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Innovation Grand Rounds Tenure Talk by Issam Moussa, MD, MBA

Event Type
Carle Illinois College of Medicine
wifi event
Jun 11, 2021   12:00 - 1:30 pm  
Dr. Issam Moussa, Clinical Professor & Head, Clinical Sciences Department at Carle Illinois College of Medicine
Angie Ellis
Originating Calendar
Carle Illinois College of Medicine General Events

“Do Heart Attacks Cause Brain Inflammation? The Emerging Field of Cardio-Neuro-Immunology”


by Dr. Issam Moussa


Carle Illinois College of Medicine

Innovation Grand Rounds Tenure Talk


Friday, June 11, 2021


noon – 1:00 p.m. Hear from Issam Moussa
1:00 – 1:30 p.m. Reflection & Dialogue


Zoom Call-in: go.illinois.edu/innovationgrandrounds


Carle Illinois College of Medicine is pleased to host Dr. Moussa for his Tenure Talk, to highlight his innovative thinking and his many notable scholarly achievements in research, teaching, and clinical and professional service. Please join us in recognizing the broad impact and significant contributions that Dr. Moussa has made to Carle Illinois, to his field, and to society.



Epidemiological studies have demonstrated that patients with myocardial infarction have higher incidence of depression and anxiety disorders, which in turn increase the risk of future cardiac events and mortality. Interrupting this cycle requires an understanding of the mechanisms underlying this link. The candidate hypotheses that may potentially explain this relationship include sympathetic nervous system activation, hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis activation, and neuroinflammation (which we coined the Cardio-Neuro-Immunology hypothesis). Its plausible that these mechanisms work synergistically.


Experimental evidence have shown that myocardial infarction induces an acute state of cardiac and systemic inflammation that lead to brain inflammation through cellular and humoral immune responses.


The Carle Illinois Neurocardiolgy Research Initiative is pursuing translational parallel studies in small animal models and humans to investigate the cardio-neuro-immunology hypothesis. The small animal model study will evaluate the impact of acute myocardial infarction in mice on cardiac and brain inflammation, as determined by Ferumoxytol-9.4 Tesla cardiac and brain imaging, as well as, the impact of myocardial infarction on standardized behavioral metrics in mice. The human study will evaluate patients with completed myocardial infarction using Ferumoxytol-3 Tesla cardiac MRI and Ferumoxytol-7 Tesla brain MRI at subacute and chronic time points to determine the presence and intensity of cardiac and brain inflammation and the degree to which they correlate.


Dr. Issam D. Moussa is Medical Director of the Carle Heart & Vascular Institute, Clinical Professor & Head, Clinical Sciences Department at Carle Illinois College of Medicine, and Co-Lead of the Carle Illinois Neurocardiology Research Initiative at the Beckman Institute.


Dr. Moussa completed his medical degree at Damascus University, Syria. He completed his post graduate training in Internal Medicine, General Cardiology, and Interventional Cardiology at Georgetown University Medical Center; the University of California, Irvine Medical Center; and Lenox Hill Heart and Vascular Institute in New York City. Dr. Moussa pursued formal innovation-entrepreneurship training at the Biomedical Innovation Technology Program at Stanford University, and completed an MBA- healthcare administration at the University of Colorado Business School.


Dr. Moussa currently serves on the Healthcare Innovation Leadership Council of the American College of Cardiology and is the Co-Chair of the Digital Health and Medical Devices work group. As an interventional cardiologist, Dr. Moussa specializes in performing complex catheter-based cardiovascular procedures in patients with coronary artery disease, structural heart disease, and peripheral arterial disease.  He has co-authored over 200 peer-reviewed articles and participated in over 100 clinical trials. His current research program is focused on structural heart disease and the area of neurocardiology and heart-brain interaction in health and disease.

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