Research & Innovation

Breakthrough research discoveries by Lillehei Heart Institute and University of Minnesota Heart Care have changed the face of cardiovascular disease.

Cardiovascular disease touches each of us. It causes more than half of all the deaths in the U.S. It afflicts people of all ages, robbing us of our precious newborns, our children, our parents and our grandparents. Now, imagine a world free of cardiovascular disease. This is the goal of the University of Minnesota Lillehei Heart Institute.

The institute brings together faculty and students to conduct research in all aspects of cardiovascular disease and its prevention. This innovative trails center recruits study participants from Minnesota and nationally to help answer critical questions about new treatment modalities, innovative medical devices and disease prevention strategies.

Lillehei Institute is built in the legacy of University of Minnesota icons that created a culture of innovation and discovery. These professors, together with their students and staff, blazed the trail in heart surgery, pioneered new therapies in heart failure, established the link between cholesterol and atherosclerosis; and set the stage for world-renowned programs in organ transplantation. Today, established investigators who have secured highly competitive federal, corporate and foundation research grants are working together with the next generation of young investigators to lessen the toll of cardiovascular disease on all of us.

Some top recent innovations:

  • Discovered a set of markers that predict whether patients have increased risk for having a heart attack or a stroke
  • Discovered the master gene for blood vessel development
  • Developed a bioartificial organ and engineered a beating heart in the laboratory
  • Developed guardian angel technology to treat patients with heart failure

Learn more about research and the Lillehei Heart Institute.


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