Public Release: 

Pennsylvania researchers and innovators granted $4.34 million by American Heart Association

Grantees honored by elite Philadelphia medical community

American Heart Association

Nov. 4, 2015 - Philadelphia, PA - Research is the starting point for all medical progress. American Heart Association research programs have made significant contributions to many important scientific advances through the years, and have supported young researchers in the early stages of their careers.

Since 1949, the AHA has spent more than $3.8 billion on research to increase our knowledge about cardiovascular diseases and stroke. The AHA currently funds more than 2,000 scientists nationwide with more than $149 million in research grants.

On Tuesday, Nov. 3rd in Philadelphia, grants were awarded to: Steven G. Chopski, PhD, Drexel University, Soroush Assari, BS, MS; Joseph Y. Cheung, MD, PhD; Kurosh K. Darvish, PhD, Katherine Jane Elliott, BS, PhD, Venkata N.S. Garikipati, PhD, MSc; Mohsin Khan, PhD, Mikhail A. Kolpakov, MD, PhD; John Creigh Kostyak, BS, MS; Timothy Scott Luongo, BS; Sadia Mohsin, PhD; Xiaoying Zhang PhD of Temple University; Jaydev Dave, BS, MS; Alexia Vite, BS, PhD and Yuhang Zhou, MBBS of Thomas Jefferson University, XIN BI, MBBS, PhD; Audrey L. Blewer, MPH, BA; Lihong Chen, MD, PhD; Giovanni Ferrari, PhD; Michael Herriges, BS; Yi-An Ko, MSc, BS; Daniel J. Rader, BA, MD; Payel Sen, BSC, MS; Shufei Song, BS; Wenshan Wang, BS, PhD; Hanrui Zhang, MSc, MD of University of Pennsylvania, and Bin Wang, PhD of Widener University.

Just one example of the outstanding work awarded by the AHA this year, is by Steven Chopski, PhD a postdoctoral researcher in the BioCirc Research Laboratory in Drexel's School of Biomedical Engineering, Science and Health Systems. "I am incredibly honored to have my research supported by the American Heart Association," Chopski said. This grant will help gather data to inform a team of researchers at Drexel, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, and Hebrew University in Israel. "Using cardiac MRI in this manner is one of the best ways to understand blood flow in a Fontan physiology so that we can develop new treatment strategies for the thousands of patients each year who currently have few, if any, therapeutic options available."

"Temple University and Temple University School of Medicine have a longstanding reputation for cutting edge research conducted by world-class researchers," says Steven R. Houser, PhD, FAHA, President-Elect of the American Heart Association, and Senior Associate Dean for Research; Vera J. Goodfriend Endowed Chair for Cardiovascular Research; and Director of the Cardiovascular Research Center at Temple University School of Medicine. "These research grants serve to further that reputation. They will have a significant impact across both institutions and in turn on future cardiovascular innovation and care."

"On behalf of Jefferson, I'd like to offer my heartfelt congratulations to our forward-thinking researchers and gratitude to the American Heart Association," said Mark L. Tykocinski, M.D., The Anthony F. And Gertrude M. DePalma Dean of Sidney Kimmel Medical College and Provost of Thomas Jefferson University. "Our goal is to empower our researchers to engage in high-impact science to benefit our patients and families, and organizations like the AHA help make that work possible."


Supporting research for heart disease and stroke is a top priority for the American Heart Association. In addition to funding research, the organization publishes 12 academic journals that help educate medical professionals through the latest peer-reviewed research and scientific developments.

About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke -- the two leading causes of death in the world. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation's oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit or call any of our offices around the country.

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