Developing New Views of the Heart

Wednesday, February 22, 2017 -
2:00pm to 3:00pm
The FUNG Auditorium
Francisco Contijoch


University of California President’s Postdoctoral Fellow

Division of Cardiology (School of Medicine), Bioengineering

University of California, San Diego

Developing New Views of the Heart


While cardiovascular disease remains the leading cause of the death in the US, imaging plays a critical role in the early detection of disease, in the development of novel therapies, and in aiding our understanding of physiology. However, our ability to assess critical parameters can be limited by imaging constraints or physiologic confounders. To tackle these challenges, I utilize engineering and imaging principles to develop novel imaging techniques to improve our clinical and physiologic understanding of disease. In my talk, I will present techniques developed to improve assessment of patients with coronary artery disease and patients with irregular heart rhythms. First, I will describe my work to improve coronary computed tomography angiography (CTA), a non-invasive method to assess coronary disease. Next, I will discuss my imaging-based approach to obtain better measures of post-myocardial infarction cardiac function using real-time MRI. Assessing cardiovascular function in patients with arrhythmias is challenging due to how conventional images are acquired and the fact that these patients can have multiple types of heartbeats. I will describe a technique I developed to overcome these challenges and improve image quality. I will also describe how the method allows us quantify the cardiac function of different beat types.  Finally, I will outline future plans to use imaging to tackle clinical challenges faced when assessing the right ventricle and pulmonary vasculature.


Francisco Contijoch is currently a University of California President’s Post-Doctoral Fellow in the Cardiology Division at the University of California San Diego. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania under the supervision of Dr Robert Gorman and his main research areas are cardiovascular imaging and cardiac physiology. Specifically, he has developed data acquisition, image reconstruction and analysis strategies for clinical imaging modalities to improve diagnosis, evaluation, and treatment of disease. He has focused on evaluating regional cardiac function after myocardial infarction, quantifying cardiac function in patients with arrhythmias, and improving quantification of coronary CT angiography. Moving forward, he is interested in evaluating patients receving left ventricular assist devices, those with pulmonary hypertension, and those with pulmonary embolisms utilizing multiple imaging modalities such as CT, MRI, and echocardiography to quantify the anatomy and function of both the right ventricule and pulmonary vasculature.