Research Initiatives

Our research portfolio is comprised of four key initiatives:

1. Independent Research Funding

Each year, researchers from around the world answer The Children's Heart Foundation’s independent call for research proposals. Then in the fall, our Medical Advisory Council (MAC) reviews and scores each proposal based on  scientific integrity and significance, investigator credibility, and relevance to The Children's Heart Foundation's mission. Recommendations from the MAC are forwarded to our Board of Directors for final approval.

2. AHA/CHF Congenital Heart Defect Research Awards

The Children’s Heart Foundation partners with the American Heart Association to fund Congenital Heart Defect Research Awards. This collaborative investment of funds provides support for investigators who are actively conducting research directly related to advancing the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of CHDs, which directly aligns with The Children's Heart Foundation's mission. Click here for additional information about the AHA/CHF Congenital Heart Defect Research Awards.

AHA/CHF Congenital Heart Defect Research Award Recipients:

3. Pediatric Cardiology Research Fellowship Award

The Children's Heart Foundation funds the American Academy of Pediatrics' educational ​Pediatric Cardiology Research Fellowship Award. This Award promotes the understanding of cardiovascular disease in children. The grant provides research support for an individual who has demonstrated aptitude for basic science or clinical science research during their pediatric cardiology fellowship. The award represents a tremendous opportunity for junior faculty in pediatric cardiology to gain research experience.

Award Recipients:

  • 2022-2023

    Kari Phillips, MD, University of Utah Health
    "Exploring Patient and Family Decision Making in Pediatric Heart Transplant"

  • 2021-2022

    Mohammad Al-mousily, MD, Medical University of South Carolina
    “The Use of a 12 Lead ECG and Artificial Intelligence with a Machine Learning Model to Identify Structural Heart Disease”

  • 2020-2021

    David Staudt, MD, PhD, Stanford University
    “Unraveling the Molecular Modifiers of Hypertrophic and Restrictive Cardiomyopathy”

  • 2019-2020

    Rohan Kumthekar, MD, Children’s National Health System, Washington, DC
    "A Novel Tool for Percutaneous Implantation of Pacing and Defibrillation Leads in Small Children and Infants"

  • 2018-2019

    Joshua Kurtz, MD, FAAP, Medical University of South Carolina
    "Detecting the Pathophysiology that Drives Fontan-Associated Liver Disease"

  • 2017-2018

    Jessica Garbern, MD, FAAP, Boston Children’s Hospital
    "Maturation of stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes"

  • 2014-2015

    Andrew L. Cheng, MD, Children's Hospital Los Angeles
    "Effects of Hemorheology on Flow in the Fontan Circulation"

  • 2013-2014

    Shahryar Chowdhury, MD
    "Investigating the Racial Disparities in Cardiovascular Risk"

  • 2012-2013

    Stephanie J. Nakano, MD, University of Colorado
    "Regulation of Phosphodiesterase Activity in Pediatric Heart Failure"

4. Cardiac Networks United

The Children’s Heart Foundation has committed $1.5 million in funding over the next five years (through 2023) to Cardiac Networks United (CNU), an integrated, collaborative pediatric and congenital cardiovascular research and improvement network. Formed in 2017, CNU is a “networks of networks” providing infrastructure for discovery and improvement work to participating networks which is scalable to accommodate a diverse group of collaborative partners and data sources. View all of CNU's collaborating networks here.

Leaders from across the country collaborate to form Cardiac Networks United with the goals of accelerating scientific discovery and improvements in congenital heart care. The initiative brings together data, expertise, and resources spanning several congenital heart networks and includes nearly two-thirds of U.S. congenital heart programs (85 hospitals). The network is led by C.S. Mott Children's Hospital pediatric cardiologists Sara Pasquali, M.D. and Michael Gaies, M.D., and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center pediatric cardiologist Jeffrey Anderson, M.D. 

Through the new collaboration between The Children’s Heart Foundation and Cardiac Networks United, organization leaders strive to make a lasting impact on the lives of patients and families impacted by congenital heart disease.