Penn Cardiovascular Institute

Congenital Heart Disease and Development Research Program at Penn

Director: Jonathan Epstein, MD

The Congenital Heart Disease and Development Research Program at the Penn Cardiovascular Institute (CVI) focuses on the genetic, molecular and translational research of congenital heart disease. Researchers in the Penn CVI seek to further understanding of the causes and development of cardiovascular malformations.

Researching Causes of Congenital Heart Disease at Penn

Research within the Congenital Heart Disease and Development Research Program contributes directly to the understanding and treatment of congenital heart disease in both pediatric and adult populations. The research also explains the basic mechanisms of cardiac, endothelial and vascular smooth muscle development and function.

Pseudo-colorized images of the forming vascular plexus and epicardium growing over the developing heart

Mapping the Development of the Coronary Arteries

Pseudo-colorized images of the forming vascular plexus and epicardium growing over the developing heart.

Cardiovascular Stem Cell Research

Areas of basic science investigation include the use of animal models (including mouse and zebrafish) to determine molecular pathways that regulate heart stem cells and progenitor cells, cardiovascular specification and morphogenesis. Translational work includes the genetic evaluation of infants and adults with congenital cardiovascular disorders.

The Congenital Heart Disease Research Team at Penn

Investigators contributing to the Congenital Heart Disease and Development Research Program come from diverse areas within the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine, including the departments of genetics, cell and developmental biology, medicine, radiology and the Pennsylvania Muscle Institute. 

Researchers from the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia also contribute to this program.