Nora Eccles Harrison Cardiovascular Research and Training Institute (CVRTI) delivers cutting-edge cell-to-bedside research and education of cardiovascular disease, which is one of the leading causes of death worldwide. At the CVRTI, we are both developing new insights into the biology of heart dmuscle cells, and developing novel therapeutics for patients with heart failure and cardiac arrhythmias such as sudden cardiac death.

Located at the University of Utah, the CVRTI nucleates a campus wide, multidisciplinary team of fourteen individual investigator laboratories who are both scientists and physician scientists. The research of the laboratories spans from basic muscle biology and channel electrophysiology to metabolism and genetics. Founded in 1969, the CVRTI is one of the oldest cardiovascular institutes in the country, and its research has already impacted clinical care from development of the first artificial heart, to the genetic basis of long QT arrhythmias, to using electricity to map heart dimensions for arrhythmia ablation, to myocardial recovery.

Nora Eccles Harrison Cardiovascular Research & Training Institute building

CVRTI Seminar Series

We are excited to announce that the CVRTI Seminar Series will be making a comeback at the end of August 2024! ūüéČ

We are currently finalizing the details and will be sharing them soon. We appreciate your patience and enthusiasm.

Please stay tuned for updates. We look forward to welcoming you back to our enriching and insightful seminars.

Thank you for your continued support!

CVRTI Leadership Team

Atherosclerosis is the process of arterial plaque buildup that narrows the arteries, blocking blood flow to the heart, brain, arms, legs, and kidneys. The accumulation comes from cholesterol, saturated fats, and calcium deposits, and severe blockages can lead to blood clots or fatal outcomes. This condition can be dangerous, so early detection of atherosclerosis is crucial in stabilization and further prevention.


Latest Publications

<h3>Machine Learning Multicenter Risk Model to Predict Right Ventricular Failure After Mechanical Circulatory Support: The STOP-RVF Score</h3>

Machine Learning Multicenter Risk Model to Predict Right Ventricular Failure After Mechanical Circulatory Support: The STOP-RVF Score

Late-stage left heart failure often leads to death and affects hundreds of thousands in the U.S. A mechanical heart pump can save lives, but this intervention is also associated with risks, particularly due to the possibility of right heart failure. Predicting which patients are at high risk has been challenging, as past efforts often failed when the created predictive models were tried outside the hospitals that created them. To create a more reliable risk calculator, we used data from 1,125 patients across six health centers, including U of U Health. We applied machine learning to analyze various factors like pre-existing conditions, medications, and demographics. This helped us identify key variables that predict right heart failure after the surgery.
<h3>Familial Associations of Prevalence and Cause-Specific Mortality for Thoracic Aortic Disease and Bicuspid Aortic Valve in a Large-Population Database</h3>

Familial Associations of Prevalence and Cause-Specific Mortality for Thoracic Aortic Disease and Bicuspid Aortic Valve in a Large-Population Database

Researchers at the University of Utah led by Dr. Jason Glotzbach, used the Utah Population Database to investigate the likelihood that family members of people with bicuspid aortic valve or thoracic aortic disease also have these conditions. Bicuspid aortic valve is the most common congenital cardiovascular abnormality, when the aortic valve has two leaflets rather than the usual three. This can cause a heart murmur and can lead to valve dysfunction, which may require valve replacement. In addition, people with a bicuspid aortic valve have an increased risk of developing dilation of the aortic wall, called an aortic aneurysm, and aortic dissection, which is a life-threatening emergency caused when blood flow creates a tear in the lining of the aortic wall and splits the layers of the aorta.
<h3>Cardiac Gene Therapy Treats Diabetic Cardiomyopathy and Lowers  Blood Glucose</h3>

Cardiac Gene Therapy Treats Diabetic Cardiomyopathy and Lowers  Blood Glucose

In this publication (JCI Insight, 2023, PMID: 37639557), our team reported that a cardiac gene therapy can rescue not only the heart function but also systemic glucose control and insulin sensitivity in a mouse model of obesity and type 2 diabetes. We previously found that a heart muscle cell membrane protein, known as cardiac bridging integrator 1 (cBIN1), is critical to normal heart contraction and relaxation, and that cBIN1 expression is decreased in failing hearts from animals and humans with acquired heart failure. Importantly, our prior research also identified that cBIN1 gene therapy mediated by an adeno-associated virus (AAV)-based approach can rescue heart failure in rodents. In this study, we revealed a novel function of the cBIN1-organized structure in heart muscle cells: mobilization of the cellular machinery required for insulin-stimulated glucose utilization (see below for the Graphic Abstract, JCI Insight, 2023).


We’re Hiring!
Openings for graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and grants/contracts officer at the CVRTI.

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