Heart Research and Advances

About one in every 100 babies born in the United States - almost 32,000 every year - have heart defects. How can we find these defects sooner, or prevent them entirely? What are better ways to treat the children? Can we repair the damage to their hearts?

These are some of the many questions that researchers at the Heart Center ask every day. Research helps us find the answers. Seattle Children's is committed to leading the translation of new knowledge into helpful clinical tools, and it shows.

A History of Innovation

Our state-of-the-art cardiac catheterization laboratory was the first in the Pacific Northwest to establish both a pediatric cardiac catheterization intervention program and pediatric electrophysiology program. The laboratory also pioneered a number of innovative interventional procedures in the region.

We have a strong history of innovation, and at the Heart Center you may have the opportunity to participate in some of the leading trials of new treatment, diagnostic methods or innovative technologies, such as the Melody valve or Berlin Heart, which could benefit children with heart problems.

Our core research focus includes fetal diagnosis and treatment, minimally invasive and robotic surgery, advanced cardiac therapies, molecular cardiology, pulmonary vascular disease research and outcomes analysis.

Current Research

Drs. Thomas Jones and Troy Johnston and their team are involved in several clinical trials for cardiac devices and techniques that could reduce the need for open heart surgery, like the Melody transcatheter heart valve.

Dr. Michael Portman and his team are introducing medications that could reduce the damage of heart surgery, and medications that could reverse other types of injury to the heart muscle.

Drs. Charles Murry and Robert Boucek are starting new studies that could help children recover from heart damage that currently can only be treated with transplantation.

Dr. Mark Majesky is working with stem cells to develop lifesaving treatments that could someday replace invasive heart surgeries and transplants in children.

Using zebrafish models, Dr. Lisa Maves is unraveling details of cardiac development so we might intervene earlier for children with congenital heart defects.

Drs. Mark Lewin and Aaron Olson are part of the Pediatric Heart Network's multicenter Marfan trial.