicle "Health Zone" blog.
May 7, 2013 The Center for Women's Heart & Vascular Health
are more likely to die from heart disease than cancer, and less likely
to receive appropriate treatment than men. Director Dr Stephanie Coulter
explains how the Center is addressing the gaps in diagnoses, treatment
and research." In an extensive interview with one of Europe's prominent
international research magazines, Dr. Coulter discusses the missions of
the Texas Heart Institute Center for Women's Heart & Vascular Health
). Read International Innovation "Analysis"
(a prepublication PDF
), by permission from WWW.RESEARCHMEDIA.EU
May 7, 2013
THI President Among Men of Distinction
James T. Willerson, president and medical director of the Texas Heart
Institute (THI) at St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital was honored as one of
Houston's 2013 Men of Distinction. The award was
presented to Dr. Willerson and three others, at the group's annual
luncheon, benefitting medical research and treatment for children. Dr.
Willerson is a world reknowned cardiologist and scientist. He has helped
pioneer a number significant medical advancements, particularly in the
field of using adult stem cells to help heal damaged hearts. Before
taking the leadership role at THI, Dr. Willerson was president of The
University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston's Texas Medical
Center.The Men of Distinction annual awards, begun in 2007, are to
"recognize Houston men who have distinguished themselves through
excellence in community achievements, thereby providing support for
superior biomedical research, education and patient care in the Texas
Medical Center and directly benefitting the Houston community." See Houston Chronicle photo gallery. See also www.menofdistinction.org.
The Center for Women's Heart & Vascular Health was one of two recipients of an Alpha Phi Foundation Heart to Heart Grant. We received the $50,000 grant
to help fund our ongoing study, Houston Heart Reach for Women, designed
to investigate the roles biology, psychology and lifestyle play in
putting a women at risk for heart disease.
May 2, 2013Dr. William E. ‘Billy’ Cohn Wins 2013 Edison Award
director of minimally invasive surgical technology for THI at St.
Luke’s received a 2013 Silver Edison Award for a catheter-based surgical
suture device he invented -- the SentreHEART Lariat. MORE...
April 25, 2013
President and Medical Director Dr. James T Willerson profiles 50 Years Of THI Accomplishments for BioNews Texas.
April 22, 2013
Repairing and Replacing Body Parts: What's Next
Researchers are exploring ways to repair, refurbish, or replace human organs: "Medicine is saving people who previously we weren't able to save," says Dr. Doris A. Taylor, director of regenerative medicine research at the Texas Heart Institute in Houston. Read the full article from National Geographic Daily News
April 19, 2013
Big move for St. Luke's Episcopal Health System
a major surprise, St. Luke's board of directors approved a deal Friday
with Catholic Health Initiatives, the nation's second largest
faith-based health system, instead of Methodist and Memorial Hermann. Read more on Houston Chronicle website and Catholic Health Initiatives website.
Related news coverage:
April 16, 2013
First in Texas to Investigate Potential New Treatment For Advanced Heart Failure
Luke’s Episcopal Hospital, home of the Texas Heart Institute, is the
first center in Texas to treat a patient suffering from advanced heart
failure (HF) in a clinical trial with the new investigational drug
MYDICAR®. Read press release on St. Luke's website.
April 15, 2013Grandmother Celebrates 20th Anniversary of Heart Transplant
Pay recently celebrated the 20th anniversary of her heart transplant.
Pay's journey began at age 41 when she acquired a bad cough and chest
pain that would not subside. Eventually, she was diagnosed with heart
failure. After referral to Dr. Bud Frazier at the Texas Heart Institute
physicians determined that Pay's heart disease was familial, affecting
only women in the family. She would need a heart transplant. Today, Pay
volunteers with the Heart Exchange Support Group
and encourages people to register as organ donors. Read the article: Texas Medical Center News
April 14, 2013
St. Luke's sale could mean a Cooley-DeBakey heart center
a century after a rivalry between two pioneering surgeons divided the
Texas Medical Center, a possible uniting of the doctors' programs could
again make Houston the world's center of innovative heart care.
Read the full article on the Houston Chronicle website (subscriber only).
April 4, 2013Olympic swimmer Dana Vollmer will speak at Go Red for Women luncheon
swimmer Dana Vollmer became an Olympic gold medalist, she had a
different battle to conquer . . . she was diagnosed with long QT
Syndrome, a congenital disorder that affects the heart's electrical
system. Her heart could stop at any moment, and without immediate CPR,
she could die . . . [however,] doctors told her she could continue to
compete, as long as she had a defibrillator nearby at all times."
During a visit last fall to the Texas Heart Institute
"They did two full days of every test under the sun," Vollmer said.
"They didn't see any signs of long QT syndrome. They're looking back
trying to see what could have shown those signs. It just shows how much
more research we need." Now an ambassador for the American Heart
Association, Vollmer will speak at the Go Red for Women
luncheon April 12 in Nashville. Read her story from The Tennessean
March 22, 2013
"The remarkable feats of the Texas Heart Institute" An interview with International Innovation
"Cardiovascular disease costs the US $449 billion each year. Dr James T Willerson
President and Medical Director, enlightens us on the remarkable feats
of the THI and reveals his thoughts on reducing the heavy burdens of
this widespread,and often fatal, health issue."
Read the full article (PDF) published in the February issue of International Innovation. [About the publication, see www.researchmedia.eu.]
Update April 24, 2013: This article is now available online (open access) from ResearchMediaLtd.
March 14, 2013
Video News: Live@ACHE 2013: Modern Healthcare Hall of Fame inductee Dr. Denton A. Cooley
Cooley, founder and president emeritus of the Texas Heart Institute,
accepts induction into Modern Healthcare's Hall of Fame and recalls some
highlights of his long career as a cardiovascular surgeon. View the video from American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE).
March 13, 2013
Dr. Cowboy Cooley
It's Rodeo season in Houston and in keeping with that theme, the latest edition of Cowboys & Indians magazine features a rousing article about the ranching endeavors of THI founder Dr. Denton A. Cooley
and his "Cool Acres" spread down on the Brazos River. Written by his
good friend Warner Roberts, the article is available to subscribers or
for purchase in the April edition. Readers will learn about Dr. Cooley's
Western traditions, including his pet longhorn. [See a full profile for Dr. Cooley.]
March 8, 2013
The Manzano Mile - March 23 in Austin, Texas
Heart Institute partners with Olympian Leo Manzano for fitness and fun
at the 3rd Annual Manzano Mile, a family physical fitness event that
includes a free kids 400 m run. Details here.
March 7, 2013 UPDATE March 12, 2013
Heart Screenings offered free to middle- and high-school students
Texas Heart Institute announced that free heart screening appointments were open in the Texas Medical
Center during the spring break week (March 11-15) to area middle school and
high school students. All available appointments have been booked. Watch for another opportunity during summer vacation period. The screenings are part of a
research program into certain difficult-to-detect, congenital heart
abnormalities that are thought to predispose young people to Sudden Cardiac
Death (SCD). Details here.
February 28, 2013
Phi Foundation Announces 2013 Heart to Heart Grant Recipients
Awarded annually, Alpha Phi Foundation's Heart to
Heart Grant funds research and educational programs that support the improvement
of women's heart health. Texas Heart Institute will receive $50,000 to continue advancing women's heart health both in the local
community and the medical field. Read the full press release for details (PDF).
February 26, 2013
Hakeem Olajuwon's DR34M Line Debuts At Knolls
phenomenon and hometown favorite Hakeem "The Dream" Olajuwon can now
add fashion designer to his lengthy resume. At the launch event of his
DR34M collection, the "Heart of a Champion" partnered with Texas Heart
Institute "champions of hearts," Dr. Denton Cooley
and Dr. James Willerson
. [In addition to being an Honorary Trustee on the THI Board
, Olajuwon is also a spokesperson for the Center for Coronary Artery Anomalies
.] — Houston Chronicle
Also see the CultureMap Houston article: "Houston's biggest NBA legend teams up with superstar heart surgeon for an unexpected mission."
February 14, 2013
Heart Institute Physician & Scientist William E. ‘Billy’ Cohn Named
2013 Edison Awards Finalist for Innovative Surgical Invention
LARIAT Suture Delivery Device, invented by Dr. Cohn, allows surgeons to
tie off the left atrial appendage (LAA) via a catheter without the need
for open-heart surgery.
January 27, 2013
Saving lives with help from pigs and cells
Taylor and her team are building new organs, hoping to reverse disease,
maybe even the aging process. On the ninth floor of the Texas Heart
Institute's Denton Cooley building, Doris Taylor and her team are
building human hearts, with help from pigs and stem cells.
think a pig heart is a perfect scaffold for a human heart, based on its
structure and size," says Taylor, a passionate scientist with a Ph.D.
in pharmacology. — Houston Chronicle
Learn more about Regenerative Medicine Research
January 23, 2013
Keeping hearts pumping
push the limits of heart-pump technology in an effort to save lives.
Dr. Bud Frazier often tells a story about when he was a medical student
in the 1960s . . . Frazier had this thought: If I can keep a man alive
with my hand, why can't we make a pump that we can pull off of the shelf
to do the same thing? Dr. Billy Cohn, another physician who works at
the cutting edge of heart pump technology, likes to use the history of
human flight as an analogy for the evolution in his field. Experimenters
in both domains had to give up the idea of bio-mimicry to advance the
technology. "It is similar to when man first tried to build a flying
machine with flapping wings that mimic the birds. It is obvious now that
fixed wings were the way to go," he says. "We think it is the same with
the nonpulsatile pump, which, because it has only one moving part, is
much more durable." - Houston Chronicle
Learn more about Heart Assist Devices at THI.
January 13, 2013Mattress Mack donation brings BiVACOR artificial heart to Houston
engineer Daniel Timm's revolutionary device to be developed at THI. "I
think we're beyond the Kitty Hawk stage with this," - Drs. Bud Frazier
and Billy Cohn. Read Eric Berger's Houston Chronicle article
January 9, 2013 The revolutionary artificial heart without a pulse
Bud Frazier has been working on making an artificial heart since the
1960s. In 2011, Frazier and his colleague Dr. Billy Cohn implanted the
first of a new kind of artificial heart: one without a pulse. Minnesota
Public Radio's The Daily Circuit
talks with guests Dr. Bud Frazier and Dr. Billy Cohn from the Texas Heart Institute. Listen . . .
January 2, 2013
100 Hospitals With Great Heart Programs
Luke's Episcopal Hospital, home to the Texas Heart Institute (THI), has
been named as one of the "100 Hospitals With Great Heart Programs" by Becker's Hospital Review.
See also on this website: Patient Care December 17, 2012
THI Chosen as Biorepository for Cardiac Stem Cell Research Network
has been chosen as the Biorepository Core Lab for the CCTRN and will be
under the direction of Dr. Doris Taylor and Dr. Adrian Gee.
December 11, 2012
Dr. Todd K. Rosengart named professor and research scientist at THI
DeBakey-Bard Chair of Surgery at Baylor College of Medicine, is a
nationally recognized cardiothoracic surgeon who is board certified in
surgery and thoracic surgery with special expertise in minimally
December 10, 2012
Dr. George J. Reul receives 2012 Ray C. Fish Award
Cardiovascular surgeon is honored by Texas Heart Institute for scientific achievements, contributions to cardiology and surgery.
December 4, 2012
The Heart Problem You're Not Worried About
is a growing epidemic . . . awareness and early diagnosis can save
lives. Age is the biggest risk factor for afib (an irregular and often
rapid heartbeat that causes poor blood flow). A person's chances of
developing the irregular heartbeat increase after age 60 . . . "Many
people develop afib in their later years," says Mohammad Saeed, MD, a cardiac electrophysiologist at THI. Full article and associated videos from everydayhealth.com.
December 1, 2012
Medical Center pioneer Dr. Denton Cooley
reflects on life's ups and downs
One of the pioneers of the Texas
Medical Center has written a book about his life that includes the good and the
bad. Dr. Denton Cooley talked with KHOU 11 News about his
success, family tragedy and his infamous dispute with another medical pioneer.
and video from KHOU.com.
See also on this website: 100,000 Hearts: A Surgeon's
November 26, 2012
Moderate alcohol intake can benefit
The key word is "moderate:" one to two drinks for women and
two to three drinks in men can be preventive for strokes and heart attacks.
Drinking more than moderate amounts of alcohol can have a
negative impact on health, says Dr. James T. Willerson, THI
president and medical director. "It can actually cause heart-related problems
such as high blood pressure, stroke, irregular heartbeats and cardiomyopathy,"
he said. "Also, remember that the average drink has 100 to 200 calories that
often add body fat, which can also increase the risk of cardiovascular disease."
November 25, 2012
Basking briefly in legend's
A personal perspective on the distinguished career of
Dr. Denton Cooley and his mentor: "So who does Cooley . . .
credit for developing a technique that saved the lives of thousands? Vivien
Thomas, a financially strapped black high school graduate who rose above racism
to devise surgical techniques as a technician at Johns Hopkins University." — Paul
Harasim's column from the Las Vegas Review-Journal
November 23, 2012
Blood test would identify harmful
Some of the most common forms of cancer are often treated
with a drug that can cause heart failure. But researchers in Houston have made a
discovery that could help patients avoid that damage. A research team led by
Dr. Edward T.H. Yeh plans to recommend a blood test to identify
at-risk patients. — Houston
November 20, 2012
FDA Approves HeartWare LVAD for
The FDA gave the green light for the HeartWare Ventricular
Assist System as a bridge to heart transplantation in patients with heart
failure. "The miniaturized device with an integrated inflow cannula is placed
within the pericardial sac . . . simplifying the surgical insertion," said
O.H. "Bud" Frazier, MD, of Texas Heart Institute. Read the full
story from medpagetoday.com.
See also on this website: Heart Assist Devices
October 29, 2012
Research unraveling risks of deadly hidden heart problems
Dixon had no idea she had heart problems until she collapsed in cardiac
arrest 25 yards from the finish line at the Chevron Houston Marathon in
January 2011. Because race organizers had emergency cardiac equipment
on hand, Dixon survived to run another day. — Houston Chronicle
October 29, 2012 October 25, 2012
Researchers Discover Key to How Cancer Drug Causes Heart Failure
at the Texas Heart Institute and the University of Texas M.D. Anderson
Cancer Center have demonstrated a genetic link that may prevent damage
to the heart from one of the most common cancer chemotherapy drugs,
according to a paper being published in Nature Medicine.
Texas can be a center of adult stem cell research — by Gov. Rick Perry
"Growing replacement organs. Spinal regeneration. Repairing cardiac
tissue in the aftermath of a heart attack. These ideas have belonged to
the realm of science fiction for generations, but all are now realistic
goals, thanks to groundbreaking research in the field of adult stem
cells." Researchers ... from the Texas Heart Institute ... including
Dr. Doris Taylor ... are revolutionizing science. — Houston Chronicle
October 10, 2012
Olympian Leo Manzano — Starter for
Great Pumpkin Fun Run
Silver Medalist (1,500 meter run) and former University of Texas track star Leo
Manzano will serve as Official Starter for the 17th Annual Great
Pumpkin Fun Run, beginning at 8 a.m. on Saturday, October 27, 2012.
September 17, 2012
Texas Heart Institute marks 50 years of mending hearts.
Houston Chronicle opinion piece by Steve Miller and Dr. James T. Willerson
September 14, 2012
Landry's Concepts Supports Fight Against Cardiovascular Disease
Area restaurants partner with Texas Heart Institute to celebrate 50 years of dedication and success.
August 10, 2012
European Soccer Star Cleared for Play After Evaluation by Experts at THI
Dutch player Hedwiges
Maduro has been cleared to resume play for the Spanish team, FC
Sevilla, after an extensive evaluation by Dr. Paolo Angelini, with the
Center for Coronary Artery Anomalies at THI. Watch the video on YouTube (available in both English and Spanish).
August 6, 2012
Heart transplant patient going strong after 20 years
at Bonnie Lundy Kwan today and you'd never know 20 years ago, she was
at death's door. 'I was just a normal teenager,' Kwan said, 'and I was
diagnosed with cardiomyopathy at 17' A virus had attacked her heart and
was slowly killing her. 'We didn't think she was going to make it,
frankly,' said her doctors at THI, Dr. Bud Frazier and Dr. Edward
Massin. She needed a miracle. . . In the 20 years since receiving a
heart transplant, Bonnie has dedicated her life to helping others."
Read the story from KIAH-TV Houston 39 Online.
For video from this story and more, visit the Multimedia Room.
August 2, 2012
THI Celebrates Heart Transplant Program: 30 Years and 1,200 Recipients
Bud Frazier, heart surgeon and Chief, Center for Cardiac Support at
Texas Heart Institute talks about the 30-year anniversary of heart
transplantation at THI and where the future lies in treating people
whose hearts are failing. Transplant recipient Randy Creech, who
received his new heart 22 years ago, talks about his incredible gift of
life. Watch the 2 video interviews and read the stories in the Multimedia Room.
July 25, 2012
Texas Mother Bridged to Heart Transplant with
SynCardia Total Artificial Heart Excited to Adopt
New Baby One Year Later
Sept. 20, 2011, 39-year-old Shawn Galloway was given new life when she
received a donor heart transplant [at Texas Heart Institute (THI) at St.
Luke's Episcopal Hospital in Houston] after 60 days of support with the
SynCardia temporary Total Artificial Heart. This September, Galloway
and her family will be blessed with new life for a second time." See the
full article from PRNewswire.com.
July 24, 2012
Researchers Mark Progress in Reprogramming Skin Cells
Into Heart Muscle Cells
Physicians and scientists at THI, working collaboratively with the University of Houston, the Texas A&M Health Science Center in Houston and the Baylor College of Medicine, have shown a new way to convert human skin cells into beating heart cells, according to an article being published in the prestigious Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Dr. Robert J. Schwartz reports.
July 17, 2012
THI Remains Among America's Top 10 Heart Centers
The Texas Heart Institute at St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital has once again been named one of the top 10 heart centers in the nation in the annual U.S. News & World Report rankings announced today. THI, celebrating its 50th anniversary, is named No. 6 and has been in the top 10 for 22 consecutive years.
July 11, 2012
Olympic Runner Leo Manzano Partners with THI
as Ambassador for Heart Health
Texas Heart Institute announced a partnership with Olympic runner Leo Manzano, who will serve as a THI "Ambassador" to help promote heart health and to raise awareness of the devastating effects of cardiovascular disease. Manzano, the 5' 5" former University of Texas track and field star, qualified for his second U.S. Olympic team in the 1,500 meter race.
Read the news release. Visit the partnership home page.
June 29, 2012
Heart disease numbers drop for Baby Boomers,
still at high risk
"The death rate by heart attack for Baby Boomers declined by 25 % from 1997 to 2007. Experts say it may mean we're eating better and moving slightly more than our parents, but not enough." Dr. Stephanie Coulter, director of THI Center for Women's Heart & Vascular Health, discusses prevention and therapy in a special report by Houston Business Journal (PDF).
June 15, 2012
Son escapes death, then saves father's life
"A son dealing with heart failure was able to overcome his own medical struggle to save his father's life.". Dr. Bud Frazier, THI heart surgeon, calls it "remarkable." Story and video from Houston's ABC13 Health Check.
See more as Albert and Brian Benoit tell their own stories and talk about lessons learned in Stories from THI.
June 7, 2012
THI Center for Women's Heart Health and Auscultation Primer App are Winners
Texas Heart Institute has been honored by two awards in the Winter/Spring 2012 Web Health Awards competition: the Center for Women's Heart & Vascular Health received a Merit Award and the Auscultation Primer App and Heart Sounds Podcast Series received a Bronze Award.
May 15, 2012
BlueCross BlueShield of Texas sponsor Great Pumpkin Fun Run
Texas Heart Institute founder, Dr. Denton A. Cooley, left and THI President, Dr. James T. Willerson accept a check from BlueCross BlueShield of Texas Divisional Vice President Shara McClure and Regional Director Johnna Lenamon for THI's annual Great Pumpkin Fun Run. The family-friendly fun run has been held each October for the last 17 years and BlueCross BlueShield of Texas has been the title sponsor for the event for 13 years.
Act 2 Opens for Stem Cell Heart Treatments
Medical Director of THI's Stem Cell Center, Dr. Emerson Perin, is featured in the lead story of Cardiology News. "Stem cell treatment for cardiac disease recently launched into advanced clinical trials, as a flurry of early-phase studies over the last year has collectively confirmed the treatment as safe but left its efficacy unresolved." Read more at ecardiology.com.
May 8, 2012
Rice students work on weighty problem for doctors
Mehdi Razavi, MD, director of electrophysiology clinical research at THI, sought help from senior engineering students to produce a prototype to help obese patients breathe during medical procedures. View video and news release on Rice.edu.
Additional coverage: VITALS on msnbc.com, Cutting Edge on cnet.com
April 30, 2012
Heart Risk in Athletes Is Gaining Attention
"Should high school athletes be screened for heart trouble before taking to the practice field?" A New York Times article examines the issue. "Researchers at the Texas Heart Institute are even looking at the prevalence of heart abnormalities in middle-school students and the feasibility of complete screenings, combining EKGs and imaging tests." Read more about the THI Center for Coronary Artery Anomalies and the Houston MRI Screening Study.
May 1, 2012
Legends meet to stand up against heart disease
Hall of Fame pitcher Nolan Ryan (left)and basketball legend Hakeem Olajuwon (right) have more in common than just being exceptional athletes: both are among Houston's most admired sports figures, both wore No. 34 on their uniforms, and both serve in volunteer leadership roles at THI, standing up against heart disease. Surprisingly, the two had never met in person before a meeting here on April 30. They posed with THI founder, Dr. Denton A. Cooley and THI president, Dr. James T. Willerson.
April 30, 2012
Bionic bride brings message to Austin
"A Houston woman known as the 'bionic bride' is in Austin this weekend to spread her message of heart health and giving back." Ally Smith Babineaux attends American Heart Association's Heart Ball. See KXAN.COM from Austin. See Ally's story on YouTube and read her story on the Texas Heart Institute website.
April 25, 2012
Tribeca Film Festival: 'Heart Stops Beating' Review: Brilliant
"In March 2011, two visionary doctors from the Texas Heart Institute successfully replaced a dying man's heart with a 'continuous flow' device, proving that life was possible without a heartbeat. Jeremiah Zagar's "Heart Stops Beating" is an exceptional short film at this year's Tribeca Film Festival that will leave the audience filled with amazement." Read the full review at ReviewFix.com. Read "Heart to Heart" for more background.
April 16, 2012
THI's Dr. Bud Frazier and Dr. William Cohn were featured presenters on April 13 at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, for the annual TEDMED conference.
As the TEDMED organizers say, the assemblage "comes together to explore the issues, challenges and innovations that will help shape the future of Health and Medicine for 300 million Americans...and the world."
Coverage on medGadget website.
April 12, 2012
29th Anniversary of Heart Transplant
Seventy-five-year-old retired research chemist and teacher Charles Washington, who is thought to be the longest surviving heart transplant recipient, recently marked the 29th anniversary of his transplant. During his annual check-up at the Texas Heart Institute in early April, the Oak Ridge, Tenn., resident shared some of his thoughts about his 1982 heart attack and his life over the three decades since his transplant. View video.
The Link Between Atrial Fibrillation and Family History
"Having a family history of atrial fibrillation can increase your chances of developing this common but potentially dangerous type of irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia)." Dr. Mehdi Razavi, cardiologist at Texas Heart Institute, discusses causes and preventive measures in this article from everydayHEALTH.
See also on this website: Atrial Fibrillation
April 9, 2012
Cooking with Heart: Heart-Healthy Mother's Day Dinner
In this complimentary cooking demonstration, learn healthy eating tips from a dietitian and have heart-related questions answered by a cardiologist. The menu: * Crab Cakes with Smarter Tartar Sauce * Herb Roasted Fingerling Potatoes * Asparagus with Tarragon Aioli * Nectarine Tart
Tuesday, May 8, 2012, 6:30 – 9pm, Central Market Cooking School, 3815 Westheimer Road, Houston. Sign up today; space is limited!
April 3, 2012
The National Institutes of Health Extends National Cardiovascular Cell Therapy Research Network (CCTRN)
The national Cardiovascular Cell Therapy Research Network (CCTRN), which includes Texas Heart Institute, will be expanded and has been refunded for an additional seven years by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
March 30, 2012
Cheney's heart transplant sparks age debate
There's been debate over the age of people getting transplants after former Vice President Dick Cheney received a heart transplant at 71. But the world's biggest heart transplant center says that's not unusual . . . older people sometimes do better. "They reject less and they tend to have good outcomes," said cardiologist Dr. Reynolds Delgado with the Texas Heart Institute transplant team. Experts say the real issue isn't competition for organs but too few donors. See the story and video from KTRK-TV HealthCheck.
March 29, 2012
St. Luke's Recognized by American Heart Association as Accredited Heart Attack Receiving Center
St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital received accreditation as a Mission: Lifeline® Heart Attack Receiving Center from the American Heart Association and Society of Chest Pain Centers, becoming the only hospital in Houston to earn this recognition. The accreditation program recognizes centers that meet or exceed quality of care measures for people experiencing the most severe type of heart attack, ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI), in which blood flow is completely blocked to a portion of the heart. Read more on St. Luke's website . . .
March 24, 2012
Study Shows Potential for Stem Cell Therapy in Patients Suffering from Severe Heart Failure
Novel treatment may help restore heart's ability to pump
Doctors from THI presented at the American College of Cardiology Scientific Session, the results of a multi-center clinical study that measured the possible benefits of using a patient's own bone marrow cells to repair damaged areas of the heart. "This is exactly the kind of information we need to move forward with the clinical use of stem cell therapy," said THI's Dr. Emerson Perin.
March 13, 2012
No Pulse: How Doctors Reinvented The Human Heart
"This 10,000-rpm, no-pulse artificial heart doesn't resemble an organic heart--and might be all the better for it."
The March 2012 issue of Popular Science magazine featured Dr. Bud Frazier and Dr. Billy Cohn and their story of the development of the "total artificial heart." Read the full article at www.popsci.com.
March 9, 2012
Noted surgeon and physician join multidisciplinary team at St. Luke's Cooley Transplant Center
Hari R. Mallidi, MD, and Ramachandra R. Sista, MD, lead Lung and Heart-Lung Transplant programs.
March 1, 2012
Cameron's engineering team presents a check for $500,000 to Texas Heart Institute for collaboration on artificial heart development.
February 29, 2012
"Six Steps to a Healthier Heart"
Dr. James Wilson, THI cardiologist, provides good advice for preventing heart disease in this online article by American Profile: "Don't smoke. Maintain an ideal body weight. Thirty minutes of aerobic exercise everyday."
February 17, 2012
Ally takes her story to the classroom
Two hundred 7th graders in the Fort Bend Independent School District heard the bionic bride's story (and got her autograph) as she helped them learn about heart health. Ally Smith Babineaux is "living her dream" (YouTube) after receiving a new heart at THI. Read her story.
February 8, 2012
Getting to the heart of Marfan syndrome
Some doctors might see a patient with Marfan syndrome once or twice a year. But Dr. Joseph Coselli, professor of surgery at Baylor College of Medicine and chief of adult cardiac surgery at the Texas Heart Institute, sees on average one or more a week. Coselli and his team have treated hundreds of patients with Marfan syndrome. Read the article from BCM News.
Learn more about Marfan syndrome.
February 11, 2012
Texans take dance break at H-E-B stores across the state for Heart Health. THI offered free heart-health screenings with Dr. Jim Willerson, THI President and Medical Director and Dr. Stephanie Coulter, Director of THI Center for Women's Heart & Vascular Health.
February 6, 2012
THI President, James T. Willerson, MD, Profiled in Journal
Dr. James T. Willerson, President and Medical Director of the Texas Heart Institute at St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital has earned the honor of being profiled in the February 3, 2012, issue of Circulation Research. Read the full profile.
January 25, 2012
World-Renowned Cell-Therapy Researcher, Doris Taylor, PhD, Joins Texas Heart Institute at St. Luke's
Noted for work to regenerate hearts, other organs...
January 31, 2012
A group of cardiologists and trauma specialists from Stavanger University Hospital in Norway has been visiting the Texas Medical Center this week, including a stop at THI [photo]. The delegation, headed by Research Director, Dr. Stein Tore Nielsen, spent time with THI President and Medical Director James T. Willerson, MD. Others in the delegation included cardiologists Dr. Vernon Vijay Singha Bonarjee, Dr. Alf Inge Larsen, Dr. Cord Manhenke and Dr. Svein Skeie. Also in the group were emergency care specialists Dr. Stephen Sollid and Dr. Eldar Soreide.
January 25, 2012
On track at Rolex 24 for the Texas Heart Institute
There will be a super reason to root for the Goldstone Ranch Porsche 997 GT3 Cup Car in this weekend's 50th running of the Rolex 24 in at the Daytona International Speedway in Florida.
January 23, 2012
Houston's Dr. Cooley Recalls Historic Surgical "Firsts" in Memoir
One of Houston's great heart surgeons, in the decades after World War II, he helped develop open-heart surgery and transplantation. He also started the Texas Heart Institute at St. Luke's. Now, at age 91, Cooley has written a memoir.
Hear and read this report on kuhf.org.
January 16, 2012
Affiliation with Covenant Heart and Vascular Institute Announced
A unique affiliation agreement between THI at St. Luke's and Covenant Heart and Vascular Institute (CHVI) in Lubbock will create more opportunities for collaboration and research in the fight against cardiovascular disease.
January 16, 2012
LoneStar Heart Acquires Worldwide Exclusive Rights to New Class of Small Molecules That May Lead to New Treatments for Diabetes
Researchers at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center identify new class of molecule that restores insulin expression in human pancreas cells. Working in collaboration with Texas Heart Institute and other centers, researchers have shown the molecules may also "modulate the differentiation of stem cells into nerve cells, and they can induce a population of progenitor cells found in the heart to become cardiac muscle cells." Read the full news release from Yahoo Finance news online.
January 13, 2012
Blase A. Carabello, MD, Appointed Chief of Cardiology
Dr. Blase Carabello has been appointed Chief of Cardiology for both the Texas Heart Institute and St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital. Earlier this year, Dr. Carabello was chosen to head THI's new Center for Heart Valve Disease. Read the full news release from St. Luke's.
January 10, 2012
Cooking with Heart on February 13 - Asian-inspired Valentine's Dinner
Spice up Valentine's Day with a delicious, heart-healthy meal with an Oriental twist. In this Central Market complimentary cooking demonstration, you will learn healthy eating tips and have heart-related questions answered. Menu: Japanese-Style Beef and Noodle Soup; Light and Crisp Egg Rolls; Asian-Style Chicken Wraps; Lemon Grass Spiced Poached Pears; and Chinese Five-Spice Chocolate Cake. [Update January 19 - This event is now full. Watch for next "Cooking with Heart" at www.stlukeshouston.com/register.]
Go to archived news for 2010 - 2011.