Biomedical Research / Scientific Community

Featured Investigators

We’re proud to provide a platform for researchers across the world to explore topics within and adjacent to the single ventricle field. This series specifically highlights the work of our early career investigators, including graduate students, postdocs, medical fellows, and independent principal investigators, that are moving the needle in the single ventricle research landscape.

Daniel Quiat, MD, PhD

Dr. Daniel Quiat is a pediatric cardiologist at Boston Children’s Hospital and an instructor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Quiat earned his MD and PhD in 2014 from the Medical Science Training Program (MSTP) at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. Dr. Quiat then completed both his residency and fellowship at Boston Children’s Hospital, where he is board certified in pediatrics and pediatric cardiology with specialties in pediatric cardiomyopathies and congenital heart defects. In addition to his clinical responsibilities, Dr. Quiat pursues biomedical research in cardiovascular development and genetics in collaboration with the Seidman Lab at Harvard Medical School Department of Genetics, with a goal of identifying genetic causes of single ventricle heart disease and illuminating the role of those genetic factors in the development of heart failure and other clinical outcomes.

Article published October 18, 2021

What inspired you to conduct research in cardiovascular science and to include single ventricle as a focus? 

I became interested in the single ventricle field in medical school, where my experiences caring for children with single ventricle heart disease led me to pursue a career in pediatric cardiology and cardiovascular genetics. The questions and concerns of families that I have cared for as a trainee and now as a pediatric cardiologist have guided the focus of my research in cardiovascular genetics. Parents often ask why their child has heart disease or why their child might have had a certain complication or outcome. We are increasingly able to identify the underlying genetic cause of a patient’s congenital heart disease, but the genetic factors that influence clinical outcomes in single ventricle congenital heart disease are largely unknown. My goal is to use human genetics and disease models to gain new insight into single ventricle heart disease that will lead to improvements in clinical care.

Based on your experience, what are some gaps in the field we have yet to fill as a community? 

With my interest in cardiovascular genetics, the gap I am working to understand is how genetic factors might relate to short-term and long-term single ventricle outcomes. Addressing this question requires genetic and clinical data from many single ventricle patients, and generating this type of dataset involves funding for genetic sequencing, collaboration across centers to recruit patients and compile data, and patients/families to entrust researchers with their medical/genetic data. The Pediatric Cardiac Genomics Consortium and Pediatric Heart Network have laid the groundwork for these types of studies, and these efforts would not have been possible without the support of patients, clinicians, researchers, and government funding sources. As the field moves forward patient groups and private foundations, such as Additional Ventures, will play a critical role in driving this line of research.

As an early-career investigator, how do you see collaboration between communities (researchers, clinicians, patients/families) evolving over the years? What would you like to see change?

The current trend in pediatric cardiology and cardiovascular genetic research is towards increased collaboration and data sharing, which will accelerate and improve the quality of research. In addition, the internet and social media have enabled families to more easily connect with ongoing research and advocate for new areas of investigation that they identify as important. One opportunity for improvement is to have researchers, clinicians, and families to come together regularly and discuss the leading science in single ventricle heart disease (such as the recent SVIM). I believe that these sorts of interactions will help identify fruitful collaborations that cross disciplines and institutions, and connect patients/families with researchers to help improve research efforts.

What advice do you have for other early-career investigators looking to get into this space?

I am fortunate to have a fantastic team of mentors with expertise in cardiovascular genetics and single ventricle outcomes research that have supported my career development. I think that identifying a team of mentors to support your goals in single ventricle research is important for success.