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Distinguished Scientist Shelby Kutty, M.D., Ph.D.

Image with caption: Shelby Kutty, M.D., Ph.D.

Shelby Kutty, M.D., Ph.D.

This profile is part of a series to highlight the researchers who will be honored at a ceremony for UNMC's 2016 Scientist Laureate, Research Leadership, Distinguished Scientist and New Investigator Award recipients.

The Distinguished Scientist Award

The Distinguished Scientist Award -- which is sponsored by the chancellor -- recognizes researchers who have been among the most productive scientists at UNMC during the past five years.

  • Name: Shelby Kutty, M.D., Ph.D.
  • Title: Vice chair of pediatrics; associate professor of pediatrics, internal medicine and physiology; director of cardiac imaging and research
  • Joined UNMC: 2008
  • Hometown: Kochi, India

Research focus:

  • Myocardial function
  • Ultrasonic contrast

Research goals:
We study ways that ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging can benefit children and adults with congenital heart disease through precise assessment of myocardial function to provide accurate cardiac prognosis. We are asking:

  • Can ultrasound contrast agents be used to reduce medical radiation exposure in children?
  • How can these contrast agents be used to treat problems like vasospasm, catheter-related thrombosis, and endocarditis?
  • Can modern imaging tools reveal cellular and metabolic changes of ventricular remodeling in animal models of right heart injury?
  • Does restoration of mitochondrial form and function improve right heart function?

Our clinical and translational research may:

  • Identify novel cardiac imaging strategies or imaging "biomarkers" for improved detection or outcome prediction in congenital heart disease.
  • Lead to better disease-specific utilization of multi-modality imaging, and reduce "low-value" imaging.
  • Have a significant role in helping cardiologists understand the importance of ultrasound contrast agents for cardiovascular imaging in children.
  • Discover markers of right heart remodeling and establish therapeutic targets for improving right heart function.

The best advice I've ever been given:

  • As a child I grew up with my maternal grandmother who used to say, "Always be respectful . . . and always think in your head before you talk."
  • A quote from Shakespeare's "Hamlet" has influenced me over the years: "There is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so." It fosters a positive outlook on daily challenges, empathetic interactions with others, and a balanced approach to life.
  • Two cardiology mentors have advised the recipe for success in academic medicine: "Understand your strengths and weaknesses, and surround yourself with people who help compensate for your weaknesses."

Three things you may not know about me:

  • I think I inherited scientific curiosity and writing skills from Mom, an insightful physics grad, and people skills from Dad, who ran an advertising business when I was growing up.
  • I am OCD about frequently checking (and responding to most) emails on my smartphone. Sometimes I wake up in the night or early morning and deal with them as they arrive.
  • I hate shopping . . . can't remember the last time I went to buy clothes or visited a mall. My wife takes care of everything, including my trademark blue shirts and beige pants.

Ceremony Jan. 17

A campus ceremony will be held at 4 p.m. Jan. 17 in the Durham Research Center Auditorium to recognize the award recipients, as well as the winner of the Community Service to Research Award, who will be announced later. A reception will follow. The ceremony will be livestreamed; click here or paste http://www.unmc.edu/livevideo/unmc_live1.html in your browser.

Research Award winners include:
Scientist Laureate
Tammy Kielian, Ph.D., College of Medicine

Research Leadership Award
B. Timothy Baxter, M.D., College of Medicine
Robert Lewis, Ph.D., Eppley Institute

Distinguished Scientist Award
Maneesh Jain, Ph.D., College of Medicine
Shelby Kutty, M.D., Ph.D., College of Medicine
Rongshi Li, Ph.D., College of Pharmacy
Mark Mailliard, M.D., College of Medicine
Kaleb Michaud, Ph.D., College of Medicine
Joseph Norman, Ph.D., College of Allied Health Professions
Larisa Poluektova, M.D., Ph.D., College of Medicine
Matthew Rizzo, M.D., College of Medicine
Sarah Thayer, M.D., Ph.D., College of Medicine
Melissa Tibbits, Ph.D., College of Public Health

New Investigator Awards
Laura Bilek, Ph.D., College of Allied Health Professions
Martin Conda Sheridan, Ph.D., College of Pharmacy
Sung-Ho Huh, Ph.D., Munroe-Meyer Institute
R. Katherine Hyde, Ph.D., College of Medicine
Mariano Sanchez-Lockhart, Ph.D., College of Medicine
Kimberly Scarsi, Pharm.D., College of Pharmacy
Jessica Nichols Snowden, M.D., College of Medicine
Hanjun Wang, M.D., College of Medicine
Wanfen Xiong, M.D., Ph.D., College of Medicine

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