Department of Medicine
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Division of Cardiology

Faculty Profiles

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photo Anita Saraf, MD, PhD


Assistant Professor of Medicine and Pediatrics

McGowan Regenerative Institute


Education and Training
MD, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX, 2010
PhD, Bioengineering, William Marsh Rice University, Houston, TX, 2009
Adult Congenital Cardiology Fellowship, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA, 2020
ABIM Research Track for Internal Medicine and Cardiovascular Diseases, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA, 2018
Research Interest
My clinical and research interests are in congenital heart disease (CHD). Patients with CHD are the fastest growing population of adults with heart disease. Over the past few decades, new surgical interventions have dramatically increased the life expectancy of children with CHD. However, adults with CHD have a higher burden of heart-rhythm abnormalities and heart failure. These long-term consequences are even more evident in patients with complex congenital heart disease such as patients with single ventricle physiology or Fontan circulation. My previous research has shown that patients with Fontan circulation have chronically elevated proinflammatory cytokines that contributes to their late-term consequences. In addition to inflammation genetic mutations drive CHD pathology, and it is becoming evident that these mutations are complex and involve multiple environmental factors. The impact of these mutations in a post-developmental heart in the presence of inflammation is unknown. My research investigates the interaction between inflammation and genetic mutations associated with CHD in causing arrhythmias and heart failure. My laboratory uses induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) in combination with CRISPR/Cas9 technology, to generate cell lines with unique complex mutations in NOTCH1, a receptor protein implicated in numerous CHD. Using patient derived iPSCs with NOTCH1 mutations in combination with genetically engineered iPSCs, I am interested in identifying external factors such as inflammatory cytokines that can contribute to the morbidity and mortality of CHD patients. My long-term goal is to identify novel drugs and therapies that can mitigate such detrimental physiologic sequalae.
Clinical Interest
My clinical interests are in Congenital Heart Disease, Single Ventricle Fontan circulation and Pregnancy and Women's Health in the ACHD population
For my complete bibliography, Click Here.
Sponsored Research/Activities
Title: Molecular and Functional Evaluation of NOTCH1 Deficient iPSC Derived Cardiomyocytes in Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome
Role: Principal Investigator
Funding Agency: American Heart Association
Grant Number: RES
Start Year: 2021
End Year: 2024
Notable Achievements
American Heart Association Career Development Award, 2021