Congenital heart disease is the most common birth defect and is associated with high rates of neurodevelopmental impairments in childhood, adolescence, and adulthood. Brain dysmaturation underlies these impairments and begins prenatally. Our research applies state-of-the-art magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) methods to study brain development in the fetus, infant, and child with congenital heart disease. We are particularly interested in novel MRI approaches that improve mechanistic understanding of the pathways influencing brain development, with the ultimate goal of identifying targeted neuroprotective approaches for improving outcomes. Our current areas of focus for understanding mechanisms of brain dysmaturation include: 

  • The prenatal environment and the placenta 
  • Cardiac physiology and the intensive care environment 
  • Parental wellbeing 
  • Social determinants of health 

Our research program is comprised of a multidisciplinary team that spans neonatology, cardiology, psychology, neurology, radiology, and engineering, as well as ongoing collaborations within obstetrics and pediatric pathology. We conduct single- and multi-center projects, all with the aim of understanding brain development and improving neurodevelopmental outcomes for children with congenital heart disease.