Research and Education

UPMC has long been a leader in cardiovascular care, with a rich history in clinical research and innovation.

Our patients benefit from having access to some of the most current and promising procedures and medications.

Our strength in cardiovascular research is the result of two things:

  1. Our close affiliation with the University of Pittsburgh, our academic partner, which remains one of the top 10 institutions in the United States funded by the American Heart Association.
  2. Our very large clinical practice.

Our expertise in diagnosing and treating a large and diverse volume of patients, along with our commitment to advancing scientific discovery, has helped us to develop a very strong catalog of research on cardiovascular disease.

>>Search for a cardiovascular clinical trial

Exploring New Cardiovascular Treatments

Today, our clinicians, surgeons, and physician researchers are:

  • Exploring and employing new technologies and treatments to find better ways to treat cardiovascular disease.
  • Delving into basic science questions to find out why people develop certain types of cardiovascular disease in the first place.
  • Trying to understand the genetics of heart disease, which may help us develop therapies to limit the severity — or even prevent — the disease.

Ongoing Research Efforts

Cardiology Clinical Research

The UPMC Division of Cardiology receives millions of dollars in funding each year to conduct important cardiovascular research.

This research has expanded our understanding of the basic elements of cardiovascular development, anatomy, pharmacology, and control, enabling us to develop new approaches to diagnose and treat cardiovascular disease.

While we maintain a broad catalog of research, the major strengths of our research program include studies in:

  • Heart failure
  • Molecular imaging using echocardiography
  • Sudden cardiac death
  • Translational genetics
  • Heart failure/stem cell research
  • Noninvasive imaging
  • Vascular biology

Cardiology research » learn more from the Division of Cardiology.

UPMC Shadyside is host to several industry- and NIH-sponsored clinical cardiology trials.

Clinical trials » learn more from UPMC Shadyside

Cardiothoracic Surgery Clinical Research

The UPMC Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery also conducts novel research, with a focus on the following areas:

  • Antirejection techniques for heart and lung transplantation
  • Ventricular-assist device therapy to help the heart heal itself
  • Autologous stem cell injections into damaged heart tissue to improve ejection fraction in patients with heart failure
  • Minimally invasive surgical techniques to reduce length of hospital stays

Cardiothoracic research » learn more from the Division of Cardiac Surgery.

Vascular Surgery Clinical Research

The Division of Vascular Surgery’s physicians and scientists collaborate to explore and develop new and exciting treatments and technologies in the field of vascular medicine and surgery. The scope of research involves bioengineering, molecular biology, gene therapy, methods of inhibiting new intimal hyperplasia, and other aspects of vascular biology, especially in these areas:

  • Carotid stenting
  • Deep vein thrombosis
  • Peripheral vascular disease
  • Thoracic and abdominal aneurysms
  • Other venous conditions

The Benefits of Clinical Trials

Clinical research studies, or clinical trials, are crucial to the advancement of medical knowledge.

Through clinical trials, we:

  • Learn how a new medicine or treatment works in people
  • Find out what works and what doesn’t work
  • Discover new and better ways of preventing, diagnosing, and treating heart and vascular diseases and conditions

Find specific clinical research trials from the University of Pittsburgh Office of Clinical Research.

Read how participation in a clinical trial is helping one of our patients.

Julie Feitner. 

Read how research at UPMC has improved Julia Feitner's quality of life.

Featured Trials and Research 

  • Dr. Robert Kormos was recently awarded funds to continue exploring the future uses of small heart pumps to help people with heart failure.
    > Read the article.
  • Our Valve Center is one of only a few sites in the United States conducting a CoreValve ® TAVI (transcatheter aortic valve implantation) clinical trial.
  • Learn more about the Peripartum Cardiomyopathy Network, a network of physicians and nurses across the United States and Canada dedicated to both clinical care and investigation of peripartum cardiomyopathy.

Recent News

Additional Resources

©  UPMC | Affiliated with the University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences
Supplemental content provided by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions. All rights reserved.

For help in finding a doctor or health service that suits your needs, call the UPMC Referral Service at 412-647-UPMC (8762) or 1-800-533-UPMC (8762). Select option 1.

UPMC is an equal opportunity employer. UPMC policy prohibits discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, age, sex, genetics, sexual orientation, marital status, familial status, disability, veteran status, or any other legally protected group status. Further, UPMC will continue to support and promote equal employment opportunity, human dignity, and racial, ethnic, and cultural diversity. This policy applies to admissions, employment, and access to and treatment in UPMC programs and activities. This commitment is made by UPMC in accordance with federal, state, and/or local laws and regulations.

Medical information made available on is not intended to be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You should not rely entirely on this information for your health care needs. Ask your own doctor or health care provider any specific medical questions that you have. Further, is not a tool to be used in the case of an emergency. If an emergency arises, you should seek appropriate emergency medical services.

For UPMC Mercy Patients: As a Catholic hospital, UPMC Mercy abides by the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services, as determined by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. As such, UPMC Mercy neither endorses nor provides medical practices and/or procedures that contradict the moral teachings of the Roman Catholic Church.

Pittsburgh, PA, USA