PHA/Pfizer Proof of Concept Research Grant Winner 2013

Evan BrittainEvan L. Brittain, MD

Division of Cardiovascular Medicine
Vanderbilt University Medical Center
Title: "Cardiac Steatosis and Right Ventricular Failure in Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension"
Term: December 1, 2013- November 30, 2014

Summary of Research Project:

Almost all patients with PH die from right heart failure or related complications. However, the reasons for right heart failure are poorly understood and there are no available treatments. Dr. Brittain plans to use a novel magnetic resonance imaging technique to measure fat in the heart muscle in living patients and to determine whether abnormalities in fat breakdown can be detected elsewhere in the body. A better understanding of how and why fat accumulates can help test existing drugs or develop new ones that block lipid buildup in the right heart. In addition, Dr. Brittain's imaging technique may allow physicians to detect right heart abnormalities sooner, which will help doctors decide on the best course of treatment for their patients.

Curriculum Vitae

NAME: Evan L. Brittain, MD
POSITION TITLE: Instructor of Medicine, Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine


Institution/Location Degree Year(s) Field of Study
Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tenn. MSCI 2014 Clinical Investigation
Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tenn. Fellowship 2009-2013 Cardiovascular Medicine
Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tenn. Residency 2007-2009 Internal Medicine
Cornell Medical College, New York, N.Y. MD 2004-2007  
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, N.C. BS 2000-2003 Biology, Chemistry


  1. Brittain EL, Pugh ME, Wheeler LA, Robbins IM, Loyd JE, Newman JH, Austin ED, Hemnes AR. Prostanoids but not Oral Therapies Improve Right Ventricular Function in Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension.  Accepted for publication, Journal of the American College of Cardiology: Heart Failure May 2013. PMCID: Pending
  2. Brittain EL, Penner NL, West J, Hemnes A. Echocardiographic assessment of the right heart in mice. Journal of Visualized Experiments. In press April 2013.
  3. Brittain EL, Pugh ME, Wheeler LA, Robbins IM, Loyd JE, Newman JH, Larkin EK, Austin ED, Hemnes AR. Shorter survival in hereditary versus Idiopathic Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension is associated with hemodynamic markers of impaired right ventricular function. Pulm Circ. Accepted for Publication, February 2013. PMCID: Pending
  4. Brittain EL, Hemnes AR, Keebler M, Lawson M, Byrd III, B, DiSalvo T. Right ventricular plasticity and functional imaging. Pulm Circ. 2:309-326, 2012. PMCID: PMC34873004. Pugh ME, Newman JH, Williams DB, Brittain EL, Robbins IM, Hemnes AR. Hemodynamic improvement of pulmonary arterial hypertension after bariatric surgery: a potential role for metabolic regulation. Diabetes Care. 36(3):e32-3, 2013. PMCID: PMC3579352
  5. Brittain EL, Janz DR, Monahan KM, Sevin CM. Acute improvement in right ventricular function after treatment of presumed massive pulmonary embolism with thrombolytics. Pulm Circ. 2(4):522-4, 2012. PMCID: PMC3555424
  6. Brittain EL, Maltais S. Extracorporeal right ventricular assist devices. ( December 2012.
  7. Brittain EL, Hemnes AR. Early Screening for Pulmonary Hypertension in Patients with Scleroderma. American College of Cardiology (ACC)/Cardiosource© e-Learning Pathway, Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension Pathway.


  • Dean’s List, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1999-2003
  • Phi Beta Kappa, 2002
  • Phi Lambda Upsilon (Honorary Chemical Society), 2003
  • Southern American Federation for Medical Research/Southern Society for Clinical Investigation Trainee Research Award, 2010
  • American College of Cardiology Travel Award, Tennessee Chapter, 2011
  • American College of Cardiology Board of Governors Leadership Forum, Travel Award, 2011
  • American College of Cardiology Foundation/Merck Fellowship in Cardiometabolic Disorders, 2012
  • Fellow-in-Training “Rising Star”, American College of Cardiology 2012 Scientific Sessions, 2012
  • Fellow Teaching Award, Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, 2012
  • Distinction in Leadership Training, Vanderbilt University Office of Graduate Medical Education, 2012
  • American College of Cardiology, Young Investigators Award Competition Second Place, 2013 Scientific Sessions

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