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IE's Youngjae Chun Receives Second-Year Funding From Children's Heart Foundation For Congenital Heart Defect Research

NORTHBROOK, Ill. (December 22, 2020/PRNewswire) ... Youngjae Chun, associate professor of industrial engineering and bioengineering at the University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of Engineering, will receive second-year research funding as part of more than $735,000 from the The Children's Heart Foundation, the nation's leading organization dedicated to funding congenital heart defect (CHD) research.

Chun is one of three researchers receiving second-year funding for research that, according to the Foundation, has made significant progress this year:


  • Kristopher B. Deatrick, MD [University of Maryland] for continued work on Stem Cell Therapy for Post- Cardiopulmonary Bypass Low Cardiac Output Syndrome.
  • Youngjae Chun, PhD [University of Pittsburgh] for research on A Self-Growing Percutaneous Heart Valve Frame to Treat Congenital Heart Disease.
  • Allen Everett, MD [Johns Hopkins University] for ongoing study of the Role of Cyclohexanone Toxicity in Mediating Congenital Cardiac Surgical Outcomes.


These research efforts will help experts learn more about the life-long care needs of individuals living with CHDs and how to continue to improve their overall quality of life.


Announced in March 2020, Chun's research focuses on developing a new type of metallic frame for pediatric heart valves that could not only be placed by a minimally invasive catheter-based procedure but would also grow with the child, eliminating the need for follow-up surgeries. 

The Foundation will fund over in CHD research and scientific collaborations this year across four key initiatives: 1. independent research funded by the Foundation, 2. collaborative research with the American Heart Association through joint Congenital Heart Defect Research Awards, 3. funding the American Academy of Pediatrics' Pediatric Cardiology Research Fellowship Award, and 4. funding Cardiac Networks United (CNU), a national pediatric and congenital cardiovascular research network.

The Children's Heart Foundation provides funding to Cardiac Networks United to improve outcomes for children with CHDs. One of CNU's current research efforts—the Chest Tube Project—is now being implemented at nearly 20 U.S. hospitals as researchers consider the optimal time for chest tube removal in young CHD patients.


In addition, the Foundation funded the American Academy of Pediatrics' 2020 Pediatric Cardiology Research Fellowship Award given to David Staudt, MD, PhD, pediatric cardiology fellow at Stanford University. His research—Unraveling Molecular Modifiers of Hypertrophic and Restrictive Cardiomyopathy—is important because it begins to identify genetic mutations and underlying causes of hypertrophic and restrictive cardiomyopathies, which could lead to therapies that counteract or prevent CHDs.


"Amidst uncertainty in 2020, our dedication to funding the most promising research has remained unchanged," said Barbara Newhouse, President & CEO of The Children's Heart Foundation. "The research we're funding is truly moving the needle."


Every 15 minutes, a baby is born with a congenital heart defect, making CHDs America's most common birth defect. The Children's Heart Foundation's mission is to advance the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of CHDs by funding the most promising research. Since 1996, the Foundation has been a proven leader, funding nearly $14 million of CHD research and scientific collaborations.


About The Children's Heart Foundation
The Children's Heart Foundation will mark its 25th anniversary in 2021. Its mission is to advance the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of congenital heart defects by funding the most promising research. For more information, visit www.childrensheartfoundation.org and follow us on FacebookInstagramTwitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube.

Author: Author: The Children's Heart Foundation (via PR Newswire)

Contact: Paul Kovach