HLHS Cause to Cure

Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome Program from Mayo Clinic

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February 17, 2014

IMPACT: Innovative Minds Partnering to Advance Cardiac Theranostics

By jthebiay

An undergraduate collaboratory sponsored by the Todd and Karen Wanek Family Program for Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome

HLHS heart not labelled


The mission of Mayo Clinic is to inspire hope and contribute to health and well-being by providing the best care to every patient through integrated clinical practice, education, and research.  In the Todd and Karen Wanek Family Program for Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS), Mayo Clinic physicians and scientists are working collaboratively to find and apply innovative solutions for HLHS. The ultimate goal of this program is to delay or prevent the need for heart transplantation in patients with HLHS.

To that end, our program is sponsoring a collaboratory to bring together undergraduate students and Mayo Clinic physicians and scientists in the search for innovative solutions. Below are details about the program.


Aligned with the mission to advance patient care, the IMPACT collaboratory is intended to encourage creative solutions to critical HLHS questions by developing multidisciplinary research collaborations between Mayo Clinic scientists and undergraduate students. By engaging students from traditional science majors as well as non-science backgrounds, this collaboratory will forge partnerships toward the common goal of advancing the health and well-being of HLHS patients. Students are challenged to develop innovative hypotheses that address the following question: What is the underlying cause of Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome?


Individual and team submissions are eligible; however, multidisciplinary teams of up to 5 undergraduate students are strongly encouraged and will be prioritized. Students from all years of education and all academic majors are encouraged to submit hypotheses. Each submission must identify a faculty sponsor as an administrative liaison between Mayo Clinic and the Undergraduate Institution.


Each submission must include one clearly defined, novel hypothesis that addresses the question above. Submissions should be no longer than 3 single-spaced pages and include Background Information, Hypothesis and Rationale, and Significance and Innovation. References must be included but will not count toward the 3-page limit. All submissions must be e-mailed to the IMPACT coordinator by May 1, 2014.


Hypotheses will be judged by their novelty and potential to transform the diagnosis, prognosis, or treatment of HLHS. Applicants with the top 10 submissions will be formally recognized as IMPACT Collaboratory Scholars and invited to present their ideas to a team of clinicians and researchers at Mayo Clinic. A $1000 award will be given to each student on the team with the most outstanding hypothesis.


This award will establish a formal collaboration that enables direct undergraduate student participation in the proposed work at Mayo Clinic, Rochester Campus and/or the Undergraduate Institution. To promote productive collaboration, the Wanek Family Program for HLHS will donate up to $5000 to the Undergraduate Institution to fund related scientific equipment if requested and justified.


Mayo Clinic

200 First Street SW

Rochester, MN 55905


Katherine Hartjes, IMPACT Collaboratory Coordinator

hartjes.katherine@mayo.edu, 507-266-7915


The Todd and Karen Wanek Family Program for Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS) is a collaborative network of specialists bonded by the vision of delaying or preventing heart failure for individuals affected by congenital heart defects including HLHS. The specialized team is addressing the various aspects of these defects by using research and clinical strategies ranging from basic science, to diagnostic imaging to regenerative therapies.

Tags: IMPACT, IMPACT Initiative

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