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Dr. Levine is an expert in cardiac imaging and valvular heart disease.
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Dr. Levine's career focuses on using imaging techniques to explore mechanisms of valvular heart disease in order to develop and test more specific and effective therapies. This mission encompasses diseases of excess valve motion (prolapse, obstructive systolic anterior motion) and deficient valve tissue relative to the remodeling ventricle after heart attack. He devotes substantial time to guiding the career development of emerging investigators both in Boston and as part of the Leducq MITRAL Transatlantic Network. The Leducq Transatlantic Network of Excellence in Mitral Valve Disease, based in the Division of Cardiology at MGH and coordinated by Dr. Robert A. Levine in the Cardiac Ultrasound Laboratory, applies techniques of molecular genetics and cell and developmental biology to clinically derived material and experimental models of mitral valve disease, a major source of heart failure and mortality worldwide. It aims to discover common themes among different conditions affecting the mitral valve and to understand the lexicon of growth signals that can lead to successful interventions. The network fosters dynamic interactions among basic and clinical investigators at MGH and major national and international institutions. This alliance of investigators moves genetic findings into model systems to understand their effect on valve biology and test potential therapies while providing junior investigators opportunities for career growth.
1. Levine RA, Handschumacher MD, Sanfilippo AJ, Hagege AA, Harrigan P, Marshall JE, Weyman AE. Three-dimensional echocardiographic reconstruction of the mitral valve, with implications for the diagnosis of mitral valve prolapse. Circulation 1989;80:589-98 (accompanied by editorial).
2. Hung J, Guerrero JL, Handschumacher BS, Supple G, Sullivan S, Levine RA. Reverse ventricular remodeling reduces ischemic MR: Echo-guided device application in the beating heart. Circulation 2002; 106:2594-600.
3. Levine RA, Schwammenthal E. Ischemic MR on the threshold of a solution: From paradoxes to unifying concepts. Circulation 2005;112:745-58.
An international research collaboration led by MGH investigators has identified the first gene in which mutations cause the common form of mitral valve prolapse, a heart valve disorder that affects almost 2.5 percent of the population.
Robert Levine, MD and Jacob Dal-Bianco, MD, of the Corrigan Minehan Heart Center at Massachusetts General Hospital are researching the genetics of heart valve disease with the goal of developing preventative therapies.
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