The SFVA faculty are active in basic science, clinical and translational research, and health services research. Research is supported by VA, NIH, professional societies, foundations, FDA, and industry.
Anthony Baker, PhD is a cardiac muscle physiologist interested in the cellular and molecular mechanisms that regulate cardiac muscle contraction and relaxation in health and disease. Current projects focus on the distinctive biology of the right ventricle and investigation of a novel therapy to treat right ventricular failure.
Sanket Dhruva MD, MHS is a cardiologist and health services researcher focused on the generation of real-world evidence that informs regulatory, insurer, and clinical decision making for pharmaceuticals and medical devices. He is particularly interested in novel methods for data generation, including mobile health technologies and the application of advanced analytic methods to large datasets. He works with the VA National Cardiac Device Surveillance Program to improve care delivery for Veterans treated with cardiovascular implantable electronic devices.
Jorge Kizer MD has a research program that leverages molecular epidemiology and cardiovascular imaging to identify risk factors for heart disease and stroke, with the aim of advancing understanding of pathogenesis, prognostication, and treatment of these disorders. With funding from AHA and NIH, he has been an active investigator in several prospective cohort studies, including the Cardiovascular Health Study, the Hispanic Community Health Study / Study of Latinos, the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis, and the Women’s Interagency HIV Study.
Chris Lau, PhD is a molecular geneticist interested in understanding the molecular mechanisms of cardiovascular development and pathogenesis of diseases using advanced genetic, genomic, proteomic, and transgenic modeling strategies. Current research focuses on sexual dimorphisms and the influences of the Y chromosome genes in cardiovascular and other developmental diseases.
Cara Pellegrini MD is a cardiac electrophysiologist who specializes in the management of atrial fibrillation. Her research interests include the impact of marijuana use on atrial fibrillation and the utilization and clinical impact of cardiac ambulatory ECG monitoring.
Sanyog Shitole, MBBS, MPH has a primary interest in biomarkers and cardiac imaging in cardiovascular epidemiology. He focuses on the role of inflammatory markers in risk prediction modeling and incident cardiovascular outcomes. He is also interested in statistical applications of advanced epidemiological methods
Kendrick Shunk MD PhD has partnered with industry on multiple large clinical trials assessing different coronary intervention strategies. He was part of the executive committee of the PRESERVE Trial, which was recently published in the NEJM, and showed no significant benefit in incidence of acute kidney injury or related outcomes with IV sodium bicarbonate or oral acetylcysteine prior to coronary angiography.
Paul C Simpson MD has a basic-translational lab studying heart failure. NIH and the VA have funded his lab continuously for almost four decades. Experiments over recent years validated a molecular target for a small molecule to treat heart failure in animal models. Current work aims to extend these results to a first clinical trial.
John Teerlink MD is a leader in acute heart failure trails. Ongoing and recent trials in which he has played a pivotal role include: STANDUP-AHF investigating Nitroxyl donor infusion, GALACTIC-HF and COSMIC-HF, clinical trials of Omecamtiv Mecarbil, and RELAX-AHF-2 which examined the role of serelaxin in acute heart failure.
Neal Yuan MD is a cardiologist interested in studying the intersection between cardiovascular care quality/outcomes and information technology. He has published research on the impact of electronic health records on Medicare outcomes and implemented an EHR-based decision-support tool to minimize acute kidney injury from contrast related nephropathy. He has ongoing projects studying quality of care and outcomes of cardiology clinic telehealth visits as well as using deep learning of echocardiograms for risk stratification and to detection of subclinical disease phenotypes.
Jeffrey Zimmet MD PhD has held leadership roles with the Clinical Assessment, Reporting, and Tracking System for Cardiac Catheterization Laboratories (CART-CL), a national repository of VA-wide data cataloguing the use and outcomes of diagnostic and interventional cardiac catheterization procedures. He is interested in leveraging this data to improve outcomes for patients undergoing coronary catheterization procedures.