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The research programs of the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery are focused on diverse aspects of heart disease and chest disease, from molecular science to better understand them to the development of new therapies and surgical technique. All of these programs aim ultimately to advance patient care.

Our physicians lead national research, serve on editorial boards of prestigious publications, and publish their findings in the top peer-reviewed journals. They also train medical students and surgical residents to do research.

The faculty’s publications demonstrate their high level of accomplishment and productivity as physician-scientists committed to advancing scientific knowledge to improve patient care and population health.

Basic/Translational Research

The Division is a leader in taking research from "bench to bedside" to benefit our patients.

Thomas V. Bilfinger, MD, ScD, is conducting studies to better understand the molecular effects of surgery and lung cancer on the physiology of the brain. This research involves the study of small molecules in the brain with proton magnetic resonance spectroscopic imaging.

Other studies are now being conducted by Dr. Bilfinger in the areas of thoracic aortic disease and spinal cord ischemia, with the aim of developing a monitoring device to detect direct blood flow to the spinal cord.

Clinical Trials

The Division’s faculty is actively exploring the causes, treatments, and prevention of both heart disease and lung/chest disease not only to further the science of medicine, but also to see that our patients truly receive the most advanced care. One of the ways that patients may access emerging therapies and advanced technology is through clinical research.

Our clinical trials related to heart disease include a range of new strategies to improve the outcomes of heart surgery and also the technology used by surgeons. Evaluations of newly developed drug therapies to improve surgical outcomes are conducted, as well.

Our clinical trials related to lung cancer lung cancer and other cancers in the chest offer patients the only available access to these trials in Suffolk County. Since 1999, the Division has been a member of the American College of Surgeons Oncology Group (ACOSOG) in order to participate in multi-center clinical trials of thoracic surgery for the treatment of these cancers.

For information about our current clinical trials, please click here. To speak with our research coordinator Leah Smith-McAllister, call 631-444-7230.