Nearly 1 in every 120 children born has congenital heart disease (CHD). Congenital heart defects are the most common birth defect and are the primary cause of death from birth defects during the first year of life. Improvements in pediatric cardiac surgery have resulted in a dramatic decrease in morbidity and mortality for these children. While surgical repair of some forms of CHD results in normal or near-normal physiology, there are many children who are left with suboptimal cardiac function. Due to both a lack of understanding of pediatric disease, and a lack of pediatric-specific treatments, many of these children will have a poor quality of life, or even worse require transplant.

At the Children’s Heart Research and Outcomes (HeRO) Center, we strive to create the next generation of pediatric-specific therapies.  We do this through cutting edge research using nanotechnology, stem cells, and better understanding of normal and abnormal cardiovascular development.  We also look at the whole picture: what will happen to these children as they age from a neurodevelopmental standpoint.  By researching both daily function and long-term outcomes, we hope to have a better understanding of how we can help these children regain normal function.  Our research blends fundamental basic science, with translational and clinical medicine to improve the quality of life of children with CHD


Center Director: Mike Davis, PhD