Dr. Julia Scarpa Receives American Heart Association Innovative Project Award

Julia Scarpa, MD, PhD, an instructor in anesthesiology at Weill Cornell Medicine, is the recipient of an American Heart Association Innovative Project Award for her project, “A novel wearable to study cerebrovascular physiology underlying cognition in end-stage heart failure and LVAD.” She is the principal investigator of a multi-disciplinary collaborative team that includes co-investigator Dr. Gary Strangman of Mass General Research Institute (MGH) and consultant Dr. Irina Sobol, the medical director of the WCM Left Ventricular Assist Device (LVAD) program.

The two-year, $200,000 award will fund Dr. Scarpa's research which will be using a novel wearable neuro-imaging device in heart failure patients prospectively through their LVAD recovery to better understand how cerebral hemodynamics change with LVAD use and how these changes relate to cognitive outcomes.

Dr. Scarpa finds this study exciting "because it can potentially identify easily and repeatedly measurable markers of brain health with which to guide the development of early cognitive interventions in this vulnerable population.” 

As a Van Poznak Anesthesiology Research Scholar in the Department of Anesthesiology, Dr. Scarpa's research has been focused on better understanding cerebrovascular physiology under duress. Dr. Scarpa has a background in neuroprosthetics and neuromonitoring; her doctoral work focused on cortical decoding in a rodent model of neuroprosthetic use, examining how the cortex responds to sensory stimuli while awake and while under anesthesia and how the cortex rewires during learning.

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