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Symposium on Cardiomyopathy Research and Treatment Slated for May 3

Event is hosted by the Steven M. Strauss and Lise N. Wilson Center for Cardiomyopathy, which recently reached its $5 million fundraising goal

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The University of California San Diego’s Steven M. Strauss and Lise N. Wilson Center for Cardiomyopathy will host the inaugural Cardiomyopathy Precision Medicine Symposium in La Jolla, Calif., on May 3, 2024.

The Strauss Wilson Center for Cardiomyopathy was established by Steven M. Strauss and Lise N. Wilson, who donated $3.25 million to UC San Diego in 2021. The couple created a match to raise an additional $1.75 million, for a total of $5 million to support the new center. The challenge was successfully met in late 2023.

Cardiomyopathy research and treatment is an area that is of particular importance to Strauss, who is a philanthropist and a partner at the law firm Cooley LLP. In 2011, he collapsed while exercising in his home. Rushed by paramedics to the hospital, he was ultimately diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM).

HCM is characterized by a thickening of the muscles in the heart and can disrupt the heart’s electrical rhythm, causing sudden death. Often undiagnosed, it is estimated that as many as 1 in 200 people in the U.S. have the disease. It affects people of all ages, genders and races. Medical and surgical treatments help symptoms, but there is no cure and often patients will eventually require a heart transplant.

“In addition to supporting leading-edge treatment and research to tackle cardiomyopathy, we want to create more awareness of the condition,” said Strauss. “Early detection is critical because once someone knows they have it, there are treatments to help address it. Additional funding is also critical to continue to drive new discoveries and therapies, and to learn more about how to detect the disease early.”

Bringing together top minds  

The Cardiomyopathy Precision Medicine Symposium on May 3 will bring together top minds in cardiomyopathy, including doctors, scientists and industry leaders, to explore innovations in cardiovascular medicine.

“Therapies are shifting from those based on phenotype to those that treat the root underlying mechanism and, more recently, the genetic causes, or genotype,” said Eric Adler, MD, a Professor of Medicine, director of the Strauss Wilson Center for Cardiomyopathy and the Czarina and Humberto S. Lopez Chancellors Endowed Chair in Cardiology at UC San Diego School of Medicine, and section head of heart failure at UC San Diego Health. “We are pleased to bring a group of such prestigious doctors and researchers together to discuss new ideas and drive advancements in this field, which affects so many patients around the world.”

Dr. Eric Adler
Eric Adler, MD, leads the Steven M. Strauss and Lise N. Wilson Center for Cardiomyopathy.

The symposium is hosted by the UC San Diego School of Medicine’s Steven M. Strauss and Lise N. Wilson Center for Cardiomyopathy, the region’s first dedicated cardiomyopathy center, providing leading research and treatment. With a tripartite mission, the center focuses on developing critical insights into the etiology, diagnosis and treatment of cardiomyopathy; restoring the health and wellbeing of those with heart failure; and educating future generations of clinicians and scientists, with a commitment to providing world-class care in a diverse and inclusive environment.

“UC San Diego is a leader in the treatment of cardiovascular disease,” said Strauss, when he and Wilson made their initial gift. “Lise and I felt it was important to establish a cardiomyopathy center at UC San Diego to support Dr. Adler’s research and redefine the treatment for this little known, and potentially deadly, heart disease.”

To learn more about the symposium or get involved, please visit the Strauss Wilson Center for Cardiomyopathy website.

Researcher puts liquid in a test tube. 
The Strauss Wilson Center for Cardiomyopathy was established with total support of $5 million. Researchers are working to find more effective ways to diagnose, prevent and treat cardiomyopathy. 
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