The overarching goal of the James T. Willerson Center for Cardiovascular Modeling and Simulation (WCCMS) is developing computational biomechanical models for understanding heart valve and heart disease progression for developing clinical interventions, including prosthetics devices. We develop or utilize a range of unique in-vivo and in-vitro data for elucidating mechanisms that underlie the observed pathologies. Our modeling focus is the detailed incorporation of this data to provide a high level of physical and physiological realism and validation, working at the continuum-cellular, fibrous tissue, and whole organ levels. We ultimately seek to provide cardiovascular scientists and clinicians with advanced simulations for the rational development of treatments for structural heart and heart valve diseases. Such simulations can ultimately lead to reduction in development time, lowering of morbidity and mortality, reduced re-operative rates, and lessened post-operative recovery time. Moreover, the development and use of these tools in the context of patient-specific models will ultimately also allow clinicians to craft cardiovascular therapies that are optimized for the cardiovascular system of individuals, with a resulting increase in success and decrease in risk adverse side effects.


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  James T. Willerson, M.D.

The center is named for the late Dr. James T. Willerson, a world-renowned cardiologist known for his work ethic and passion for serving his patients and advancing cardiovascular science. The University of Texas at Austin Distinguished Alumnus died in 2020 following a career that included service as president of the Texas Heart Institute and one of the longest-running editors- in-chief of the journal Circulation.