History of Research Innovation


Our Research

Our history of research innovation has contributed to today’s safe, effective treatments for the most pressing health problems, like cancer, cardiovascular disease and neurological conditions. We are also ushering a new era of innovation with research that’s uncovering the biological processes that give way to these conditions.

Find out more about our Specialty Research Programs.

Cardiovascular Disease  

Innovation in Cardiovascular Disease Care

Our history of innovation in treating cardiovascular disease includes:

  • Establishing gold-standard care: In 1968, doctors at Aurora Health Care pioneered a lifesaving procedure, coronary artery bypass grafting. This procedure remains one of the most common surgeries for coronary heart disease in hospitals all over the world. Find out more about cardiovascular surgery.
  • Making care more precise: Since the 1970s, our cardiovascular experts have been advancing care for heart rhythm disorders (arrhythmias). We developed technologies to map the electrical activity of the heart. This information helps us deliver care with a level of precision that was not previously possible. Read more about cardiac electrophysiology.
  • Testing new treatments: Aurora is often the only program in Wisconsin testing new cardiovascular treatments like transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) through clinical trials. TAVR uses a nonsurgical approach to replace heart valves. Find out more about cardiovascular clinical trials.
  • Unraveling the cause of age-related cardiovascular disease: Aurora is one of a few research centers in the world exploring the biology of the aging heart. With tools like confocal microscopy, we are uncovering the processes that give way to age-related cardiovascular disease so we can reverse them. Learn more about our Center for Integrative Research on Cardiovascular Aging.


Innovation in Cancer Care

Our history of innovation in cancer care includes:

  • Using technology to tailor care: We are combing through electronic medical record data for breast cancer outcomes to predict how quickly tumors may grow. This information helps us connect people with the most appropriate cancer treatment. Read more about our breast cancer research program: Translational Oncology Research: Quest for Understanding & Exploration (TORQUE).
  • Helping cancer survivors regain a sense of wellness: Our triathlon training program meets the unique needs of survivors as they train for a race that includes swimming, running and bicycling. The program is also helping our researchers explore the long-term benefits of exercise after cancer. Learn about Team Phoenix: Survivorship Redefined.
  • Delivering leading edge care close to home: We offer access to experimental treatment options that are not widely available, thanks to our participation in prestigious research networks. Aurora is one of 34 programs in the country participating in the National Cancer Institute Community Oncology Research Program (NCORP).
  • Improving cancer care through early-phase clinical trials: At Aurora, people have the opportunity to try experimental treatment options through early-phase clinical trials. Early-phase trials are available only in top cancer programs like ours. Read more about early-phase clinical trials.


Innovation in Brain Tumor & Neurological Disorder Care

Our history of innovation in brain tumor and neurological disorder care includes:

  • Advancing brain tumor care: Our research brings together world-renowned expertise and extensive scientific resources, including first-in-the-world neurosurgery technologies. These capabilities enable us remove tumors that were previously considered inoperable. Find out more about the Aurora Neuroscience Innovation Institute.
  • Expanding our knowledge of complex brain structures: Aurora is home to a dedicated neuroanatomical lab where researchers and scientists use special tools to view brain structures in exquisite detail. Learn more about neurology and brain tumor translational research.
  • Advancing care for neurological disorders: We are at the leading edge of research that’s uncovering the next generation of care for stroke, epilepsy and multiple sclerosis. Our efforts include clinical trials testing new drugs and medical devices. Find out more about neurology and brain tumor clinical trials.
  • Personalizing brain cancer treatment at the molecular level: We are developing treatments to “train” the immune system to find and destroy cancer cells (immunotherapy). This treatment uses modified brain tumor cells to trigger the body’s natural defense against disease. Find out more about precision medicine research.

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