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Our Work

What Do We Research

Enduring Hearts funds the most promising research being conducted to increase the longevity of transplanted human organs and related tissue transplants. Our grant awards specifically target research benefiting pediatric heart transplant recipients.

As a nonprofit organization, we work with our scientific advisory board to identify and award operating grants for research projects in organ transplantation to established members of academic staff at universities, transplant centers, and research institutes.

At Enduring Hearts, we give priority to clinical research projects and new emerging technologies that will translate within the next five years, involve pediatric heart transplant recipients and are innovative.  We want our research to save lives of children who are living with a transplant today!

Research FOcus: Prevent, Early Diagnose and Treat CAV

Heart transplantation can be a lifesaving procedure for children with inoperable heart diseases. Cardiac Allograft Vasculopathy (CAV) is a leading cause for these transplanted hearts to fail.

What is CAV?

Cardiac Allograft Vasculopathy ( CAV) is a disease affecting coronary arteries of some
transplanted hearts. The coronary arteries supply blood to the heart muscle so it can then pump blood that is carrying oxygen to our body. In adults with “hardening of the arteries”, the coronary arteries can become blocked causing a life-threatening heart attack. CAV also blocks blood flow thru the coronary arteries causing the transplanted heart to lose function over time. Like a heart attack the narrowing of the CAV can cause the progressive loss of function in the transplanted heart.

CAV leads to progressive narrowing of the coronary arteries. The injury begins even before the heart is
transplanted (Pre-HT) and continues after the transplant (HT; early post-HT). Current evidence suggests that CAV is caused by direct injuries to the coronary arteries of the donor heart (allograft injuries).The transplant recipient’s inflammatory and immune cell responses cause further injury to the coronary arteries (“response to injury”) later post-HT. If we were able to diagnose CAV early post-transplant, we could begin to treat CAV early and prevent its progression. In research supported by Enduring Hearts and published in 2015, we now know in children that CAV likely begins in the smallest coronary arteries, or “microvessels” (Feingold et al, 2015).

Enduring Hearts has funded eight (8) different research teams across the country to investigate novel
strategies to prevent, diagnose early and prevent the onset of CAV in children who have received new hearts. Click here to read more about the projected outcomes of our research initiatives!

Institutional Research

Together we have funded research from top institutions:
  • Children’s Hospital of Atlanta
  • Duke University
  • Columbia University
  • University of Chicago
  • University of Illinois
  • University of Florida
  • Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin
  • UCLA
  • Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital
  • University of Calgary
  • University of Michigan
  • Emory University
  • Vanderbilt University
  • Case Western Reserve University
  • Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Boston Children’s Hospital
  • Hospital for Sick Children – University of Toronto
  • University of Pittsburgh
  • Medical University of South Carolina
  • University of Alberta- Edmonton
  • Cleveland Clinic
  • Northwestern University
  • Inova Fairfax
  • Arizona State University
  • Stanford University
  • Harvard University
  • Ohio State University
  • University of Washington at Seattle
  • Drexel University
  • University of Colorado