Pediatric Cardiology Fellowship Program

Research Opportunities


Scholarly Activity During the Cardiology Fellowship

Research is an important component of advancing the field of pediatric cardiovascular medicine and improving the care of babies, children and even adults born with heart disease.  It is also an important component to a cardiology fellow’s career development.  A scholarly product performed and authored by the cardiology fellows is required for graduation.  Sometimes, a cardiology fellow may feel that completion of a scholarly product within three years is a daunting task.  The Heart Center provides both a mentoring arm and an operational arm to help the fellow succeed in his/her research endeavor, and each fellows is afforded 12 months of scheduled non-clinical time for pursuit of a scholarly product.  


Scientific Oversight Committee

The Scientific Oversight Committee (SOC) is composed of LSU and Tulane University faculty whose purpose is to help mentor the cardiology fellow’s research efforts.  The SOC meets with the fellow on a quarterly basis to provide goals and expectations, ensure study progress, overcome potential obstacles, provide networking opportunities, and ultimately review and sign-off on the fellow’s scholarly product. 

Our Scholarly Oversight Committee meets with fellow students every 3-4 months to keep close tabs on each fellow's project(s) and help to establish goals and objectives throughout the three years.


Cardiology Outcomes and Research Team (CORT)

The Cardiology Outcomes and Research Team (CORT) facilitates and helps operationalize the research endeavors of the Heart Center and Children’s Hospital of New Orleans.  CORT exists to facilitate the research of the cardiology fellow by helping the fellow to frame the research question and study design, navigate the regulatory process, recruit subjects, complete research forms, enter data, and frame the research results. 


Meet the CORT Team:


 Director-  Thomas R. Kimball, MD; Chief of Pediatric Cardiology and Co-Director of the Heart Center CHNOLA                              

 Clinical Research Coordinator- Marla Johnston RN, BS, MS (Science Nursing)                            

 Statistician- Donald E. Mercante, PhD and Director of Biostatistics at LSU                           

 Executive Advisor- Stacy Drury, MD, PhD and Chief Research Officer at Children's Hospital



Current Projects:

Stefanie Cheang, MD- Natural History of the Cardiovascular Manifestations of COVID in MIS-C.

Sanchitha Guruchandrasekar, MD- Nucleated Red Blood Cells as a Predictor of Mortality in Neonates Following Congenital Heart Surgery. Kurt Piggott, MD, Syeda Maqsood, MD, Cynthia Laviolette PA-C, Don Mercante, pHD, Marla Johnston, MSN, RN, Ajay Bhatia, MD, PhD

Musunkumuki Kadochi, MD- Longer Term Hydroxyurea Administration in Sickle Cell Patients is Associated with Better Cardiovascular Outcomes. M. Kadochi, MD, Renee Gardner, MD



Examples of Past Projects:

Guruchandrasekar, S, Dakin H, Kadochi M, Bhatia A, Bardales L, Johnston M, Piggott K.  Pre-Fontan Cardiac Catheterization Data as a Predictor of Prolonged Hospital Stay and Post-Discharge Adverse Outcomes Following the Fontan Procedure: A Single-Center study.  Pediatric Cardiology. 2020 Jul

Cheang S, Samples S. Congenital Solitary Left Atrial Mass. (Manuscript accepted in World Journal for Pediatric and Congenital Heart Surgery)

Cheang S, LeLorier P, Gajewski K. Diffuse ST Segment Elevation with Idiopathic Malignant Ventricular Arrhythmia. (Manuscript accepted to Circulation for publication)


Nutritional Biomarkers Associated with Growth in Children with Congenital Heart Disease.  

Post Fontan Re-interventions: Utility of Hybrid Approach 

Cardiac Response to Enzyme Replacement Therapy in Infantile Pompe Disease with Severe Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy

Single Center Results and Complications Using Multiple Transcatheter Septal Occluders for Atrial Septal Defect Closure in the Pediatric Population, a Five-Year Review

Single Center Outcome of Percutaneous Valve Placement



There are many opportunities for fellows to present their scholarly work at local, regional and national meetings:

1.  American Society of Echocardiography

2.  American College of Cardiology

3. Southern Society of Pediatric Research

4. LSU Department of Pediatrics Research Day

5. LSUHSC Forum for Quality Improvement and Patient Safety

6. Louisiana State Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics

7. Children's Hospital of Philadelphia annual Cardiology Conference