Back to Spring 2021

Letter from the director

The available vaccines have brought much-needed hope that soon we’ll be back to our pre-pandemic routines.

Much has changed in the world since our previous issue of The Beat went to press. While we continue to work and operate under COVID-19 mitigation protocols, the available vaccines have brought much-needed hope that soon we’ll be back to our pre-pandemic routines.

Dr. Greg Hundley Dr. Greg Hundley

There is nothing routine, of course, about providing cardiac care that saves and improves lives. Our dedicated faculty and staff have continued to work, thrive and innovate under the most difficult and challenging circumstances. I am immensely proud of all that we have achieved.

A theme of this issue is training. Pauley’s training programs ensure that students and professionals in all stages of their careers are informed about best practices and the latest techniques and technologies. I’m excited that each week, more and more individuals are taking advantage of our interactive seminars to learn from rising, prominent and internationally recognized experts in the field of cardiology, including our own talented faculty.

Some of these same Pauley faculty are working as mentors alongside college students. The Pauley Heart Center Undergraduate Research Program, a 10-week research fellowship program funded by the American Heart Association, is one of two Pauley programs in which students learn firsthand about careers in cardiac medicine. AHA continues to be an excellent partner to Pauley, as you’ll read on Page 6.

We also introduce two early-career investigators gaining valuable training in performing multidisciplinary translational research. The competitive T32 fellowship program wouldn’t be possible without faculty mentors like Dr. Antonio Abbate, whose research into inflammation is informing our understanding of how COVID-19 affects the heart.

Dr. Abbate and his colleague Dr. Ajay Pillai shared their latest COVID-19 research at the VCU Health Division of Cardiology’s Sixth Annual Heart Health in Women Symposium, held online in February during Heart Health Week. With registrants representing three countries, nine states and the District of Columbia, we more than doubled our usual attendance. Fantastic! 

In these pages we also introduce new faculty, including Dr. Sangeeta Shah, whose vision to create the first accredited adult congenital heart disease program in Virginia will enable a continuum of care for pediatric to adult patients. Under Dr. Shah’s leadership, Pauley will be able to meet the unique needs of patients in this growing medical field and keep their care close to home. 

I hope you will enjoy reading this issue of The Beat.

Sincerely yours,
Dr. Greg Hundley

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