Shortly after completing his notable SMART study establishing the efficacy of off-pump coronary artery bypass surgery (OPCAB) in 2005, Dr. John Puskas founded the Clinical Research Unit (CRU) of Emory's Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery to develop and investigate new techniques and technologies in cardiothoracic surgery through rigorous clinical trials to inform evidence-based practice.
In 2007, the CRU was selected to be a funded Clinical Core Center of the Cardiothoracic Surgical Trials Network (CTSN), a consortium of adult cardiac surgery centers supported by the National Institute of Health's National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. As a center in the network, the CRU participates in multi-institutional prospective randomized trials that evaluate new surgical methods, technologies, devices, and innovative pharmaceutical and bioengineered products. The CRU is currently the leading enroller in the CTSN's moderate mitral regurgitation clinical trial.
Achievements of the CRU's faculty researchers include:
Dr. Michael Halkos' receipt of an NIH K23 Mentored Career Development Grant—a first in the Department of Surgery—for his development of such operative strategies as hybrid coronary revascularization to reduce the complications that can follow on-pump coronary artery bypass surgery.
The instrumental role in the FDA's approval of the transcather heart valve played by Dr. Robert Guyton and Dr. Vinod Thourani, surgical PIs of the Emory-based location of the PARTNER trial measuring transcatheter aortic valve replacement.
Dr. Puskas' confirmation of the long-term durability of OPCAB through analysis of five-year outcomes.
See the CRU quick links for listings of the CRU's adult cardiac trials and thoracic trials.