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Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Receives Multi-Million Dollar Gift from Topolewski Family to Advance Pediatric Heart Valve Research and Establish Endowed Chair in Cardiology

Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) announced that it has received a multi-million dollar gift from the Topolewski family, longstanding supporters of the Cardiac Center at CHOP, to establish the Topolewski Pediatric Heart Valve Center. The funding will enable the Valve Center, a Frontier program at CHOP, to conduct research in treating valve diseases and expand the existing knowledge of these complex conditions.

The Topolewski Pediatric Heart Valve Center brings together a comprehensive team of cardiac surgeons, cardiologists, scientists, researchers, and experts in interventional cardiology and cardiac imaging to revolutionize pediatric cardiac care. This multidisciplinary group takes a coordinated approach and is working to develop precise, evidence-based long-term solutions for infants and children with heart valve disease.

“We are very thankful to the Topolewski family for their ongoing generosity, which will not only drive important research programs within the Valve Center, but also support the Cardiac Center patient and family experience initiatives more broadly,” said Jonathan Chen, MD, Co-Director of the Cardiac Center at CHOP and holder of the Mortimer J. Buckley Jr., MD, Endowed Chair in Cardiac Surgery. “This gift will help to accelerate both our understanding of the fundamental mechanisms of heart valve disease, as well as the development of new imaging platforms and innovative translational technology to more precisely tailor our therapies for children with heart valve disorders.”

In the U.S., heart valve disorders are one of the most common forms of congenital heart disease, affecting as many as 2 in 100 infants. Despite considerable progress in the development of advanced therapies, these heart conditions remain one of the most prevalent and significant problems in congenital heart disease care. Since its inception, the Valve Center has attracted patients from across the world and performed numerous operations and interventions, assisting children with heart valve repair and replacement. The Center focuses on developing new strategies and pathways for clinical care based on the patient, developing new catheter-based or surgical therapeutics derived from advanced non-invasive imaging, and promoting novel applications of existing and new technology to children of all ages.

Matthew Jolley, MD, attending anesthesiologist and cardiologist at CHOP, studies and develops 3D imaging for newborn and infant atrioventricular valves, which has garnered significant attention due to its potential for groundbreaking surgical approaches in the management of valve disease. He has developed new open access platforms, like SlicerHeart, to more accurately profile valve abnormalities and guide surgical intervention. As part of the Topolewski family gift, Dr. Jolley will hold the inaugural Topolewski Endowed Chair in Pediatric Cardiology.

“Dr. Jolley’s research laboratory has made tremendous strides in informing surgical and interventional planning for patients with congenital heart disease,” said Joseph Rossano, MD, MS, FAAP, FACC, Co-Director of the Cardiac Center, Chief of the Division of Cardiology at CHOP, and holder of the Jennifer Terker Endowed Chair in Pediatric Cardiology. “Dr. Jolley is a proven innovator, creating new technologies to assist surgeons plan and map complicated surgical procedures, such as complex ventricular septal defects (VSD) repairs. Endowed chairs are critical to CHOP’s mission, and we look forward to seeing Dr. Jolley pursue big and bold ideas to achieve further breakthroughs for our cardiac patients who need it most.”

“Through the advanced imaging techniques developed by our team, we now can extensively plan and simulate surgical repair techniques, allowing us to confidently experiment with different approaches within a safe virtual space,” said Dr. Jolley, holder of the new Topolewski Endowed Chair in Pediatric Cardiology. “The funding provided by the Topolewski family will be critical in determining the best surgical pathways that will ultimately lead to healthier patient lives and brighter futures. I’m grateful to be named the Topolewski Endowed Chair in Pediatric Cardiology and am passionate about continuing my work and research in the cardiac imaging space to help children with valve disease.”

“When our daughter Cora was born, she was diagnosed with congenital heart disease and received life-saving open heart surgery at CHOP when she was just four days old,” said Kristin and Ed Topolewski. “We are incredibly grateful for the care she received and are happy to invest in the Topolewski Pediatric Heart Valve Center to help CHOP clinicians devise new diagnostic and treatment options that will directly benefit children like Cora.”

To learn more about the Topolewski Pediatric Heart Valve Center, visit www.chop.edu/centers-programs/pediatric-heart-valve-center. To find out more about Dr. Jolley and his lab’s work, visit www.research.chop.edu/jolley-laboratory.

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