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BME Seminar Series: Steven Koenig, PhD and Gretel Monreal, PhD, University of Louisville

All dates for this event occur in the past.

Fontana Labs 1000
140 W. 19th Ave.
Columbus, OH 43210
United States


Steven Koenig, PhD and Gretel Monreal, PhD stand smiling wearing white lab coats

Steven Koenig, PhD

Endowed Chair of Cardiac Implant Science
Cardiovascular Innovation Institute
Depts. of Bioengineering and Cardiothoracic Surgery
University of Louisville


Gretel Monreal, PhD

Associate Professor
Director of Cardiovascular and Thoracic Simulation Labs
Dept. of Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery
University of Louisville

Title:  "Innovation in the Advanced Heart Failure Research Program"



Steven C. Koenig PhD and Gretel Monreal PhD together lead the Advanced Heart Failure Research (AHFR) Program at the University of Louisville (Louisville KY), one of only a handful of programs in the world that have expertise and extensive experience with the pre-clinical development and testing of innovative mechanical circulatory support (MCS) devices for the treatment of end-stage heart failure.  We will present novel emerging technologies our AHFR program is helping to develop with industry sponsors to help advance the MCS field, including adult and pediatric catheter-based, extracorporeal, and implantable assist devices and other emerging platform technologies. 

They have been awarded $55.4M funding from 94 federal grants and industry contracts and generated 34 patents and invention disclosures that supported the successful clinical translation of 15 MCS devices into human use.  These devices include the Abiomed AbioCor total artificial heart and Carmat Aeson total artificial heart, both of which underwent large animal pre-clinical testing at their AHFR Program and were then successfully implanted in critically ill end-stage heart failure patients at the University of Louisville / Jewish Hospital.  In addition to their research endeavors, they maintain a strong educational program, mentoring 109 trainees in their laboratory including biomedical engineering students, medical students, and surgical fellows, and directed 124 educational wet labs.  Drs. Koenig and Monreal founded and direct the University of Louisville’s Heartwheels! STEM Mobile Outreach Program to bring their passion, laboratory resources, and applied knowledge of cardiovascular sciences out to secondary schools and communities, particularly underrepresented and underserved areas, to ignite interest in the STEM fields and heart-healthy living via fun hands-on, experiential activities.



Steven C. Koenig, PhD (University of Texas, 1996) is the Endowed Chair of Cardiac Implant Science in the Cardiovascular Innovation Institute (CII), CT Surgery Director of Research, and Professor in the Departments of Bioengineering and Cardiothoracic Surgery at the University of Louisville (UofL). Dr. Koenig has thirty-two years of experience as a biomedical engineer with a research focus on emerging technology, functional performance, and systems-level physiologic responses of mechanical circulatory support (MCS), catheter-based pumps, cardiopulmonary devices, ventricular assist devices, and total artificial hearts on the heart and vasculature for the treatment of end-stage heart failure (HF). Dr. Koenig’s areas of research expertise are biomedical instrumentation (sensors, signal conditioning, hemodynamic data acquisition and analysis) and medical device development (efficacy, safety, reliability, hemocompatibility, and biocompatibility) in compliance with Good Laboratory Practices (GLP).  Dr. Koenig is also actively engaged in the MCS device field through his service with the American Society Artificial and Internal Organs (ASAIO), Gordon Research Conference (GRC) on Assisted Circulation, College of Fellows of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE), and National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant study sections.


Gretel Monreal PhD (BS, MS, and PhD from The Ohio State University) is an Associate Professor in the Department of Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery at the University of Louisville (UofL) and Director of Cardiovascular and Thoracic Simulation Labs for student and physician education.  She has twenty-eight years of experience in large animal model development and mechanical circulatory support (MCS) device research, including pioneering the first coronary microembolization-induced ovine chronic heart failure model in the US, which was then used as the experimental platform to test the early concepts of partial unloading with MCS devices.  Dr. Monreal is currently multi-PI on a $6.07M NIH grant to help develop a blood pump for neonates and infants, and an industry contract to develop a novel ventricular assist device.  She is a grant reviewer for the American Heart Association and has served as an Event Coordinator for the STEM organization, Science Olympiad, since 1998.

Category: Seminar Series