Professor and Charles Ezra Daniel Endowed Chair
Division of Cardiology
Effective management of patients with chronic heart failure (CHF) remains one of the most critical unmet needs in cardiology in the United States and in the world. The fundamental goals of our research efforts over the last 35 years have been to define the ventricular, myocardial, cellular, and molecular mechanisms that cause the development and the progression of CHF and then to use these identified mechanisms as targets to improve diagnostic techniques, prognostic prediction, and therapeutic management of patients with CHF. In particular, I have focused my efforts on the clinical syndrome of heart failure (HF) with a preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF). More than 50% of all HF patients have HFpEF. HFpEF results in morbidity and mortality rates that are staggering: 50 to 60% 5-year mortality rate, 50% 6-month rehospitalization rate, and severe clinical disability. However, as stated in the current HF guidelines: “to date, no treatment management strategies have yet been shown, convincingly, to reduce morbidity or mortality in patients with HFpEF”.
Together with collaborators, we have developed state-of-the-art imaging techniques to characterize the structural and functional remodeling that occur in CHF patients. In addition, we have applied these techniques in an echocardiographic core laboratory used for all of our clinical, translational, and basic science studies. We have also developed clinically relevant animal models of human disease, state-of-the-art methods to assess cardiovascular remodeling, extracellular matrix homeostasis and myocardial function, and applied innovative advanced progenitor cell, transgenic and viral-based alterations in gene expression, translation, and activity to define the pathophysiologic mechanisms underlying CHF.
The Zile laboratory has been supported by research grants from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, the American Heart Association, the Medical University of South Carolina, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, the United States Department of Defense.