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Portman Research Group

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Welcome to the Portman Research Group

Led by Dr. Michael Portman, the Portman Research Group is developing innovative ways to protect children’s hearts from damage related to heart surgery, and is improving how the medical community understands and treats Kawasaki disease.

The lab’s myocardial protection program is unraveling the metabolic processes that govern how the heart responds to – and recovers from – surgery. The Portman team’s research builds on its discovery that, when infants supported by cardiopulmonary bypass are given triiodothryonine – a thyroid hormone – it shortens the time they need to spend on ventilators. The lab is working to understand why this hormone is effective and is identifying other nutritional supplements that could shorten recovery times and improve long-term survival for children who undergo heart surgery.

The Portman Research Group also leads a major Kawasaki disease research program that aims to eradicate heart damage caused by the condition. Portman and his colleagues are pursuing a new theory that could help illuminate the causes of Kawasaki disease (KD), and are making discoveries that could improve KD treatment.

To support Portman’s work and help accelerate his research, learn more about the KD Kids Guild. The guild raises money to support Portman’s work developing new diagnostic tests and more effective therapies for KD.

Investigator Biography

Michael Portman

Michael A. Portman, MD, is director of research in the Division of Cardiology at Seattle Children’s Hospital and a professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Washington School of Medicine. He is an attending physician and cardiologist at Seattle Children’s Heart Center. Portman’s research activities include pharmacological clinical trials; basic science projects focused on cardiac metabolism and genetics; and mentoring future clinical researchers.

Dr. Portman is also the principal investigator of the Stipends for Training Aspiring Researchers (STAR) program, which aims to increase the number of underrepresented students entering cardiology, pulmonary, hematology and sleep research. He is an editorial board member of the American Journal of Physiology – Heart and Circulatory Physiology.

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More than half of the kids who come to Seattle Children’s live with conditions that they will have for the rest of their lives. Research can give them a different future.

To direct your donation to Dr. Portman's research, please indicate your choice in the optional section of the form by selecting “Other.”