CARDIO THORACIC RESEARCH LABORATORY (CTRL)
1980- 1990: CTRL was established in 1980, in a small room off Prescott Street, behind the Crawford Long Hospital (now Emory University Hospital Midtown). The room was retrofitted into a laboratory as part of Dr. Robert Guyton's recruitment to Emory University from the Mass General Hospital at Harvard University. With financial support from the Carlyle Fraser Heart Center at the Crawford Long Hospital (now Emory University Hospital Midtown), CTRL rapidly developed into a productive cardiac surgical research laboratory involving surgical residents and fellows. With an R01 grant from the National Institutes of Health to Dr. Guyton, the initial focus was on myocardial protection and recovery during cardiac surgery. In the subsequent decade, research work evolved towards developing new surgical techniques, coronary artery bypass grafting, and testing new bio prosthetic valves. This translational research focus also led to a collaborative biomedical engineering research center with Georgia Tech, that Dr.Guyton served as the co-director. In early 1990's, the laboratory moved to a larger facility on West Peachtree Street, and remained there until 2013.
1990-2010: In 1990, Dr. Guyton assumed the directorship of the division of cardiothoracic surgery, and recruited Dr. Jakob Vinten-Johansen from Wake Forest University to head the laboratory. His research focused on cardioplegia solutions for optimal myocardial protection, with a focus on adenocaine. A second area of research was in ischemia-reperfusion injury after coronary artery revascularization, with controlled reperfusion, pre and post conditioning as techniques to inhibit this injury, and pharmacological agents to counter such an injury. This research was supported by the heart center, industry contracts and NIH until 2010, when Dr.Vinten-Johansen retired as a Professor of Surgery. Dr. David Lefer & Dr. John Calvert were recruited in 2009 from Albert Einstein Medical School to continue these research efforts in myocardial protection. Dr. Lefer left Emory after a brief stint in 2013 to LSU-New Orleans, & Dr. Calvert continues research in this area within the department of surgery.
2010 - present: In 2010, Emory emerged as one of the centers for advancing innovative transcatheter heart valve therapies in the USA, with significant efforts from both surgery and interventional cardiology. To develop a research program in the broad area of valvular heart disease and interventions, Dr. Muralidhar Padala was recruited upon completing his PhD from Georgia Tech. In the past nine years, this program has grown to a 20 member team, with specific research interests in mitral valve disease and associated heart failure, and attracting a multi-disciplinary team of researchers in engineering, physiology, surgery, and molecular cardiology to Atlanta. This program is currently funded by five NIH R01 grants, multiple fellowships from American Heart Association, contracts with medtech industry, and has previously received support from the Coulter foundation, Leducq foundation, and Georgia Research Alliance. The program has now relocated into a 25,000 sq ft facility that was constructed for translational biomedical research and device innovation. Unwavering support from the Carlyle Fraser Heart Center continues to support research and innovation in CTRL.