Adventures in Cardiovascular Research
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This article, derived from an invited Distinguished Scientist lecture presented at the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions in 2007, reviews 4 themes (adventures) in clinical cardiovascular research carried out over a period of 58 years. It begins with the author’s introduction to cardiovascular hemodynamics during a medical school elective in 1951. The 4 adventures include valvular heart disease, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, heart failure (HF), and myocardial ischemia. In each of these adventures, the author describes briefly what was known when he entered each field, followed by the author’s contribution to the field (the adventure), and ends with comments about the current status of the field. Of particular interest are the changes in the technologies used in clinical cardiovascular research over the past half century, commencing with pressure tracings in left heart chambers with the use of needle puncture in the operating room to genetic technologies designed to understand differences between drugs that inhibit platelet activation. The article ends with some general comments on conducting research and the rewards that can come with this activity.