2014 Research Funding

Application for the ASE Foundation’s 2014 Research Award is now closed. Contact Andrea Van Hoever with questions or for more information on future ASE Foundation research funding opportunities.

ASE Foundation’s Largest Ever Research Grant Awarded to Innovative Fusion Imaging Project

Dr. Victor Mor-Avi of the University of Chicago accepts the 2014 ASEF Research Award at Summit 2014

Dr. Victor Mor-Avi of the University of Chicago accepts the 2014 ASEF Research Award at Summit 2014

October 2014 – The ASE Education and Research Foundation recently hosted a unique one-day event, Value-Based Healthcare: Summit 2014, on September 12 in Washington, D.C., which gathered thought leaders from across the healthcare spectrum to discuss cardiac imaging in the new value-based healthcare paradigm. The Summit culminated with the announcement that the ASE Foundation’s largest research grant in its history, a $200,000 multi-year grant, has been awarded to a research team from the University of Chicago led by Victor Mor-Avi, PhD, FASE, Director of Cardiac Imaging Research. The team also includes Amit R. Patel, MD, Director of Cardiac Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Computed Tomography; Francesco Maffessanti, PhD, Post-Doctoral Scholar; and Roberto M. Lang, MD, FASE, Director of Cardiac Imaging Laboratories.

The proposal, titled Echocardiographic Evaluation of Hemodynamic Significance of Coronary Stenosis in Patients with Chest Pain Undergoing CT Angiography, aims to utilize 3D echocardiography in patients with acute chest pain as a way to assess the functional significance of coronary stenosis detected by computed tomography coronary angiography (CTCA). According to Dr. Mor-Avi, “in the United States alone every year, more than 8 million people require emergency evaluation for acute chest pain, with the estimated cost of over $10 billion.” While non-invasive CTCA has become widely accepted as an effective first-line diagnostic tool in these patients, abnormal findings on this test often result in downstream stress testing. Specifically, choosing appropriate management for patients with intermediate-grade stenosis is challenging because the impact of the disease is unclear.

Dr. Mor-Avi explained that this project “will explore the possibility of ‘fusion’ of CTCA and 3D echocardiography for combined assessment of coronary stenosis and its functional significance, which may help in identifying patients who need intervention, and may thus have important implications in terms of reducing the number of unnecessary tests and resulting in significant savings.”

Cardiovascular ultrasound, also known as echocardiography, is the most widely used imaging technique to diagnose heart disease, performed on over 20 million patients in the United States each year. Yet in this era of growing Medicare expenditures and federal budget deficits, increasing emphasis has been placed on demonstrating the value of any given test or procedure. As Summit Chair Benjamin F. Byrd III, MD, FASE noted in his opening address, one of the primary goals of Summit 2014 was to “bring decision makers together to foster proactive conversation on the ways to demonstrate the ‘value’ of imaging, especially echocardiography, in future U.S.-based healthcare.” Providing funding for this research project tangibly demonstrates the Society’s commitment to fostering innovation in clinical care based on data-driven decisions.

ASE Foundation Research Awards

Together, ASE and the ASE Education and Research Foundation have expended over $5 million to support echocardiographic research activities since 1996. Fostering and promoting research on advances in cardiovascular ultrasound continues to remain one of the Society’s fundamental goals moving forward.

Through the annual research award program, the ASE Foundation provides support for innovative and meritorious cardiovascular research activities that demonstrate echocardiography’s relevance in the changing healthcare environment, and that promote new and innovative applications of the technology.

The ASE Foundation’s annual research awards program is supported solely by donor giving and is not sponsored by any corporate interest.

The ASE Foundation’s Award Selection Committee is comprised of 30 recognized experts in the field of cardiovascular ultrasound. When reviewing proposals for Awards, steps are taken to ensure that potential conflicts of interest, such as a reviewer working at the same institution as the proposal’s investigators, are avoided. Committee members with a potential conflict of interest in relation to a particular proposal are excluded from the review and/or all discussions regarding that proposal, and are not allowed to comment on that proposal’s merits or eligibility for funding.

Contact Andrea Van Hoever for more information on ASE Foundation research funding opportunities. Information on previously funded projects is available here.