Home of the world-renowned Texas Heart® Institute

A letter from our leadership

Dear Colleagues,

It is with great enthusiasm that we present our annual outcomes report summarizing what we do very well at the Texas Heart® Institute at Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center: take care of very sick patients. By integrating innovative technologies and techniques, we are improving our patients’ outcomes and continue to be at the forefront of cardiovascular care.

We are proud to welcome Dr. Marc Moon, our new chief of adult cardiac surgery at the Texas Heart Institute at Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center and chief of the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery at Baylor College of Medicine. Dr. Moon is an innovator and leader in the field, having exceptional expertise in surgical treatments for complex aortic disease and valvular heart diseases, such as interventions in patients with connective tissue disorders and aortic dissection.

Dr. Kenneth Liao, chief of cardiothoracic transplantation and mechanical circulatory support at Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center, is currently the only surgeon in Houston, Texas, using the da Vinci Robotic Surgical System for cardiovascular procedures. We are one of the largest robotic surgery centers in the country, treating patients from around the world with this advanced technology. For mitral valve and bypass surgery, Dr. Liao and his team have significantly reduced morbidity and improved recovery times, thereby increasing patient satisfaction.

Our multidisciplinary centers of excellence are expanding services for our patients with complex valvular, pericardial, and amyloid heart disease. This year, we earned a prestigious American College of Cardiology accreditation as a Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) Center of Excellence, making our program the first in Houston to be recognized for this level of quality and clinical outcomes.

Led by Drs. Alexis Shafii and Andrew Civitello, the multidisciplinary advanced heart failure program has achieved a one-year heart transplant survival rate of 97.5%, the highest in Texas.

In addition to its clinical excellence, and true to its mission, Texas Heart® Institute continues its tradition as a pioneer in cardiovascular research and education. It would be impossible for us to continue to lead in the fields of cardiology and cardiac surgery if we did not have researchers and scientists innovating every day in the areas of stem cell therapies, devices, and management of arrhythmias.

One notable example is the Saranas® Early Bird® Bleed Monitoring System. Invented by THI’s Director of Electrophysiology Clinical Research & Innovations, Mehdi Razavi, MD, this device allows for the early detection and monitoring of bleeding complications associated with vascular access procedures. The new device is now being used for patients at the Texas Heart Institute at Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center.

THI’s Medical Director Emerson C. Perin, MD, PhD., presented the results of the DREAM-HF in a late-breaking clinical trials session at the 2021 American Heart Association Annual Meeting. The trial randomized 565 patients with class II and class III heart failure to treatment with bone-marrow-derived stem cells or a placebo. Stem cell treatment significantly reduced cardiovascular morbidity and mortality, particularly in those with elevated serum markers of inflammation, highlighting an intriguing mechanistic insight into cell-based therapies.

Drs. William Cohn and O. H. Frazier continue their work with the BiVACOR team to test a novel total artificial heart with centrifugal flow physiology. It is anticipated that this device will reach human trials later this year. Researchers at THI are also testing Second Heart’s aortic implant for heart failure patients who require long-term circulatory support and are unable to receive a heart transplant.

We are equally proud of our cardiology and CV surgery fellows, who are recruited from the finest institutions in the United States. They come here for the immersive experience of caring for a diverse patient population that requires a broad spectrum of treatment—from prevention to treating the most complex stages of illness—and to develop expertise with leading-edge technologies used in a compassionate way by the leaders in the field.

We are humbled by your trust, and we thank you for allowing us to participate in the care of your patients. We are very proud of what we have accomplished, and we are excited about our next firsts in cardiovascular discovery.

Juan Carlos Plana, MD, FACC, FASE
Chief, Cardiovascular Service Line
Texas Heart® Institute at Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center
Dr Joe Rogers
Joseph G. Rogers, MD, FACC, FHFSA

President and CEO
Texas Heart® Institute at Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center




Heart Failure and Transplant

The Texas Heart Institute at Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center has been ranked as a top hospital in the Cardiology & Heart Surgery specialty every year since the specialty rankings began in 1991. The Institute’s founder, world-renowned surgeon Dr. Denton A. Cooley, once said of this achievement, “We are pleased to be recognized as one of the nation’s best. Through our programs in research, education, and patient care, and the skills and dedication of our physicians and support personnel, we are making great strides in the understanding, prevention, and treatment of cardiovascular disease.” Undoubtedly, Dr. Cooley’s words continue to ring true today as the Institute celebrates the sixtieth anniversary of its founding.

Robotic-assisted cardiac surgery performed

Led by Kenneth K. Liao, MD, PhD., the team at Texas Heart Institute at Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center is focused on using state-of-the-art robotic technology to perform minimally invasive mitral valve repair and coronary artery bypass grafting surgery. The advanced robotic technology uses 3D high-definition scope and robot-controlled fine instruments inside the chest, which allow the surgeon to perform gentle and complex surgical maneuvers inside the heart. The advantages of robotic cardiac surgery include very small incisions through the rib space (1-2 inches), less blood loss, lower risk of stroke and wound infection, and quicker recovery.

Currently, Dr. Liao is among a handful of highly experienced robotic cardiac surgeons in the U.S. and the only cardiac surgeon in Greater Houston using the da Vinci Robotic Surgical System to treat valve and coronary disease. His robotic cardiac surgery program at Texas Heart Institute at Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center is among the top 10 programs in the U.S. Since his arrival at Texas Heart Institute at Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center in 2019, he has performed over 290 robotic heart surgeries, making it the fastest-growing program in the country.
Kenneth K. Liao, MD, PhD

Chief of Cardiothoracic Transplantation and Mechanical Circulatory Support at Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center

Cardiology in the time of COVID-19

Texas Heart Institute has maintained a leadership role at Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center to make possible early and impactful inpatient treatment for COVID-19 patients that would otherwise not be accessible. The NIH-sponsored trial “Therapeutics for Inpatients with COVID-19” (TICO) was started with Dr. Emerson Perin and THI taking the lead. Coordinating this hospital-wide effort across multiple specialties “engendered great optimism about the future outcomes of our hospitalized patients with COVID-19.”

TICO is a unique master protocol research platform used to evaluate the safety and efficacy of multiple investigational agents for treating patients with COVID-19. Investigational drugs being tested under the TICO platform have included monoclonal antibodies, DARPin proteins, and other antiviral drugs.

We are here, using our knowledge and hard work, to fulfill the mission set forth by Dr. Denton A. Cooley. Alongside our engagement in COVID-19 research and treatment, we continue to move innovative research projects forward to achieve “The Next First” in cardiovascular medicine.

Emerson C. Perin, MD, PhD
Cardiologist at Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center, Medical Director of Texas Heart Institute, and Clinical Professor of Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine

Permanent artificial hearts are closer than you think


Burgeoning hybrid atrial fibrillation program at THI bolstered by FDA approval of innovative new EPi-sense treatment system

The Texas Heart Institute at Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center has received FDA approval to use the medical device company AtriCure’s EPi-Sense System to treat long-standing persistent atrial fibrillation (LSPAF) in heart patients. The authorization marks the first and only FDA approval of a minimally invasive surgical ablation therapy device for these patients, which will improve the lives of more than 3.5 million patients in the United States living with LSPAF. The approval aligns with the local three-year efforts of Jennifer Cozart, MD, who has been working arduously to develop and implement Baylor St. Luke’s Hybrid Atrial Fibrillation Program.
The FDA approval comes after the CONVERGE clinical trial—a landmark randomized controlled pivotal trial designed to establish the overall superiority of hybrid ablation to endocardial catheter ablation alone for patients with persistent atrial fibrillation or LSPAF. The procedure comprises a minimally invasive, closed-chest epicardial ablation performed by a surgeon using the AtriCure EPi-Sense System combined with endocardial radiofrequency catheter ablation performed by an electrophysiologist. The trial enrolled 153 patients at 27 locations (25 in the United States and 2 in the United Kingdom). Patients were randomly assigned to treatments in a 2:1 ratio and received either the hybrid procedure or endocardial catheter ablation alone. The hybrid procedure showed superior effectiveness to endocardial-only ablation in patients with advanced AF. The study also underscored how collaboration between electrophysiologists and cardiac surgeons helps to improve outcomes in these patients.

“The FDA approval of the EPi-Sense System for the treatment of long-standing persistent atrial fibrillation is a triumphant result and one that significantly supports the work that we have been doing here to improve treatment for patients with atrial fibrillation,” Dr. Cozart stated. “The EPi-Sense System will help patients with the most advanced stages of atrial fibrillation and will be a true game-changer as a hybrid treatment option. I am extremely hopeful for what today’s announcement means for the future of treatment for atrial fibrillation, which affects over 33 million people around the globe.”

jennifer cozart

Transcatheter Valve Center of Excellence

Experts at the Texas Heart Institute at Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center have earned a prestigious American College of Cardiology accreditation as a Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) Center of Excellence, the first program in Houston to be recognized for this level of quality and clinical outcomes.
“This distinction underscores our commitment to excellence in the treatment of complex cardiovascular disease,” said Stephanie Coulter, MD.
The comprehensive external review and certification process acknowledges the highest standards for training, team-based care, patient-focused decision-making, and clinical performance. The designation also requires participation in a TAVR national clinical database to achieve certification.
Centers that achieve ACC Transcatheter Valve Certification follow best practices for using evidence-based medicine to support decision-making in the care of individual patients.
“We are proud of this designation. It validates the expertise of our team, the patient care processes we have implemented, our ability to track key performance metrics, and our commitment to continuous improvement. Our TAVR team has performed 2,150 procedures in the past nine years and is dedicated to the highest standards of quality and safety. This focus translates to superior clinical outcomes for our patients,” said Zvonimir Krajcer, MD.

Groundbreaking Cardiovascular Gene Therapy Has Potential to Drastically Alter Outlook for Heart Failure Patients

“This is a potentially transformational strategy to treat human heart failure.”

James T. Martin, MD, PhD

The Texas Heart Institute at Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center announced that seminal research conducted by a team of investigators led by James F. Martin, MD, PhD, has been published in Science Translational Medicine, a heralded platform for the peer-reviewed, multidisciplinary research that is driving the latest in medical advances. The paper, drawing on years of discovery dating back to 2007, represents a game-changing step forward for the treatment of heart failure by using gene therapy to regenerate heart muscle after myocardial infarction (MI). Commonly referred to as a heart attack, MI is the number one cause of death for men and women in the United States and results in more deaths each year than all cancers combined.

“Patients suffering from heart failure have very limited treatment options, and up to this point, it had essentially been impossible to bring heart muscle back in humans after an injury, regardless of available technology and knowledge,” stated Dr. Martin, who is a professor and the Vivian L. Smith Chair in Regenerative Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine. “The new gene therapy that we are pioneering essentially turns off an inhibitory genetic mechanism—called the Hippo signaling pathway—that is found in all mammals. Temporarily turning off Hippo unleashes the ability of the heart to regenerate. Using this therapy, which is delivered to the heart muscle around the area of injury and releases a short piece of RNA, we can turn off the stop signal and allow the heart to repair itself.” The research in Dr. Martin’s paper is built upon the formative discovery that, unlike human hearts, zebrafish hearts can repair themselves after damage.
Dr. Martin’s study, generously funded through grants from the National Institutes of Health, the Vivian L. Smith Foundation, The Brown Foundation, Inc., and the State of Texas, documents the positive effects of this approach in large-animal models of ischemic heart disease. The research is now headed to clinical trials to be conducted by YAP Therapeutics, a company co-founded by Dr. Martin with the late James T. Willerson, MD, former president and president emeritus of the Texas Heart Institute at Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center, and Olav Bergheim, founder and managing director of the life science venture accelerator Fjord Ventures, to develop and commercialize medicines that treat severe diseases through tissue regeneration.
“The plan is to advance our gene therapy, take it to clinical trials, and ultimately treat people. The goal here is to translate the work of our research teams at Texas Heart Institute at Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center into a life-changing medicine, labeled YAP101, for people with heart failure,” added Dr. Martin.

HeartCare Study Tests Genetic Risk of Cardiovascular Disease

You can’t escape your genetics, but with a little help, you can be proactive and prevent disease later in life. That is why researchers at Baylor College of Medicine’s Human Genome Sequencing Center are working with Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center cardiologists to determine patients’ genetic risk factors for cardiovascular disease. As part of the HeartCare study, participants underwent genetic testing to identify genes that influence the risk of cardiovascular disease.
“Genomics has the potential to drive precision medicine. Some cardiovascular risk factors can be predicted or detected through genomic methods, making treatment options specific to each person,” said Dr. Richard Gibbs, Wofford Cain Chair, professor of molecular and human genetics, and director of the Human Genome Sequencing Center. “This program provides the perfect opportunity to introduce genomics into the adult clinical care system. It can potentially shift the paradigm from reactive care to risk prediction.”
Hundreds of patients were tested, and for some, the results changed their doctors’ approach to their clinical care. The changes included recommending changes to the patient’s diet, exercise, and lifestyle, pharmacologic intervention, and further genetic testing for family members.
“So often in cardiovascular disease, we look at the symptoms and make a probable diagnosis. Now we have the ability to tell patients exactly what they have. It’s remarkable the impact genetics can make in cardiovascular care,” said Dr. Christie Ballantyne, professor of medicine at Baylor College of Medicine and cardiologist at Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center.
“We’re focusing on adults, but the methods will ultimately be useful for children, as well,” Gibbs said. “If you can predict cardiovascular disease at an early age, then you can intervene.”
The HeartCare genomic study report was named one of the 10 most significant papers impacting genomic medicine in 2021. The study is being expanded to South Texas and will include genomics for both cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Several precision medicine trials are ongoing at the Center for Cardiometabolic Disease Prevention, including RNA-silencing strategies targeting inherited lipid disorders and cardiovascular disease.
Christie Ballantyne
Christie M. Ballantyne, MD, FACP, FACC

Innovation at the Point of Care is Closing the Loop in Bench to Bedside Medicine

At the Texas Heart Institute at Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center, talented researchers are closing the loop in “bench-to-bedside” research and taking it a step further. Clinical observations at the patient’s bedside propel new ideas back to the bench, where they are translated into innovations to improve patient care. With this “bedside-to-bench-to-bedside” approach, clinicians and scientists are pushing new boundaries and shortening the timeline for bringing life-saving medical devices from concept to clinical use.
One notable example is the Saranas® Early Bird® Bleed Monitoring System, invented by Mehdi Razavi, MD, director of Electrophysiology Clinical Research & Innovations at Baylor St. Luke’s. This medical device allows for the early detection and monitoring of bleeding complications associated with vascular access procedures.
The Early Bird utilizes a sheath, a plastic tube device that helps keep arteries and vessels open so that catheters and other devices can be inserted during surgical procedures. The device is embedded with sensors that measure the electrical resistance across a blood vessel. By sensing a change in the electrical resistance of the area around the vessel, the Early Bird can detect and monitor bleeding from a blood vessel accidentally injured during endovascular procedures, such as transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR), large-bore hemodynamic support device placement, or other complex endovascular interventions where the femoral artery or vein is used to gain vascular access.
In describing the genesis of the Early Bird device, Dr. Razavi reflected, “We had just finished a procedure, and afterward, the patient had a significant drop in blood pressure. I was in traffic between hospitals when I received a call about the patient’s blood pressure drop. I thought to myself, ‘I wish there was a way to actually find out right now if the bleeding is ongoing or not.’ So I thought about the variables that we look for in the field of cardiac electrophysiology, one of which is resistance of tissues. I wondered if blood in that field would change the resistance of the tissue, and it turns out that it does, in a very precise and reproducible way.”
Dr. Razavi first conceived of a bleeding-detection device in 2009. He worked with engineers at THI and Rice University to develop a working prototype, and with preclinical models, they demonstrated that bleeding could, in fact, be detected with impedance. THI filed the provisional patent, which was granted in 2012. In 2013, Dr. Razavi co-founded Saranas® and licensed the Early Bird® sheath technology from THI. With successful fundraising for further research and development, the product was used for the first patient in 2018 and was granted De Novo status by the FDA in 2019. The device is currently sold throughout the US and is in use at Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center, the very building in which the first prototypes were made and tested.
“Bleeding is a major problem. It affects not only the patient’s short-term outcome but also their long-term outcome. If you bleed, your chances of a delayed recovery from a procedure increase, the chances of complications in the hospital increase, and certainly the cost of hospitalization increases significantly,” Dr. Razavi noted.
Throughout its nearly 60 years of history, the Texas Heart Institute at Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center has pioneered game-changing firsts. It has been on the leading edge of cardiovascular discovery on a global scale. Now, through the impressive work of researchers and clinicians, the “Next First” is becoming a tangible reality on a daily basis, as evidenced by the progression of the Early Bird Bleed Monitoring System from bedside to bench, then back to bedside.
Early Bird stint

Phase 3 Clinical Trial Results Demonstrate Promising Stem Cell Treatment Options for Patients with Persistent Heart Failure

At the American Heart Association 2021 Scientific Sessions gathering in Dallas, Texas, Texas Heart Institute Medical Director Emerson C. Perin, MD, PhD, presented substantial research findings from a randomized, controlled phase 3 clinical trial performed in 565 patients with class II and class III persistent heart failure. Dr. Perin was the study’s co-principal investigator.

The groundbreaking program set out to examine the effects of directly injecting stem cells, specifically mesenchymal precursor cells (MPCs), into the heart to relieve inflammation and treat persistent heart failure. For the study’s primary investigative endpoint, the research team set out to determine whether a single intracardiac injection procedure of stem cells from healthy adult donors given in addition to standard-of-care heart failure treatment would affect the number of times participants were hospitalized for heart failure events. Secondary outcomes included whether study participants had a reduction in their risk of heart attack, stroke, or death.
The primary takeaways from the study’s results include:
“The Texas Heart Institute prides itself upon consistently striving to uncover ‘The Next First’ in cardiovascular discovery and treatment,” stated THI President and CEO Dr. Joseph G. Rogers. “The phase 3 clinical trial findings put forward by Dr. Perin to the American Heart Association speak to the relentless pursuit of excellence that THI researchers dedicate themselves to by spending countless hours investigating novel ways to improve methods of treating heart failure in order to improve patient outcomes.”

New Clinical Trial at the Texas Heart Institute Explores Heart Failure Treatment After Myocardial Infarction

The Texas Heart Institute is part of the multicenter ALIVE (American Less Invasive Ventricular Enhancement) trial to evaluate the safety of the Revivent TC Transcatheter Ventricular Enhancement System for heart failure patients with left ventricular scarring. The system requires a cardiac surgeon and an interventional cardiologist working together simultaneously to restore the heart to a more normal size, with the goal of improving its pumping efficiency. The purpose of this treatment is to reduce patients’ heart failure symptoms, improve their quality of life and walking ability, and prevent heart failure-related hospital stays.
“We are enthusiastic about the prospect of treating patients in a less invasive way that may help them avoid the pain, long recovery time, and complication risks that can come with open-heart surgery,” says Dr. Sam Sheth, principal investigator of the study.

“Participating in the ALIVE Trial enables us to be on the front lines of research into the most innovative therapies with the potential to help patients suffering from the limitations of heart failure,” says Emerson Perin MD, PhD, medical director of the Texas Heart Institute.

Complex Valvular Heart Disease Clinic

Led by Srikanth Koneru, MD, the Complex Valvular Heart Disease Clinic is focused on evaluating patients with a high risk of operative mortality (who are often deemed inoperable). We offer state-of-the-art multi-modality imaging to guide various percutaneous catheter-based interventions and minimally invasive surgical procedures. Imaging is used to model the valves for optimal sizing before implantation. 3D printing is used to plan cases for patients with complex anatomy or anticipated complications.

Sharing Science Globally to Advance Medicine

Since its formation, Texas Heart Institute has been at the forefront of cardiovascular discovery and innovation. It relentlessly pursues solutions for preventing, diagnosing, and treating heart and vascular disease. Sharing scientific discoveries advance the Institute’s mission and contribute globally to knowledge that can ultimately improve outcomes. In 2021, 67 Texas Heart Institute members published a total of 354 articles in reputable scientific and medical journals around the world with the help of the Texas Heart Institute Scientific Publications team, which provides the Institute’s researchers with professional, scientific editorial services.

Stephanie Coulter, MD


Ourania Preventza, MD, MBA

New Esophageal Suction and Deformation Device to Protect Patients from Atrioesophageal Fistula

Early studies show that a new esophageal suction and deformation device improves the safety of ablation procedures for atrial fibrillation by providing esophageal protection. This device is licensed by the Texas Heart Institute at Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center.
The E-SAFE probe monitors esophageal temperature and deforms the esophagus by suction to create a narrow profile. The device is inserted into the esophagus, and the balloons inflate and apply suction. This narrows the esophagus, thus improving contact with temperature sensors. This, in turn, decreases the amount of radiofrequency energy entering the esophagus during ablation.
LA ablation with this device has been tested in three pigs. At necropsy one week after E-SAFE deployment, histopathologic examination found no device-related esophageal injury. The device was granted approval of the CE Mark, and initial human studies are underway in the European Union. FDA clearance is pending.

NIH awards funding to the Center of Excellence for Diseases of the Aorta

Dr. Scott LeMaire, professor of surgery in the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery and vice-chair for research, and Dr. Ying Shen, professor of surgery in the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery and director of the Aortic Disease Research Lab, have been awarded a National Institute of Health R01 grant from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute totaling over $2,400,000 during the initial four-year funding segment for their project titled, “Pro-inflammatory Pyroptotic Cell Death in Aortic Degeneration.” The preliminary findings of this study suggest that damaged DNA in smooth muscle cells (SMC) activates a pore-forming protein, gasdermin D (GSDMD), that drives SMC pyroptosis, an inflammatory form of programmed cell death that can represent a common pathway to aortic SMC loss. The long-term goal of this study is to improve the understanding of the molecular pathogenesis of sporadic ascending thoracic aortic aneurysms and dissections in the hope of developing new pharmacological strategies to prevent disease progression.
Dr. LeMaire’s and Dr. Shen’s basic science laboratory research—conducted in the Aortic Disease Research Lab—is currently focusing on the role of various aspects of extracellular matrix metabolism in the development of aortic aneurysms and dissections. In particular, his group is studying the roles of destructive factors, such as inflammatory cells and proteases, and reparative mechanisms, such as stem cell recruitment and transformation, during the development of aortic aneurysms and dissections. Their lab performed novel experiments demonstrating that ciprofloxacin, a commonly prescribed fluoroquinolone antibiotic, causes severe damage to the aortic wall in susceptible mice, supporting that these drugs should be avoided in patients with or at risk for aortic aneurysms or dissections.

Testing Portable Organ Care System Devices for Improving Lung Transplant Outcomes

Dr. Gabriel Loor, associate professor in the Division of Cardiothoracic Transplantation and Circulatory Support at Baylor College of Medicine, has been awarded $75,000 by The JHL Foundation Board of Directors for his EXPAND II research trial, where he is testing the outcomes of transplanted donor lungs that are transported, preserved, optimized, and monitored on a portable organ care system device. The purpose of supporting Dr. Loor’s study of biomarker data is to help determine whether an organ is safe for transplant and how the postoperative course might look after ex-vivo lung perfusion (EVLP). Dr. Loor received $325,000 in 2017 and then an additional $75,000 to continue to explore biomarkers.
Dr. Loor is credited with the first donation after cardiac death (DCD) transplant in the United States using portable EVLP, which keeps the lung viable and monitored throughout transportation. Dr. Loor also completed the first “breathing lung” transplant in Texas in 2017 and led the development of the Baylor Lung Institute database for lung transplantation and tissue banking. He also works with translational science collaborations with the Texas Heart Institute Regenerative Medicine Department and participates in the interventional program for mitral valve and aortic valve disease here at Baylor College of Medicine.
Dr. Loor specializes in the clinical evaluation and surgical management of patients with advanced cardiothoracic disease, including coronary artery, aortic and valvular heart diseases. Dr. Loor has a special interest in advanced heart and lung failure and is the surgical director of the Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center Lung Transplantation Program.

Partnering Nationally to Launch the Portable ECMO Unit

Dr. Gabriel Loor, associate professor in the Division of Cardiothoracic Transplantation and Circulatory Support at Baylor College of Medicine and the Texas Heart Institute, and Dr. Subhasis Chatterjee, assistant professor of surgery in the Divisions of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery and Cardiothoracic Surgery, have been awarded a $30,000 startup grant from Abiomed to participate in the United States launch of a new compact and portable ECMO unit. Due to the current ECMO and lung transplant programs’ continued success, Texas Heart Institute and Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center are one of six sites selected to participate in this initiative. This ECMO unit is classified as the most portable unit and pursues a fully integrated, durable, take-home circuit for patients waiting for lung transplants or recovering from lung failure.

Thoracic Surgeon and Surgical Oncologists Launch Proteomic Research for Mesothelioma Checkpoint Blockade Treatment

Dr. Bryan Burt, associate professor and chief of the Division of General Thoracic Surgery, was awarded an NIH grant from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) totaling over $2.5 million over the initial five-year funding segment for his project titled, “Proteomic Determinants of Response to Checkpoint Blockade in Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma.” The study is expected to be conducted over the years 2021-2028.

Dr. Burt is a Harvard-trained thoracic surgeon and surgical oncologist who prides himself on providing the highest level of care for his patients, without exception. He is a minimally invasive robotic surgeon and surgical innovator who thrives in the art and science of multidisciplinary patient care.

Bryan M. Burt

Celebrating 60 Years of Excellence