National Institutes of Health Names U of M Demetris Yannopoulos, MD Transformative Research Award Recipient

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NIH commits to 78 High-Risk, High-Reward Research awards to support exceptional innovation in biomedical research.

This research shines a beacon of hope for the thousands of people that suffer from sudden cardiac arrest (SCA).

The National Institutes of Health recognized Dr. Demetris Yannopoulos, Associate Professor of Cardiology and Interventional Cardiologist at the University of Minnesota Physicians Heart, with a Transformative Research Award for his work in injury protection in the administration of CPR. Naming only ten Transformative Research Awards this year, Yannopoulos represents the only scientist in Minnesota to receive an award.

Yannopoulos is the Principal Investigator of a multi-disciplinary institutional team from the University of Minnesota, the Medical College of Wisconsin and the University of Michigan. Their proposal “Reperfusion Injury Protection Strategies during Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation” is recognized as one of ten High Risk, High Reward awards named that proposed a highly innovative approach to a major contemporary challenge in biomedical research.

Pharmacology and Toxicology will focus on cellular and subcellular mechanisms of novel mechanic and pharmacological measures during cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Preliminary results in this preclinical porcine model have shown great promise to increase neurologically intact survival after cardiac arrest. If translated into clinical practice these novel techniques have the potential to save many thousands of patients per year and to improve their quality of life.

"This research shines a beacon of hope for the thousands of people that suffer from sudden cardiac arrest (SCA), said Yannopoulos. "More than 90 percent of Americans (295,000 Americans) who have a SCA die within minutes. Working with through the Minnesota Resuscitation Consortium at the U of M, we are developing systems by coordinating education, training and the application of high-tech treatments among the general public, first responders, emergency medical services (EMS) and hospitals to mitigate injury and save lives for those having cardiac arrest," Yannopoulos concluded.

Yannopoulos and his team will receive $5.4 million in total costs over five years. The team consists of subcontract PI Matthias Riess, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Anesthesiology and Physiology, and co-investigators Tom Aufderheide, MD, Professor of Emergency Medicine, and Martin Bienengraeber, PhD, Associate Professor of Anesthesiology, Pharmacology and Toxicology.

University of Minnesota Physicians Heart
Our team of cardiologists and medical professionals bring together a deep understanding of academic medicine with advanced clinical skills to provide life-saving care to people with heart disease. For more information visit: For more information on Dr. Yannopoulos visit:

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Mary Lower
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