The Riley Heart Research Center was initiated in 1998 with the goal of developing a basic research program to complement the existing outstanding strengths of the Riley Heart Center, located in Riley Hospital for Children. The Research Center is located in the Herman B Wells Center for Pediatric Research, and is part of the Department of Pediatrics at Indiana University School of Medicine. The I.U. School of Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, and the Riley Children's Foundation joined together to provide $5.85 million in funding to establish this program. The director, Dr. Loren J. Field, was hired in 1998, and additional investigators were hired between 1999 and 2005, which provide the Center with a well integrated group of independent investigators. The Research Center is unique in terms of the number of independent investigators focused on cardiac development research and in terms of the interdisciplinary nature of their respective research programs. The Research Center has grown steadily since its inception, and plans for future growth have been developed.
The Research Center occupies 6,300 sq. ft. of laboratory space at the Wells Center for Pediatric Research. Currently, the Center has 6 research faculty and over 30 members, including basic and clinical post-doctoral fellows, Ph.D. and M.D./Ph.D. graduate students and technicians. In addition, the Riley Heart Center has 15 full-time clinical faculty within Pediatric Cardiology and 3 full-time surgeons within Cardiovascular Surgery.
The Research Center utilizes a multidisciplinary approach to study the origins, etiology and treatment of heart failure in the young. As such, research focuses on how gene expression, cell survival and cell growth pathways are interrelated in the origins of heart failure in the young, and furthermore, how manipulation of these pathways can be utilized therapeutically. Together, the six investigators in the Research Center are a highly collaborative and successful research group, which is evidenced in the extramural funding (NIH, AHA, MOD, etc) received by the investigators individually and in collaboration with other investigators.
The investigators at the Research Center, in collaboration with the clinical faculty in Pediatric Cardiology, and the surgeons in Cardiovascular Surgery share a common interest in the development of translational research projects. Together, the research, medical and surgical teams of the Riley Heart Center combine to create a comprehensive program, integrating basic science, clinical and surgical missions towards a common focus in the etiology and treatment of heart failure in the young.
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