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Stritch Magazine 2020 Research

Cardiac metabolism and heart failure

As of 2018, more than 30 million people in the United States were diagnosed with heart disease, which includes conditions ranging from coronary artery disease and arrhythmias to congenital heart defects. By 2030, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate heart disease will cost the United States $818 million annually in direct medical costs, including productivity costs that could exceed $275 billion. 

Given these projections, research continues to find ways to reduce the number of Americans diagnosed with cardiovascular disease. Last year, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute awarded Stritch Assistant Professor Gregory Aubert $159,000 for his research into cardiac metabolism as a potential course of treatment for heart failure.

Aubert studies a protein found in the cardiac muscles called sulfonylurea receptor 2 (SUR2). In the heart’s muscle, SUR2 helps regulate potassium levels based on cellular energy, which is essential for normal heart function. Aubert’s research examines how SUR2 impacts metabolic shifts during heart failure and how it may provide a new target of therapy for patients. 


people in the United States were diagnosed with heart disease


estimated annual heart disease cost by 2030

Stritch Magazine

Stritch magazine is published annually for alumni and friends of the Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine. Read more stories from the 2020 Stritch Magazine.