Heart Month


The DCRI Celebrates Heart Month

At the DCRI, cardiovascular research is at the heart of all we do. So are the hallmarks of our clinical trials and outcomes studies: collaboration, innovation, and a commitment to transforming care.                                                       

A focus on heart health and improving patient outcomes is in our history. It’s the passion of many of our faculty members and operational experts. And our strength in emerging therapeutic areas – including diabetes, pulmonary, renal, and GI – is built on insights derived from decades of cardiovascular clinical research.

We’re proud to observe Heart Month this February, and to celebrate ongoing efforts to craft the right approaches for today while advancing science for tomorrow.


When should patients be involved in cardiovascular clinical trial design? The DCRI’s Bray Patrick-Lake, MFS, and Adrian F. Hernandez, MD, MHS, advise “always, early, and often.”

This large study of anticoagulant therapies spanned 48 hospitals run through coordinating centers in five nations. It received support from companies including Boehringer Ingelheim, Daiichi Sankyo, Bayer, Briston-Myers Squibb, and Pfizer.

In ADAPTABLE, the role of the patient shifted from participant to partner. Adaptors helped design the protocol, consent form, study portal, and study materials, and they will be integral in disseminating study updates and results.



Applying behavioral economics concepts in heart failure patients – including various types of bias, loss aversion, and anticipated regret – may offer additional approaches to improving outcomes.

Treating Atrial Fibrillation

From temporarily softening wrinkles to easing migraines, botulinum toxin has become a versatile medical remedy because of its ability to block nerve signals. Could it also quell atrial fibrillation after cardiac surgery? 

John H. Alexander
Director, Cardiovascular Research

“Whether we are working on proof-of-concept studies or conducting multinational late-phase trials, we know how critical it is to challenge the status quo. By doing research differently, we can truly make an impact on patient care.”

John Alexander

Transforming Patient Care

Emergency Heart Care

This project proved that coordinating emergency care between EMS and hospitals saves lives and lessens the damage incurred during an ST segment elevation myocardial infarction.

Sana Al-Khatib

Treating Ventricular Arrhythmia

The DCRI’s Sana Al-Khatib, MD, MHS, chaired the committee that wrote new recommendations in 2017 to guide physicians’ management of adults who have ventricular arrhythmias or are at risk for sudden cardiac death.

Statin Therapy

Dueling statin guidelines put 9 million Americans at a crossroads: two groups recommended the drugs, but diverge on who needs them and when. DCRI analyzed the impact to physicians and patients.