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Cardiovascular disease 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.

University of Minnesota Heart Care and the University's Lillehei Heart Institute have made it their mission to change that. Their breakthrough research discoveries have changed the face of cardiovascular disease.

The Institute reflects the legacy of the University of Minnesota medical pioneers who created our ongoing culture of innovation and discovery. Today, established faculty researchers are working together with the next generation of young investigators to conduct research in all aspects of treatment and prevention, and lessen the toll of cardiovascular disease on all of us.

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Some recent innovations that have benefited our patients:

  • Discovered a set of genetic markers for heart attack or stroke, which can lead to earlier preventive efforts aimed at reducing the chance of cardiovascular problems
  • Discovered the master gene for blood vessel development, allowing targeting of the gene for future treatments for blood vessel disease
  • Developed a bioartificial organ and engineered a beating heart in the laboratory to aid in the development of future biomedical devices
  • Developed guardian angel technology to monitor heart activity and prevent recurring episodes of chronic disease like heart failure
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About the University of Minnesota Lillehei Heart Institute

The Institute is built on 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 arteriosclerosis; 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 working together with the next generation of young investigators to lessen the toll of cardiovascular disease on all of us.

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New Heart Research Facility

The University of Minnesota has committed to the construction of a new 60,000 square foot Lillehei Heart Institute research facility to further enhance clinical and basic science research and development. The world-class Cardiovascular research space will occupy part of, and share core resources in, a new 280,000-square-foot building designed to facilitate cross-disciplinary research. Construction will begin in 2011. 

The construction of this new facility is part of a $292 million funding program approved by the state of Minnesota. Thanks to the Legislature’s commitment to keeping Minnesota a leader in biomedical advances, the University is constructing state-of-the-art research buildings in its Biomedical Discovery District, located on the north side of TCF Bank Stadium.

Also as part of the state-backed project, the University’s world-renowned Center for Magnetic Resonance Research (CMRR), which is used frequently for cardiovascular research, is being renovated and expanded. The expanded building will house a new magnet that will be the largest ever attained for human studies. It will be completed this fall.

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