McConnell Lab

Dr. McConnell’s Lab research focuses on variety of pathophysiological processes involved in development of a final stage cardiac functional insufficiency called heart failure. This work concentrates on developing and studying biological models of heart failure and creation of disease representative animal replicas. In addition, we utilize and study new technologies involving left ventricular assist devices (LVADs) that help to facilitate continuous function of the failing heart and could ultimately lead to cardiac reversed remodeling and recovery. 

LVADs are the mainstay in heart failing patients awaiting heart transplantation or as permanent (destination) therapy. In addition, to use as a bridge to transplant, a movement towards explantation of LVADs has recently emerged based on theory that ventricular unloading allows for cardiac rest that leads to reverse remodeling and subsequent myocardial recovery. Our study focuses on principles facilitating this recovery phenomenon and the variety of physiological aspects of cardiac reverse remodeling and heart function during that process, including myocardial oxygen consumption. 

Moreover, our laboratory collaborates with surgical industry commercial leaders in developing and testing new devices that make surgical intervention in patients safer and more reliable.