Pediatric Cardiology Research

As one of the leading pediatric cardiology and cardiac surgery research sites in North America, the Pediatric and Congenital Heart Center has an extensive and long-standing portfolio of clinical investigations supported with funding from federal, industry, foundations, and intramural sources. Our clinician scientists serve as leaders in many of the nation’s most important research networks and collaboratives. Our team is committed to training the next generation of researchers who will solve the most pressing problems in our field.

We have been a core center for the NIH-funded Pediatric Heart Network (PHN) since it’s creation in 2001. The major barriers to clinical studies in pediatric heart disease include small numbers of individuals with a particular congenital heart defect at any one center, differences in treatment approaches and lack of resources to provide national coordination of collaborative research. The Network approach addresses these barriers by offering an effective, flexible way to study adequate numbers of patients with uncommon diseases through a common infrastructure for recruiting, monitoring, and following patients whose conditions will be characterized in a standard fashion. Over the last two decades, the Network has completed some of the most important clinical trials and observational cohort studies in pediatric cardiology and cardiac surgery. Medical centers like MUSC with experienced research teams that specialize in the care of pediatric patients with heart disease are chosen to become part of the PHN.

We are also a longstanding member of the Pediatric Trials Network which is funded by the NIH’s National Institute of Child Health and Development. This network conducts comprehensive studies of medications that are used to treat children, including those with congenital and acquired heart disease.

Members of our team are active investigators in numerous other multicenter research and quality improvement collaboratives, including the NIH-funded Collaborative Pediatric Critical Care Research Network, the Pediatric Cardiac Critical Care Consortium (PC4), the Pediatric Acute Cardiac Care Collaborative (PAC-3), the National Pediatric Cardiology Quality Improvement Collaborative (NPC-QIC), and the Collaborative for Research for the Pediatric Cardiac Intensive Care Society. 

In partnership with pharmaceutical companies and medical device manufacturers, our researchers have a substantial track record in developing new implantable devices and monitoring technology for children and young adults afflicted with heart disease. We are a preapproved study site for the Institute for Advanced Clinical Trials for Children. Along with investigators in the Department of Pediatrics, our physician scientist have been involved in dozens of studies focused on the prevention and treatment of COVID–19. 

Findings from the research initiatives noted above and others result in dozens of presentations at national meetings by our investigators and more than 50 original peer-reviewed publications in leading academic medical journals each year.  

Our cardiology fellows, pediatric residents, and other trainees are interval members of our research team. With mentorship from our pediatric cardiology and cardiac surgery faculty, our trainees have a longstanding track record for securing extramural funding, award-winning abstract presentations at national meetings, and first author publications.

Investigators receive regulatory and coordinator support from The Department of Pediatrics’ Pediatric Research Group.