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Oikonomou Awarded NIH Fellowship to Study Under-Diagnosed Heart Condition

September 01, 2023

Dr. Evangelos Oikonomou, MD, DPhil was recently awarded a competitive postdoctoral fellowship by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. Oikonomou is currently a clinical and post-doctoral research fellow in the Section of Cardiovascular Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, and a member of the Cardiovascular Data Science (CarDS) Lab at Yale, where he works on applying multimodal machine learning approaches to personalize the diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular disease.

The F32 Fellowship will support Oikonomou in his effort to design point-of-care screening programs for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM). Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is a genetic heart disease associated closely with morbidity and mortality, including blood clots, strokes and heart failure. The American Heart Association estimates that 1 in 500 people have HCM, but many patients remain undiagnosed.

Through this research award, Oikonomou will be jointly mentored by Dr. Rohan Khera, MD, MS, who is Assistant Professor in Cardiology and Founder and Lead of the CarDS Lab, as well as Dr. Lucila Ohno-Machado, MD, MBA, PhD, Deputy Dean for Biomedical Informatics and the Chair of Biomedical Informatics and Data Science, and Dr. James Duncan, PhD, the Ebenezer K. Hunt Professor of Biomedical Engineering.

The team aims to develop and validate a point-of-care strategy for the efficient screening of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy using a combination of electrocardiographic and echocardiographic algorithms specifically adapted for use with wearable devices and portable ultrasound technologies.

“This will empower non-specialist providers to screen for this underdiagnosed condition,” Dr. Oikonomou says. Doing so could improve early detection of the disease, as well as timely referral for treatment at specialized centers.

Submitted by Akio Tamura-Ho on September 01, 2023