Research & Innovations

The cardiovascular physicians at Stony Brook Medicine are committed to preventing, diagnosing, managing, and treating your heart and vascular disorder. More than that, however, is our dedication to learning more about these disorders and finding innovative and advanced treatments to help you along the road to recovery. As a world-renowned research university, the physician-scientists at the Heart Institute at Stony Brook Medicine explore causes, treatments, and prevention of cardiovascular disease not only to further the science of medicine, but also to see that you truly receive the most advanced care. One of the ways that patients may access emerging therapies and advanced technology is through clinical research.

As a research university, Stony Brook receives more federal research funding than any other SUNY campus. The Heart Institute uses this funding to increase our knowledge of the heart and how it functions. Our findings are translated into quality medical care. Multiple teams with the Heart Institute at Stony Brook Medicine are currently involved in research, including cardiovascular imaging, electrophysiology, invasive cardiology, vascular medicine, heart failure, cardiothoracic surgery, and our women's heart program.

Our goal is to offer a variety of clinical trials broad enough to afford every patient the opportunity to access today's medical breakthroughs even as they occur.

Advances in Cardiovascular Medicine

ReoPro® is just one of our major contributions to cardiovascular care. ReoPro® is used to prevent the heart attacks after an angioplasty and stent procedure. Since its introduction in 1995, ReoPro® has been used to treat millions of patients. Another focus of our research and clinical development is our international work on enhanced external counterpulsation, or EECP. A noninvasive device for treatment of severe, inoperable coronary artery disease, EECP has been a clinical focus since the 1960s. Physician researchers at Stony Brook Medicine have been working with groups in Russia and China to better understand the use of EECP and its benefits to heart care. Our research on EECP has shown that it can be safely used on patients that are older than 80 years, those with diabetes, patients who are overweight or considered morbidly obese, patients with atrial fibrillation, and those with implanted devices such as pacemakers or defibrillators.

Other studies in which we are, or have been, involved include the OPTIMAL study, which provides participants with written recommendations about heart failure therapies based on current national guidelines following a no-cost consultation that participants can share with their regular physician; and Restor-MV (Myocor), which evaluates surgical treatment for off-pump repair of the mitral valve.

In a laboratory amongst a number of investigations, we have received funding from the National Institutes of Health and other organizations in researching G protein-coupled receptors, ion channels, and membrane protein folding and structure, as well as for studies investigating mechanisms when the body creates its own cornary bypass, so that we may use this knowledge in innovative new clinical therapies.

Among our current clinical trials is a study of patients with uncontrolled hypertension, called the SYMPLICITY HTN-3 trial. The kidneys are an important regulator of blood pressure. Previous research has shown that disrupting the nerves of the kidney may successfully decrease blood pressure in patients with essential hypertension. Renal denervation reduces the drive of the sympathetic nervous system, which is central to blood pressure regulation. The Symplicity renal denervation system accomplishes renal denervation through a catheter inserted in the renal artery introduced though the femoral artery and delivering low-power radio frequency (RF) energy. After energy delivery in multiple locations along each artery, the Simplicity® catheter is removed; there is no permanent implant. The Symplicity HTN-3 trial is a randomized, controlled study designed to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of renal denervation with this system in patients with treatment-resistant hypertension and systolic blood pressure greater or equal to 160 mm Hg. The primary endpoint of the study is the change in blood pressure from baseline to six months following randomization. Click here for more information at the NIH Clinical Trials page. The principal investigators for this trial are Luis Gruberg, MD, and Nand Wadhwa, MD.