Integrating Cardiovascular Research and Clinical Patient Care
The DHLRI opened in the Summer of 2000 as an inter-disciplinary research facility with a commitment to translational research—research that involves both clinical and basic scientists in directly transforming their latest findings into leading-edge patient care.
It houses nearly 120 scientists representing academic departments from Internal Medicine to Biomedical Engineering. In two years, it has already distinguished itself by the quality of its scientific work in areas such as pulmonary inflammation, redox signaling, angiogenesis, biomedical engineering and imaging.
Research space is expected to nearly double in the next three years with the expansion of the research faculty and new initiatives.
The DHLRI supports its research programs with state-of-the-art core laboratories including:
Genetics and Microarray: provides the techniques and equipment for genetic research from nucleotide sequencing to observing gene function.
Bioinformatics and Computational Biology: allows for varied data analysis, including the assembly and editing of DNA sequence data and the storing and analysis of gene chip data.
Flow Cytometry: aids researchers with expertise in theory, protocol development, cell sorting and data acquisition analysis.
Microscopy: offers opportunities for “live cell” experimentation as well as deep penetration of viable tissue without specimen damage.
The Richard M. Ross Heart Hospital, now open at Ohio State, is the only freestanding heart hospital in Ohio. Its close link to a cardiovascular research institute sets it apart as only one of three such sites in the United States. The state-of-the-art facility provides a home to all heart-care services now located throughout OSU Medical Center. The centralization of services makes care more convenient for patients and allows greater sharing of resources and expertise across programs.
Designed to enhance patient care and comfort, The Ross Heart Hospital features “Universal Patient Rooms” equipped with technology to care for any heart condition from diagnosis to transplantation, thus allowing patients to remain in one setting from admission to discharge.
Patients receive continuous care throughout their stay from the same multidisciplinary team of physicians, nurse practitioners, nurse managers, dietitians, exercise physiologists and other specialists. Each room is large enough to accommodate a family visit or overnight guest and provides a view of either the outside or indoor atrium.
The Ross Heart Hospital, places OSU Medical Center among a small group of academic medical centers in the United States that have melded cardiovascular research with clinical care to form freestanding heart programs.
The Combined Potential: Breakthrough Patient Care
The proximity of The Ross Heart Hospital and the Davis Heart and Lung Research Institute (DHLRI) to one another, as well as the close cooperation of the two facilities’ clinicians and scientists, will foster timely translation of new therapies to the hospital setting.
Fred Sanfilippo, MD, PhD, senior vice president for health sciences and dean of the College of Medicine and Public Health at Ohio State, sees the pairing of the two facilities as taking full advantage of the University’s strengths. The facilities are not only interdisciplinary but also multidisciplinary. “With the resources in the Medical Center and throughout the University, we can take discovery from very basic research through population-based studies,” he says. “In between, we’ll touch on applied research, pharmacogenomics, imaging, informatics and clinical research. We’ll also involve the health sciences, physical sciences, applied sciences, and social sciences. Our rationale is to leverage every component of the Medical Center and the University to drive research.”
The pairing of resources has another advantage as well: efficiency. Jay Zweier, MD, director of the DHLRI, says, “Having a coordinated effort is much more time- and cost-efficient than trying to coordinate teams of investigators at different sites and different institutions.” Dr. Zweier says this approach is relatively unique to Ohio State. “Colleagues at other institutions feel it’s a very progressive approach. Few other places in the world have put forth such a tremendous effort to develop a broad-based program that begins with molecular research and goes all the way through clinical research.”
How do the pairing and sharing of research and knowledge translate into improved patient care? “Integrating research and linking researchers and clinicians together help us rapidly translate knowledge from the researcher’s bench to the patient’s bedside,” says Dr. Zweier. New diagnostic techniques, medications, surgical treatments and therapies are available from OSU Medical Center hospitals and physician offices months, sometimes years, before other healthcare providers.