25 Years of Visible Heart® Laboratory Research & Training at the U of M
Principal Investigator, Paul Iaizzo, PhD, was awarded a Bronzed Human Heart Model by Medtronic in late June during the 25th-anniversary celebration of the Visible Heart® Laboratories within the Department of Surgery at the University of Minnesota Medical School.
The Visible Heart® Lab was created in 1997 in collaboration with Medtronic to perform translational systems physiology research which ranges from cellular and tissue studies to organ and whole-body investigations. Today, this innovative endeavor is Medtronic's longest-standing academic collaboration and a valuable resource in the medical device industry. The Visible Heart® Laboratories have performed 92 human heart reanimations and over 2,000 swine heart studies and hosted a wide range of national and international physicians and scientists to expand the field of cardiac research.
Dr. Iaizzo's passion for educational outreach led to the creation of the Atlas of Human Cardiac Anatomy, a free-access website providing valuable images and tutorials. Their efforts towards educational outreach extends to community events, hosting three to four tours a month for U of M groups, local high schools students, and various University of Minnesota Physicians who are interested in touring the lab facilities (operating rooms), human heart library, 3D printing, virtual reality lab, and hearing the history of cardiovascular innovation at the Medical School.
"The ability to work with great people and collaborate on this exciting and innovative research has given me a very rewarding career and enthusiasm for coming to work every day," said Dr. Iaizzo. "You get motivated because you can help a lot of people."
Dr. Iaizzo has advised over 100 PhD and master's students while mentoring countless undergraduate students and volunteers. Currently, the Visible Heart® Laboratories consists of five staff members, four postdoctoral fellows, seven PhD students, three master's students, and numerous medical and undergraduate student volunteers.