Note from the Director

As we commemorate our 30 Years of Life-Saving Innovations, Research and Patient Care, we are in a period of progress and transitions at the University of Arizona Sarver Heart Center.
The Center has always pursued a model of translational research (developing highly focused laboratory research that could effectively lead to breakthroughs in patient care). Carol Gregorio, PhD, co-director of the UA Sarver Heart Center, has been a highly productive, collaborative leader in this area, particularly for scientists, physicians and students in our Molecular Cardiovascular Research Program and our successful Investigator Awards Program. We are very pleased to announce that Dr. Gregorio has been appointed vice dean for innovation and development in the UA College of Medicine – Tucson (COM-T). In this role, Dr. Gregorio will enhance innovation and development through strategic partnering and team building, and will provide strategic vision, oversight, liaison activities and advocacy for COM-T research. Dr. Gregorio’s leadership opportunity will enhance Sarver Heart Center’s ability to collaborate more seamlessly with researchers across the UA Health Sciences. (Read more.)
It’s with mixed emotions that we also announce a transition for Aiden Abidov, MD, PhD, who served as associate professor of medicine and radiology and the Leonard C. Pfeiffer Endowed Chair in Cardiology since 2009. He is heading to Detroit where he will serve as professor of medicine at Wayne State University and cardiology section chief at John D. Dingell VA Medical Center. We will miss his many contributions, but are always pleased when a faculty member leaves for an excellent career opportunity.
On the positive side we welcome Mathew D. Hutchinson, MD, a board-certified electrophysiologist with particular expertise in ablation of complex arrhythmias such as atrial fibrillation and ventricular tachycardia. He specializes in heart rhythm disorders. Dr. Hutchinson, who will serve as director of the Electrophysiology Program, joins Sarver Heart Center from University of Pennsylvania, one of the top electrophysiology programs in the country. (Read more.)
One of the brightest areas of change has been the Clinical Research Program, led by Catherine MacDonald, BScN, MBA. Clinical research is central to our academic mission of advancing knowledge and patient care to prevent heart disease and improve outcomes. As of the end of 2015, the active clinical trials at UA Sarver Heart Center sponsored by biotech industries increased from seven to 16. This number is projected to increase to 21-plus by the end of 2016. Active clinical trials funded by non-industry sources increased from two to 11, including one American Heart Association grant and four federal grants. This number is projected to increase to 14 by the end of 2016.
The successes of our clinical research faculty and staff would not be possible without the willingness of people like you who agree to participate in clinical research. If you are interested in learning whether you are eligible to participate in a clinical trial at Sarver Heart Center, please visit to learn more and complete a Cardiology Research Registry Form. You’ll also find information about the Sarver Heart Center Biorepository, which will enable physicians and basic scientists to access biological samples in a range of people with and without different heart diseases. This resource will support our efforts in precision medicine, with the goal of improved understanding of how heart disease develops.
As a new academic year begins and summer heats up in Arizona, progress continues as we take on new leadership roles, welcome new faculty, and prepare for our next class of cardiology fellows.
Director, University of Arizona Sarver Heart Center
Chief of Cardiology and Professor of Medicine
University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson