Weill Cornell Medical College of Cornell University
Weill Cornell Medical College and its affiliated New
York Presbyterian Hospital are internationally known for their primary care of patients
with aortic diseases and for their excellence as a major tertiary care referral
center for these conditions. At Weill Cornell-New York Presbyterian Hospital, cardiologists
see more than 100 new patients per year with Marfan syndrome (MFS) and other genetic
disorders of the aorta, nearly half of whom are women. New patients have a diverse
ethnic distribution paralleling that of the broad New York metropolitan area. Cardiothoracic
surgeons operate on more than 100 patients per year with aortic disease with similar
gender and ethnic distributions. Patients with genetic disorders and thoracic aortic
aneurysm and dissection (TAAD) are seen in the hospital’s cardiology, genetic,
and cardiac surgery offices on a daily basis, and these clinics will be the focus
of recruitment by the study coordinator/genetic counselor.
Richard Devereux, MD
Richard Devereux, MD, professor of medicine at Weill
Cornell Medical College, is director of the Adult Echocardiography Laboratory. Dr.
Devereux serves as principal investigator for the GenTAC Registry at Cornell. He
has a major research interest in genetic disorders of cardiovascular connective
tissues diseases, in addition to extensive investigations of cardiac and vascular
effects of hypertension, diabetes, and obesity; ventriculo-vascular coupling; and
echocardiographic and electrocardiographic methodology. His research has been published
in peer-reviewed journals and has received NIH funding from 1979 through 2016. Dr.
Devereux is internationally recognized for his contributions to the understanding
of cardiovascular connective tissue diseases, including establishing the heritability,
clinical features, and prognostic implications of mitral valve prolapse; developing
methods used worldwide for recognition of aortic enlargement; clarifying cardiac
features of MFS; and examining the prevalence and associated features of aortic
dilatation and aortic regurgitation in a variety of populations. Dr. Devereux is
an author of the current standard diagnostic criteria for MFS—“revised
Ghent” nosology—published in the Journal of Medical Genetics
(2010). He is a longtime member and former chair of the Professional Advisory Board
of the National Marfan Foundation and served on the Epidemiology and Disease Control
Study Section for 8 years, including 2 years as chair. He serves on the editorial
boards of six journals and chairs the Monitoring Board of the Multi-Ethnic Society
of Atherosclerosis. Dr. Devereux’s laboratory participates in several NHLBI-funded
studies of genetic epidemiology, providing ultrasonically derived cardiac or arterial
phenotypes in nearly 15,000 individuals for the Strong Heart Study, HyperGEN, GOCADAN,
Family Blood Pressure Program, and the Strong Heart Family Study.
Mary J. Roman, MD
Mary J. Roman, MD, is professor of medicine at Weill
Cornell Medical College. She was a leading contributor of patients to the initial
GenTAC Registry and became a co-investigator in 2010. She has had continuous NIH
funding of her research since 1990. Her clinical areas of expertise include genetically
triggered aortic aneurysms, complex valvular heart disease, and cardiovascular involvement
in chronic inflammatory diseases. Her recent research has focused on premature vascular
aging (both atherosclerosis and arteriosclerosis) in chronic inflammatory diseases.
Her work has documented the importance of chronic inflammation in directly causing
premature atherosclerosis, vascular stiffening, and ventricular hypertrophy. These
findings are redirecting research to find safe and effective treatments to limit
cardiovascular disease, in addition to traditional rheumatologic manifestations.
In another area of active research, using a novel method to noninvasively measure
central aortic blood pressure in NIH-funded population-based studies, she has documented
the greater importance of central blood pressure in predicting cardiovascular disease
compared to brachial blood pressure. This observation may influence the ways in
which hypertension is diagnosed and treated. Dr. Roman is also the principal investigator
at Cornell for the Pediatric Heart Network treatment trial in children and adolescents
with Marfan syndrome. In addition, she serves on the board of directors of the National
Marfan Foundation. Her research has been published in the New England Journal of
Medicine, Journal of the American Medical Association, Annals of Internal Medicine,
Circulation, Hypertension, and Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology.
She has co-authored important consensus guidelines for the American Society of Echocardiography.
She also served on the editorial boards of Hypertension, Journal of Hypertension,
and Arthritis and Rheumatism.
Jonathan W. Weinsaft, MD
Jonathan W. Weinsaft, MD, is an associate professor
of medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College, where he directs the cardiac magnetic
resonance imaging program. He has served as co-investigator for GenTAC since its
inception, and he will continue in this role. Dr. Weinsaft has an established research
focus on novel cardiovascular imaging methods and has published more than 50 manuscripts
related to cardiovascular imaging in journals such as the Journal of the American
College of Cardiology, Journal of the American College of Cardiology: Cardiovascular
Imaging, Radiology, Journal of Hypertension, and Circulation: Cardiovascular Imaging.
He has served as an external peer reviewer for AHA/ACC consensus CT guidelines and
has been an invited speaker at national and international scientific conferences,
including the American College of Cardiology and the Society for Cardiovascular
Magnetic Resonance Imaging. His investigation in the area of cardiovascular imaging
is internationally recognized, and he has been awarded both the AHA Laennec Society
Young Clinician Award and the Interurban Clinical Club Sir William Osler Young Investigator
Award. Dr. Weinsaft’s imaging research includes developmental imaging approaches
for quantification of aortic remodeling and identification of novel indices for
predicting clinical outcomes for patients with genetically mediated aortic aneurysms.
Tanya LaTortue, MPH
Tanya LaTortue, MPH, is a research coordinator in the
Department of Medicine, Division of Cardiology at Cornell. She has a master’s
in public health from Columbia University, New York with an emphasis on sociomedical
sciences. She has a history working in epidemiologic and behavioral science research,
strategic health campaign management, and program evaluation. Ms. LaTortue is responsible
for patient recruitment and enrollment through Cornell's Cardiology clinic, Echocardiography
lab, and surgery division, and also coordinates biospecimen collection, data extraction,
and follow-up. Ms. LaTortue's research interests include cardiovascular disease
prevention and nutritional genomics.