Pediatric cardiology fellows are required to participate in both retrospective and prospective research during their research rotations. We strongly encourage analysis and publication of research results, and appropriate funding support is made available through the Cardiac Research Committee and the Children's Research Oversight Committee. Fellows have 13 four-week blocks of dedicated time to pursue research interests. More time can be made available based on the individual fellow's needs and career path.
During the past 5 years, fellows in our program have produced 49 abstracts and 49 publications in peer-reviewed publications. Fellows have the opportunity to generate novel research ideas or participate in existing basic and clinical research initiatives, such as:
- We are one of 9 core sites in the Pediatric Heart Network - a multicenter collaboration that is working to define best practices for treating congenital heart disease.
- The Center for Cardiovascular Biology is researching ways to improve the long-term prognosis for children with heart defects or heart failure. The center is studying subjects such as a biological pacemaker and a protein that could improve cardiac function in children as they grow.
- The first-of-its-kind Center for Pediatric Nanomedicine, a collaboration between physicians and scientists from Georgia Institute of Technology, Emory University School of Medicine and Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, is developing new approaches to treating pediatric heart disease and thrombosis using molecular-sized nanoparticles.
- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration provided $1.8 million to launch the Atlanta Pediatric Device Consortium, which will provide assistance with engineering design, prototype development, pre-clinical and clinical studies and commercialization for novel pediatric medical devices.
- In our Neurodevelopmental research program, researchers are exploring risk factors for brain injury and protective mechanisms of the brain's white matter in infants undergoing complex heart surgery.
- Cardiac outcomes research is focused on both clinical and public health solutions to improve long-term outcomes for pediatric cardiology patients.
Federal and local regulations, research ethics including informed consent requirements, protocol development, data collection and statistics are all part of the learning process supported by Department of Pediatrics, Cardiology faculty and the Cardiac Research Department. Before beginning any project, fellows must complete a review of the ethics and regulations regarding human investigation administered by Emory University. Fellows then select a mentor for a research project and submit topics to the Research Committee for discussion and approval. Fellows then create the necessary documentation for IRB approval. Throughout the process, fellows are guided not only by their mentors, but also by the Research Committee and the Cardiac Research Office.
Additional research opportunities are available in collaboration with Professor Ajit Yoganathan at Georgia Institute of Technology and the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Emory University. These resources allow investigation of flow dynamics and computer modeling of biomechanical aspects cardiac function.