The Cardiovascular Health Research Unit (CHRU) is a joint program of the Department of Medicine, Divisions of Cardiology and General Internal Medicine, and Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute. The program’s goal is to develop and apply knowledge in order to prevent morbidity and mortality from cardiovascular diseases. As a means to those ends, Associate Professor James Floyd and Research Associate Professor Rozenn Lemaitre have secured new funding for CHRU projects.

James Floyd, headshot
Associate Professor James Floyd

Dr. James Floyd was recently awarded more than $3 million from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) for his four-year project “Proteomic discovery in an inception cohort of acute myocardial infarction survivors.” His GIM co-investigator is Professor Bruce Psaty.

They plan to study causes of recurrent coronary heart disease. In an inception cohort of acute myocardial infarction survivors, they will use proteomics, genomics, and Mendelian randomization to identify new proteins that may be etiologic factors for recurrent disease and, therefore, may be new therapeutic targets for secondary prevention.


Rozenn Lemaitre, headshot
Research Associate Professor Rozenn Lemaitre

The NHLBI has also funded Dr. Rozenn Lemaitre’s four-year project “Plasma Sphingolipids and Subclinical and Clinical Cardiovascular Disease.” The study will receive over $2 million over the course of the grant to investigate the associations of plasma ceramides and sphingomyelins with the progression of cardiac remodeling and heart failure, and identify mechanisms and pathways modulated by different ceramide species. This will provide insights into new heart failure pathways that may yield novel targets for the prevention & treatment of heart failure

Earlier this summer, Dr. Lemaitre received another grant from the NHLBI. She will collaborate with Drs. Bruce Psaty, Thomas Rea, and others on her study “Circulating sphingolipids and risk and outcomes of ventricular fibrillation.” This is a three-year project that will receive $1.9 million. This study aims to identify molecular risk factors associated with the risk of sudden cardiac arrest and with outcomes following resuscitation. Identifying these risk factors will improve knowledge on cardiac arrest and inform potential prevention and resuscitation efforts.