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News Archive
Please also see the archives for the president's "Heart to Heart" e-newsletter.

December 18, 2015
new Texas Heart Institute Hospital on the McNair CampusNew Texas Heart Institute Hospital will be built
Read the press release in the Houston Business Journal about the creation of a Texas Heart Institute Heart Hospital connected to, but separate from, a new replacement general hospital for the Baylor College of Medicine on the McNair Campus.

December 2, 2015
James T. Willerson, MD, president of THI speaks about the future of the institute to TMC News 
"I am proud of our successes and eager for the year ahead."

Dr. O. Howard Frazier Named William W. L. Glenn Lecturer and Award Recipient at the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions in Orlando.
Past recipients of this award include Dr. Denton A. Cooley, Dr. 
Norman Shumway, Dr. C. Walton Lillehei, Sir Magdi Yacoub and Dr. Tirone E. David. Congratulations Dr. Bud! (Baylor College of Medicine 

October 21, 2015
Baylor St. Luke's Medical Center and Texas Heart Institute First in Texas to Adopt Novel Non-Invasive Technology for Coronary Artery Disease
Technology will allow physicians to determine the extent of a patient's arterial blockage; the impact the blockage has on blood flow; and establish the right treatment plan opposed to traditional diagnostic procedures. 

October 14, 2015
Stem Cell Awareness DayStem Cell Awareness Day unites organizations and individuals around the world working to ensure that we realize the benefits of one of the most promising fields of science in our time. 

September 30, 2015
The Texas Heart Institute has successfully implanted three Thoratec� HeartMate 3�Left Ventricular Assist Devices
at CHI St. Luke's Health–Baylor St. Luke's Medical Center. THI's rich history with LVAD research and the success of the HeartMate 3 implants at Baylor St. Luke's highlight the two organization's dedication to combating heart failure and shaping the future of research and treatment in the field.
September 21, 2015
Texas Heart Institute Joins "Houston Boots Smoking" Campaign
Citywide awareness campaign to discourage smoking from September 21-25. 
Dr. James T. Willerson, President of Texas Heart Institute, says the organization is proud to be a part of this campaign, given the direct correlation between smoking and cardiovascular health. "Smoking markedly increases one's risk of heart attacks and strokes as well as lung cancer and very debilitating chronic lung disease, to a point where one cannot get adequate breath, not even enough to be able to do simple things like walking. No one should smoke!! The facts regarding smoking are sobering...

Nanofibers developed at Rice are about a quarter of the size of a human hair.August 10, 2015
Texas Heart Institute and Rice University Receive American Heart Association Grant
Nanotube fibers may restore electrical health to damaged hearts
Texas Heart Institute announced today that it has received a prestigious American Heart Association grant alongside Rice University. The three-year, $750,000 grant will allow THI and Rice researchers to study and test soft, flexible fibers made of carbon nanotubes. The fibers' ability to bridge electrical gaps in tissue is a groundbreaking discovery and offers hope to the millions of people affected by cardiac arrhythmias. 

Texas Heart Institute leads stem cell treatment breakthrough for patients with coronary artery disease and heart failure
Important findings from research will be basis of expanded worldwide trial.

June 3, 2015
Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Heart Institute today announced a formal affiliation agreement
Establishes official link between leading institutions in cardiovascular research, education and patient care that centers on cardiovascular research, education and patient care at the two institutions and at Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center, part of CHI St. Luke’s Health.
Dr. Taylor to grads: 'You can make a difference in the world'

May 9, 2015
Taylor to grads: 'You can make a difference in the world'
After speaking to the Mississippi University for Women graduating class of 2015 as the keynote speaker Saturday, Dr. Doris Taylor received a honorary doctorate of science from MUW president
Read more at the Columbus Dispatch.

March 30, 2015
Texas Heart Institute Halfway to Goal of Recruiting Patients With Peripheral Artery Disease for Adult Stem Cell Trial Doctors and researchers at the Texas Heart Institute (THI) are halfway to their goal of recruiting  80 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. 

March 23, 2015
Doctor invents a device that could make life easier for dialysis patients
Texas Heart Institute surgeon William "Billy" E. Cohn has invented a device that makes the safest kind of dialysis accessible without surgery, a potentially huge advance in the treatment of chronic kidney disease. Read more in the Houston Chronicle.

March 18, 2015
New vascular aid pump anticipated to help millions with chronic heart fAortixailure
A catheter-deployed vascular aid pump, envisioned by Dr. Reynolds M. Delgado III, the Medical Director of Mechanical Support at the Texas Heart Institute, is anticipated to help millions of patients with chronic heart failure. Read more in Cardiovascular Disease News.March 11, 2015

New Bionic Heart Doesn't Beat and That's Why it Could Revolutionize Transplants
Scientists at the Texas Heart Institute say the perfect bionic heart is within their reach, but 
it doesn't beat. The average human heart has to beat 42 million times a year, which means that if it were replaced with a machine with a lot of moving parts, it would quickly wear out, said Dr. William Cohn, chief medical officer of BiVACOR, the company working on the new bionic heart.
Read more at ABC News.

March 9, 2015
CHI St. Luke’s Health–Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center Becomes First and Only Hospital in Houston to Implant World’s Smallest Minimally Invasive Cardiac Pacemaker
CHI St. Luke’s Health–Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center (Baylor St. Luke’s) announced today that it has become the first hospital in Houston to implant the world’s smallest pacemaker―the Medtronic Micra™ Transcatheter Pacing System (TPS). The device was implanted as part of the global pivotal clinical trial, and Baylor St. Luke’s is the only hospital in the Houston area selected to take part in the trial.“This miniaturized technology is designed to provide patients with the advanced pacing technology of traditional pacemakers via a minimally invasive approach,” said Dr. John Seger, Cardiac Electrophysiologist, Texas Heart Institute, who implanted the Micra transcatheter pacemaker. Read more on the Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center website.

Dr. William
March 4, 2015
One Texas Heart Institute surgeon's invention is changing the game for patients with kidney failure
Toting a battered, silver pool-cue case over his shoulder like an Old West gunslinger, William “Billy” E. Cohn, M.D., cardiac surgeon and director of the Center for Technology and Innovation at Texas Heart Institute, as well as director of the Department of Surgery Incubator at Baylor College of Medicine, unveils one of his latest technological innovations. Read more in the TMC Pulse.

February 23, 2015
Texas Heart Institute and The University of Texas System renew affiliation agreement
The 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. 
Texas Heart Institute and The University of Texas System renews decade-plus affiliation. Read more on UT System chancellors blog.
Front row (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
Ghost heart used to create new organs for transplantation.

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 1daclegend_web8, 2015
Solid progress
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
Female stem cells could be better for heart repair, disease treatment
Some of theDr. Doris Taylor 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
Dr. David A. Ott
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 HearDr. Denton Cooley and Donna Spannt 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.

November 5, 2014
Center for Cell and Organ Biotechnology convenes external Commercialization Advisory Group
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
Doris Taylor, PhD, FAHA, FACC
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
Texas 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, 2014
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

October 2, 2014
THI Grateful Beneficiary of $5 million ExxonMobil Gift for Cardiovascular Research
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 Heart Institute.

September 24, 2014
Study aimed at linking the presence of LRP, a type of fatty coronary artery plaque to heart attack

Texas 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.

SeptembeDeborah Ellen Meyers, MD, FRACP, FACCr 23, 2014
Dr. Deb
orah 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.

SeptWoodruffember 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
Becker's 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 2014-2015.

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.
Read more.

September 12, 2014
THI mCharles A. Washington, Sr. with his transplant surgeon Dr. Bud Frazierourns the loss of Charles Washington, one of the longest surviving heart transplant recipients
Texas 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 transplant recipients.

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 stopped.”

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.”  
Washington 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.

SeptembRazavi,-Mehdi_web160er 10, 2014
Read food labels correctly to lower heart disease risk, physician says
In 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, 2014
Hacking 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.

Sepyeh_webtember 4, 2014
res 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, 2014
The Cooley Legacy
TMC Pulse September 2014 cover: Denton A. Cooley, MDThe 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.

From 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, 2014
Artificial heart that skips the beat
The TeBiVACOR artificial heart devicexas 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, 2014
Dr. Stephanie CoulterDr. 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, 2014
DepthDario_Robletos 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, 2014
How 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.
Ghost heart used as scaffold for stem cells.
August 1, 2014
Houston scientist tackles medicine's big questions
Doris Taylor
, 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
Dr. Bud FrazierIn 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 Lung fluid detection device
A 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
Texas 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
Stephanie 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      Dr. James T. Willerson, Dr. Bud Frazier and Dr. Denton A. Cooley, photos at CultureMap website.
Frazier Holds World Record for Heart Transplants, LVADs
Texas 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
Dr. 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
Dr. 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, 2014
Today Marks 45th Anniversary of First Total Artificial Heart Implantation
Forty-five 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

Texas 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, 2014
TX 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 For more on the study visit

February 22, 2014
Surgeon Holds World Record for Heart Transplants        Dr. O.H.          
Dr. 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 artery disease.
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
Groundbreaking new 3-D atrial fibrillation mapping system at Texas Heart InstituteGroundbreaking technology
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
Houston's own Dr. Denton Cooley has been named the most innovative surgeon alive. 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
Formal 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
THI observes 1,000 LVAD implant milestone.
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, 2014
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)

January 7, 2014
Bold New Alliance Among Houston’s Leading Health Care Providers
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
St. Luke’s Medical Center and the Texas Heart Institute first in Houston to implement new approach for treating heart failure.
The CardioFit®system - 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.

December 10, 2013
Dr. Alain Cribier Receives Texas Heart Institute's Ray C. Fish Award for scientific achievement
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
When 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 sufferers.

Dr. Scott LeMaireTime 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 
Absorb stent - Dr. Emerson PerinFirst 4 Patients Enrolled in Study to Test Dissolving Device in Treatment of Heart Disease 
St. 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
Some 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, 2013Dr. James Martin
BCM, 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
TMC News on artificial heart valve trials with Medtronic CoreValveA 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
BiVACOR total artificial heart ind evelopment at THIDr. 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 
Dr. Michel Mawad talks about TIAsThe 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 
Aortic aneurysmFuture Blood Test May Detect Aortic Aneurysm and Dissection 
A 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 
Amerra Medical Visualization founders Aaron Cohan and Mark Johnson working on the Heart Defect Atlas with THI [photo credit Karen Warren]Aaron 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 
Mehdi Razavi, MDSaranas, 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   
Doris Taylor, PhD, FAHA, FACC"Most 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 
Peripheral Arterial Disease clinical trialPatients 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 
Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy clinical trialDoctors 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 common genetic heart disease, and a common cause of sudden cardiac death (SCD) in young people, especially young athletes.
Read more ...

October 7, 2013

KUHF "Houston Matters" discusses heart disease    
Dr. Coulter participates in the discussion on KUHF Houston Matters.Dr. 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  or from

September 16, 2013
Some agreement!
We're 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.

The aorta can be location of aneurysms and dissectionsSeptember 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 
Governor Rick Perry announcing the Center for Cell and Organ BiotechnologyGov. Perry Announces $3 Million Grant to Create Center for Cell and Organ Biotechnology
Gov. 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 
Microscopic imageScientists renew stem cells' healing properties in mice 
Scientists 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
electron microscope image shows bismuth ions (dark lines) sitting inside carbon nanotubes.Bismuth-carrying nanotubes show promise for CT scans
The 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

September 3, 2013 
Dr. William Cohn [photo by Charles Ford, Houstonia]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
Jim McIngvale [photo by James Nielsen]'Mattress Mack' tweets after heart procedure 
Well 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 
Robert & Janice McNair McNair Foundation Names Dr. Emerson Perin THI McNair Scholar
Dr. 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
Mobile Imaging Unit - Student MRI screening studyRecruiting 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  
Stent placed in blocked arteryHeart 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 in Boston

Heart Information Center: learn more about stents ...  

July 31, 2013  
Artery with vulnerable plaqueFarish 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  
Absorb Scaffold clinical trials - Dr. Emerson Perin (photo credit Johnny Hanson)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
It's 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 & World Report 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 
With 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 
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 Heart Institute.

Read more about fish in a heart-healthy diet: Straight Talk

June 20, 2013 
Research: Sugar overload can damage heart 
Too 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
Legendary 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 Fat-Derived Regenerative Cells
Doctors 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 
The 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 
"Women 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
Dr. 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

May 2013
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, 2013
Dr. William E. ‘Billy’ Cohn Wins 2013 Edison Award
The 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
In 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
St. 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, 2013
Grandmother Celebrates 20th Anniversary of Heart Transplant 
Glenda 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
Half 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, 2013

Olympic swimmer Dana Vollmer will speak at Go Red for Women luncheon
"Before 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 (PDF).

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] 

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
Dr. 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 
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
Alpha 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

Basketball 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
Texas Heart Institute Physician & Scientist William E. ‘Billy’ Cohn Named 2013 Edison Awards Finalist for Innovative Surgical Invention
The 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 
Doris 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.

"We 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 at THI. 

January 23, 2013 
Keeping hearts pumping  
Doctors 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, 2013
Mattress Mack donation brings BiVACOR artificial heart to Houston
Australian 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
Dr. 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 
St. 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
THI 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
Rosengart, 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 invasive surgery.

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
Atrial fibrillation 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

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. Interview and video from

See also on this website: 100,000 Hearts: A Surgeon's Memoir

November 26, 2012 
Moderate alcohol intake can benefit health 
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." - Houston Chronicle 

November 25, 2012
Basking briefly in legend's brilliance
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 protein
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 Chronicle

November 20, 2012 
FDA Approves HeartWare LVAD for HF 
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

See also on this website: Heart Assist Devices

October 29, 2012
Research unraveling risks of deadly hidden heart problems
Alaina 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 
Researchers Discover Key to How Cancer Drug Causes Heart Failure
Researchers 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.

October 25, 2012 

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

Olympic 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 
"Look 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 
Dr. 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
"On 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

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
USNews2012-13 - THI a Top Ten Heart Center 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. 

May 2012
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

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

Additional coverage: VITALS on, Cutting Edge on

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 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.

April 2011
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


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

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    Research news notice
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]

Go to archived news for 2010 - 2011.

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