Cardiovascular Translational Research

Culture of Innovation

When cardiologist Daniel Ortiz, MD, was a resident at Aurora St. Luke's Medical Center, he witnessed firsthand the potential dangers when a high-risk patient undergoes a major medical procedure. This led Dr. Ortiz and a cross-functional research team to develop a set of criteria that a nurse will review before a patient undergoes a peripheral vascular intervention, which carries the risk of potentially fatal internal bleeding. Doctors at Aurora St. Luke's are saving lives with this clinical decision support tool right now.

The Aurora Difference

Advancing Heart Care, Transforming Lives.

At Aurora Health Care, the next generation of cardiovascular tests and treatments is available today. Our translational research is answering important questions to help people live longer, healthier lives.

A New Era of Cardiovascular Care

Translational cardiovascular research at Aurora uses data, tissue samples and teams of experts to catch problems earlier and make treatments more precise.

Highlights of our program include:

  • Research experts: Aurora is home to experts you’ll find only in the country’s top research programs. Our team includes specialists in fibrosis, which is a thickening of the heart muscle that occurs over time.
  • Specialized programs: We are one of a few research centers in the country with a program devoted to studying the aging heart. Our scientists are exploring the causes of age-related heart disease at the molecular level so we can find ways to reverse it. Read more about our Center for Integrative Research on Cardiovascular Aging (CIRCA).
  • Education: We share the scientific knowledge we’re gaining in the foremost peer-reviewed scientific publications, including Aurora’s very own Journal of Patient-Centered Research and Reviews (JPCRR).


Cardiovascular Translational Research

Translational research uses scientific knowledge to unlock clues about the causes of heart disease and the best ways to treat it. Our researchers are identifying problems and bringing forward potential solutions at a rapid pace thanks to our full-circle approach.

This approach includes:

  • Bench-to-bedside research: We are performing laboratory studies (bench research) to learn more about the biological processes that lead to heart disease. This form of bench research lays the foundation for making treatments more effective.
  • Bedside-to-bench research: This form of research brings medical knowledge from people back to the laboratory for further investigation. For example, we are using genetic data to find out why a medication for preventing stroke in people with heart valve problems is effective in some and not others. Read more about precision medicine.

Our Research

Cardiovascular Research Projects

Our translational research interests span all aspects of heart and vascular care, including:

  • Ways to select the most effective treatment for each person: We are comparing the effectiveness of different ablation procedures for irregular heart rhythms (arrhythmias). Ablation uses energy to restore a natural heart rhythm. Our work is demonstrating which type of ablation (hot or cold energy) is best for different types of arrhythmias. Find out more about our atrial fibrillation center.
  • Technologies that lead to safer heart procedures: Our electrophysiologists have been at the leading edge of arrhythmia care since 1977. We assisted with the development of technology to produce a 3-D map of the electrical activity of the heart. This map allows a level of treatment accuracy that has not previously been possible and provided in a cost-effective manner. Learn more about cardiac electrophysiology.
  • Shorter hospital stays: Our research demonstrated that people who go home hours after receiving a heart-monitoring device (implantable cardioverter defibrillator or ICD) faced no higher risk of complications than people who went home the next day.

How to Participate

Find out more about ways to participate in research.

Become a Research Sponsor

You can sponsor original research or clinical trials.

Make a Donation

Your donation can help fund critical research or help to develop new medical products.

Collaborate With Aurora

Bring our expertise and data to your research program.