William Gregory Hundley, M.D., has joined VCU Health Pauley Heart Center as its inaugural director. A Richmond native and VCU School of Medicine alumnus, Hundley is recognized for studying the impact of chemotherapy and radiation therapy on heart health, advancing treatment options for patients in need of cardiovascular and oncology care. He also will serve as clinical director of noninvasive cardiology at VCU Medical Center and on the senior advisory committee at VCU Massey Cancer Center as a member of Massey’s Cancer Prevention and Control research program.
Hundley most recently served as medical director of cardiovascular imaging at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. There, his latest research focused on preventive heart care for patients undergoing chemotherapy and radiation therapy, which has been found to increase the risk of heart attack and other cardiovascular issues a decade or more after treatment. He was the first in the world to use magnetic resonance imaging to demonstrate that MRI stress testing can identify those at risk of heart attack.
“Working with cancer patients to understand how cancer treatments impact heart health will increase our understanding of all causes of heart failure. I hope that our research will benefit Pauley Heart Center and Massey Cancer Center patients alike, so we are able to treat and prevent heart and vascular disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol more effectively,” Hundley said.
“Dr. Hundley is a recognized leader in his area of research on the cardiac complications of cancer therapies,” said Deborah Davis, CEO of VCU Hospitals and Clinics and vice president for clinical services at VCU. “His appointment provides an unprecedented opportunity for collaboration for our heart and cancer specialists. We look forward to seeing the advancements that Dr. Hundley and his team make in cardiovascular care, benefiting patients in central Virginia and beyond.”
Returning to his alma mater, Hundley will continue his cardio-oncology research in a new Cardiovascular Imaging Suite. Made possible by an investment from the Pauley Family Foundation, the imaging suite supports personalized cardiovascular evaluation, diagnosis and treatment for both Pauley Heart Center and Massey Cancer Center patients. The cornerstone of the suite is a Magnetom Vida 3 Tesla (3T) MRI system that increases accuracy of diagnosis, reduces image distortion and enhances opportunities to develop personalized treatment plans.
In the past 20 years, Hundley has participated in research funded by more than $71 million in grants from the National Institutes of Health. Currently, these efforts include three important NIH initiatives. The first is a clinical study of 1,000 women to identify those at risk of cardiac and cognitive dysfunction from treatment for breast cancer. Another is a randomized clinical trial of breast cancer and lymphoma patients that is testing statin therapy (cholesterol-reducing medication) as a means of preventing heart injury caused by chemotherapy. The final program is developing new imaging methods to identify early signs of heart damage from radiation or chemotherapy before permanent heart damage occurs.
“As an academic health center with a mission to seek the cause and cure of diseases through innovative research, we are excited about expanding federal research opportunities at the Pauley Heart Center,” said Peter Buckley, M.D., dean of the VCU School of Medicine and executive vice president for medical affairs at VCU Health System.
Hundley earned his bachelor’s degree from the College of William & Mary and his medical degree from VCU School of Medicine. He completed his internship, residency and fellowship in cardiology at Parkland Memorial Hospital at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. He became a tenured professor at the Wake Forest School of Medicine.
About VCU and VCU Health
Virginia Commonwealth University is a major, urban public research university with national and international rankings in sponsored research. Located in downtown Richmond, VCU enrolls more than 31,000 students in 217 degree and certificate programs in the arts, sciences and humanities. Thirty-eight of the programs are unique in Virginia, many of them crossing the disciplines of VCU’s 11 schools and three colleges. The VCU Health brand represents the VCU health sciences academic programs, the VCU Massey Cancer Center and the VCU Health System, which comprises VCU Medical Center (the only academic medical center and Level I trauma center in the region), Community Memorial Hospital, Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU, MCV Physicians and Virginia Premier Health Plan. For more, please visit www.vcu.edu and vcuhealth.org.