Discovering the Future of Cardiovascular Medicine

Consultation Services

The CVPath Institute facility was designed to provide expert translational bench-to-bedside research services. Our team of experts has decades of experience in medical device evaluation and is able to provide guidance and advice on device safety, mechanism of action studies, or FDA responses. These services are provided all around the globe and for companies from start-ups to Fortune 100 manufacturers.


Comprehensive histology services from basic to advanced.


CAP-accredited and CLIA-approved laboratory to meet your diagnostic needs.

Preclinical Trials
Preclinical Trials

An internationally recognized research team offers study design consultation


A broad range of medical device experience to enhance your research needs


A full array of diagnostic services for autopsy and surgical specimens


Offering comprehensive microscopy technologies including SEM, TEM, OCT and Micro-CT.


We provide the following routine histology services: Grossing, Tissue Processing to include dehydration, clearing, and infiltration into Paraffin and Plastic Embedding & Sectioning, and H&E Staining.  We also offer Frozen Sectioning including non-decalcified tissues and Cell Pellet Embedding & Sectioning.

In addition, we produce the following special stains which are utilized to identify the existence of certain amyloids, bacteria, chemicals, and minerals to aid in the diagnosis of diseased tissue.

· Alcian Blue
· Alizarin Red
· Congo Red
· Gram Stain
· Elastic van Geison
· Luxol Fast Blue
· Masson Trichrome
· Movat Pentachrome
· Miller’s trichrome
· Oil Red O
· Periodic Acid Schiff (PAS)
· Perl’s Prussian Blue
· Safranin O
· Sirius Red
· Sulphated Alcian Blue
· Toluidine Blue
· Von Kossa
· X-Gal


Our CAP-accredited and CLIA-approved laboratory can help you meet your diagnostic and clinical research trial pathology needs. We offer diagnostic services for autopsy and surgical human specimens. Our analysis includes:

  • Heart tissue: postmortem and explant gross & microscopic evaluation
  • Endomyocardial: biopsy, myocardial tissue/resection (including tumors)
    Pericardial biopsy/resection, native/prosthetic heart valves
  • Vascular specimens: aorta and its branches, coronary, temporal, carotid, etc.
    Full review of cardiovascular slides and blocks
  • Cardiac devices: stents, stent-grafts, mechanical and bioprosthetic valves, prosthetic valve rings, pericardial devices, pacemakers, ventricular assist devices, and others
  • Congenital heart disease devices: occluders, coils, glue, etc.


For more information regarding obtaining a pathology diagnostic consult, please download and complete this form. Send your request to and a CVPath staff member will process your request.

Preclinical Trials

Through vast expertise in preclinical models and human disease, our research team offers study design consultation and small-scale device testing in vascular restenosis models from feasibility through GLP compliant regulatory submission. In-house preclinical models include small animals, such as rabbits and swine coronary & peripheral models, with acute and chronic study capabilities. Our services include biocompatibility and safety in addition to pharmacokinetic testing for the drug component. Whether your company is a startup or an established industry leader, CVPath is uniquely qualified to support the success of your device design.

Trial Design, Development, and Support

CVPath Institute partners with the medical technology industry on device design and evaluation. This partnership begins as early as the bench-level prototyping phase to preclinical research models with CVPath Institute addressing critical questions of feasibility, biocompatibility, and GLP safety.

Based on our deep expertise in human disease and superior scientific inquiry methods, we can assist our industry partners with developing preclinical research plans and regulatory consultation for investigational device 510K and IDE approvals. Our industry partners have embraced this consultation service given the current uncertain regulatory environment for medical device commercial approval.

In providing trial design, development, and support services, CVPath Institute manages study integrity, compliance, and oversees data integrity & final reports as part of our Quality Assurance (QA) program. Our QA program follows FDA Good Laboratory Practice (GLP) Regulations for Nonclinical Laboratory Studies.




CVPath Institute has experience with a broad range of medical devices in the clinical arena from cerebral to below-the-knee technologies, truly encompassing the entire anatomical cardiovascular territory.


  • Aneurysm repair and prevention devices such as coils, foams, hydrogels, and bioglues.
  • Ischemic stroke intervention devices



  • Nitinol stents
  • Endarterectomy Samples



  • Grafts
  • Stent grafts



  • Valves:
    • Aortic: TAVI, prosthetic and mechanical, surgical valves
    • Mitral: artificial chordae, leaflet augmentation, various types of annuloplasty rings, leaflet resection, edge to edge repair, coronary sinus annuloplasty, annular modification, percutaneous mitral valve repair, chamber remodeling, ultrasound technologies, and mitral cerclage
  • Myocardium: atrial septal defect (PFO occluders), atrial appendage occluders, right and left ventricular assist devices, cell therapy, pacing leads, balloon         ablation for atrial fibrillation
  • Coronary arteries: stents (bare metal, drug-eluting, bioerodible scaffolds), drug-coated balloons



  • Sympathetic nerve ablation


Non-vascular stents

  • Liver
  • Biliary


Iliac, SFA, below the knee

  • Plaque excision
  • Peripheral stents: nitinol, bioerodible scaffolds, stent grafts. drug-coated balloons
  • Vascular access closure devices



  • AV Shunt
  • Stents



Our CAP-accredited and CLIA-approved laboratory can help you meet the pathology requirements of your clinical trials. We offer diagnostic services for autopsy and surgical specimens associated with the cardiovasculature as well as other related organ systems. Our extensive experience with the interaction and impact of emerging interventional technologies on human tissues will ensure that your clinical research trial pathology needs are well supported.

CVPath provides pathology support for clinical trials involving:

  • Cardiovascular toxicity
  • Medical devices
  • Stents: coronary, peripheral, carotid
  • Grafts
  • Valves: TAVI
  • Heart failure
  • Tissue examination and analysis
  • Whole heart grossing
  • Excised atherosclerotic plaque
  • SilverHawk
  • Carotid endarterectomy
  • Thrombectomy material
  • Distal filter material [embolic protection]
  • Surgically resected aneurysms
  • Endomyocardial biopsies


The CVPath Insitute offers an established resource for ex-vivo and in-vivo intravascular imaging tools including intravascular ultrasound, optical coherence tomography, angioscopy, near-infrared spectroscopy, etc. and helps develop new or improve existing modalities by offering a wide range of coregistration services between histology and invasive/non-invasive imaging modalities.

Optical Coherence Tomography Analysis – We offer our clients expert guidance on intravascular image acquisition using OCT and OFDI technology and provide state-of-the-art imaging analysis including comprehensive OCT core laboratory analysis.

Micro-CT – nondestructive micron-level 3D imaging for clinical samples, tissue, and devices

Our custom-built Nikon XT H 225ST Microfocus Computed Tomography scanner, paired with the powerful rendering suite VGStudio MAX 3.0 and expert imaging staff, allows us to examine clinical samples, tissue, and devices with never before seen precision and clarity for nondestructive imaging.

With the ability to scan objects from under 1 cubic millimeter to over 50 centimeters, the Micro-CT stands alone as the best method for imaging delicate samples without destroying them. Voxel-based measurement and analysis through VGStudio mean that not only can we produce visually stunning images, but we can make measurements in any plane of any device and perform volumetric measurements on calcification. Images can be produced in a variety of formats, including but not limited to: 3D virtual dissection movies, 3D STL files, 2D virtual histology, 2D image slice movies, and DICOM sets. The Micro-CT also serves as a powerful addition to any study involving analysis of histologic sections by providing technicians with the exact locations of regions of interest so that only the best data is put forth in the slides we produce.

Our Experts

The Institute’s research team consists of world class cardiologists, pathologists, scientists, and other highly skilled technical staff who have a deep understanding of cardiovascular pathology.

Aloke Finn, MD
Aloke Finn, MD

President and Chief Scientific Officer

Renu Virmani, MD FACC

President Emeritus and Founder

Frank D. Kolodgie, PhD

Associate Director

Maria E. Romero, MD FCAP

Chief of Anatomic Pathology

Elena R. Ladich, MD

Chief of Pathology

Rika Kawakami, MD, PhD

Staff Pathologist

Aloke Finn, MD

Aloke Finn, MD

Titles: Clinical Expertise:
Medical Director and Chief Scientific Officer – CVPath Institute Interventional Cardiology
Education:    Residencies:
MD, Vanderbilt University Internal Medicine
School of Medicine Massachusetts General Hospital
Fellowships:  Board Certifications:
Internal Medicine Cardiovascular Disease &  Cardiovascular Disease
Interventional Cardiology Cardiovascular Disease
Massachusetts General Hospital Interventional Cardiology


Other Affiliations:

Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine
University of Maryland at Baltimore

I am a physician-scientist whose focus is on the pathology of cardiovascular disease and its treatment.  I serve as the Medical Director and Chief Scientific Officer for CVPath Institute where I am involved in overseeing device development research and run a molecular lab with focus on the molecular understanding of vascular wall injury and healing, genetics of sudden cardiac death and molecular basis of coronary artery disease.  When not running CVPath, I perform interventional cardiology procedures at University of Maryland weekly.

Awards and Honors:

DeSanctis Clinical Scholar, Harvard Medical School, 2003-2004; Thomas Linnemeier Young Investigator Award Finalist, Columbia University/ Cardiovascular Research Foundation, 2006; Outstanding Scientific Citation (Basic Research-Early Career), Emory Department of Medicine, 2010; Finalist Irvine H. Page Award, American Heart; Member Emory Millipub Club (paper authorship with >1000 citations), 2013; Basic Science Publication of the Year University of Maryland Department of Medicine, 2018




Link to publications

Renu Virmani, MD FACC

Titles: Education:
President and Founder M.D. Lady Hardinge Medical College
Delhi University
Clinical Expertise: India
Cardiovascular Pathology Research
Residencies: Fellowships:
Gynecology, Obstetrics and Internal Medicine Pathology
Maulana Azad Medical College National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute
New Delhi, India National Institutes of Health
Bethesda, MD
Lala Lajpat Rai Memorial College and Hospital
Meerut, India Board Certifications:
Cardiovascular Pathology
Pathology (Clinical and Anatomical)
George Washington Other Affirmations:
University Medical Center Clinical Professor – Pathology:
Washington, D.C. Georgetown University
University of Maryland, Baltimore
George Washington University
Vanderbilt University

Dr. Virmani is an internationally renowned cardiovascular pathologist. She is recognized as a leading researcher in the field of cardiovascular disease treatments.

Dr. Virmani serves as the President of CVPath Institute, which she founded in 2005. Dr. Virmani lectures at scientific meetings, both nationally and internationally, and has delivered more than 800 presentations globally. She is responsible for multiple research grants in the field of cardiovascular pathology and has authored or co-authored over 600 publications in peer-reviewed journals in the field of atherosclerosis, vulnerable plaque, stents, and other cardiovascular diseases. She has edited 7 books and written over 100 book chapters. Dr. Virmani is also reviews manuscripts for many scientific journals.

Dr. Virmani was presented with the 2012 TCT Career Achievement Award by the Cardiovascular Research Foundation. She has been recognized by the Council on Clinical Cardiology of the American Heart Association and also delivered the Laennec Clinician Educator Lecture in 2010. She was awarded an honorary degree from the University of Antwerp, Belgium in 2008 and has also received honorary awards from European Society of Cardiology (2008) and EuroPCR (2006).

Dr. Virmani served as Chairperson at the Department of Cardiovascular Pathology of the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology from 1984 until 2004. Dr. Virmani is a member of the American Heart Association, the U.S. and Canadian Academy of Pathology, and is a Fellow of the American College of Cardiology

Awards and Honors:

Joint Service Commendation Medal for Outstanding Meritorious Service as Chief, Division of Cardiovascular Research, Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, Washington, D.C. for the period of 5 July 1979 through 4 August 1981

Gold Medal for Best Scientific Exhibit at the American Society of Clinical Pathologists, Las Vegas, Nevada, October 1981

Silver Medal for Second Best Scientific Exhibit at the American Society of Clinical Pathologists, Las Vegas, Nevada, October 1985

Edward Rhodes Stitt Lecture Award, Association of Military Surgeons of the United States, San Antonio, Texas, November 1988

Member Cardiology Advisory Committee, national Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, National Institute of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, October 1988 to March 1992

Member AIDS Advisory Committee, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health, October 1989 to Sept 1993.

Member judging panel for the 1996 Young Investigators Awards Competition in the Physiology, Pharmacology & Pathology Category. 45th Annual Scientific Session of the College of Cardiology, Orlando, Florida.

2006 – Ethica Award, EuroPCR, Paris, France, May 2006.

2007 – Society for Cardiovascular Pathology Distinguished Achievement Award,  March 25, 2007.

2008 – Doctor Honoris Causa, Universiteit Antwerpen, Hoogleraar Cardiovaculaire Pathologie aan de George Washington Universiteit, Washington, DC, Antwerpen, Belgium, May 6, 2008.

2010 – Laennec Clinician/Educator Lecture Award from the American Heart Association, November 15, 2010.

2011 – BAS Hugh Sinclair Lecture, British Atherosclerosis Society

Manchester, England, June 13, 2011.

2012 – Simon Dack Award from JACC Journals.  March 25, 2012

2012 – RT Hall Lecture Award from International Faculty for CSANZ 2012 Brisbane.  August 17, 2012.

2012 – TCT Career Achievement Award from the Cardiovascular Research Foundation.  October 25, 2012.

2013 – ICI 2013 Award (Innovations in Cardiovascular Interventions Award), Tel Aviv, Israel, December 2013.

2014  – Houston Methodist Leading Medicine Award from Houston Methodist Research Institute, October 9-10, 2014.

2014 – Beacon of Interventional Cardiology Award from India Live 2015, Chennai, India, February 26-27, 2015

2015 – TCT Career Achievement Award, CADECI 2015, Guadalajara, Jalisco (Mexico), February 11-12, 2015.

Link to publications

Frank D. Kolodgie, PhD

Title: Clinical Expertise:
Associate Director Pathology of Human Vascular
Disease Research
PhD, Clinical Medicine Other Affiliations:
University of Maryland Adjunct Faculty, University of Maryland
Baltimore, MD School of Medicine
MS, Clinical Medicine Member, American Heart Association
University of Maryland
Baltimore, MD Research Committee,
American Registry of Pathology
BA, Biology
Wayne State University
Detroit, MI.

Dr. Kolodgie’s primary research interest is in arteriosclerosis/heart failure.  Since its founding in 2005, Dr. Kolodgie has served as the Associate Director of CVPath Institute. Dr. Kolodgie’s over thirty-year span of research has focused on the pathology of human vascular disease, including the role of inflammation, apoptosis, and neoangiogenesis in the progression of atherosclerosis in addition to translational research in the interventional device field.  Dr. Kolodgie has been the recipient of over 10 research grants and has authored and co-authored over 160 scientific publications in peer-reviewed journals and more than 30 book chapters.

Awards and Honors:

Young Investigator, American College of Cardiology, Annual Scientific Session, 1995



Link to publications

Maria E. Romero, MD FCAP

Clinical Expertise: Fellowships:
Anatomic Pathology Cytopathology
Cardiovascular Pathology Virginia Commonwealth University Hospital
Cytopathology Richmond, VA
Education: Ultra-structural Pathology
MD, San Marcos University National Cancer Institute (NCI)
School of Medicine Bethesda, MD
Lima, Peru
Residency: Board Certifications:
Anatomic Pathology Anatomic Pathology
Georgetown University Hospital Cytopathology
Washington, DC

Dr. Romero joined CVPath as a Staff Pathologist in 2014. Dr. Romero is board certified in Anatomic Pathology and Cytopathology. She received her medical degree from San Marcos University School of Medicine in Lima, Peru. Dr. Romero completed her residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University Hospital in Washington DC followed by a cytopathology fellowship at the Virginia Commonwealth University Hospital in Richmond, VA. She completed a post-doctoral fellow at the Ultra-structural Pathology section at the National Cancer Institute (NCI), Bethesda, MD.  Dr. Romero’s clinical and research interests are focused on the diagnosis and mechanisms of atherosclerosis, preclinical safety, and the effectiveness of neuroprotection devices and valvular pathology. She is a member of the United States and Canadian Academy of Pathology (USCAP), College of American Pathologist (CAP) and the Society of Cardiovascular Pathology (SCVP).

Awards and Honors:

Fellow’s Award for Research Excellence (FARE), National Cancer Institute

Link to Publications

Elena R. Ladich, MD

Elena R. Ladich, MD

Clinical Expertise: Residency:
Anatomic and Clinical Pathology Georgetown University
Cardiovascular Pathology School of Medicine
Autopsy Pathology Washington, DC
Education: Fellowships:
MD, Georgetown University Environmental and Toxicologic Pathology
School of Medicine Cardiovascular Pathology
Washington, DC Armed Forces Institute of Pathology
Washington, DC
Board Certifications:
Anatomic and Clinical Pathology

Dr. Ladich returned to CVPath in March 2023. Dr. Ladich initially joined CVPath at its founding in 2004 as Chief of Anatomic and Cardiovascular Pathology until 2016 when she took a position as Medical Director of Cardiovascular and Autopsy Pathology at Memorial Regional Hospital/Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital in Hollywood, Florida.  She received her medical degree from Georgetown University where she also completed her residency. Dr. Ladich’s areas of expertise include preclinical and clinical pathologic examination of cardiovascular devices. Her other areas of interest are cardiac transplant pathology, congenital heart disease, and post-implant evaluation of mechanical circulatory support devices used to treat heart failure.  Dr. Ladich’s research interests have focused on sudden cardiac death, atherosclerosis, pathologic mechanisms underlying aortic valve stenosis, and biomaterials used in cardiac surgery.


Rika Kawakami, MD, PhD


 Staff Pathologist Pathology
Education: Fellowship:
M.D., Faculty of Medicine, Hyogo College of Medicine, Japan Department of Cardiovascular Medicine, National Cerebral and Cardiovascular Center
PhD. Hyogo College of Medicine Graduate School, Japan

Under Construction

Our Research Capabilities and Facilities

Heart Lab

A state of the art lab purposely designed for cardiovascular studies.

Molecular Biology
Molecular Biology

Ability to perform advanced molecular assays and experiments


A state of the art research laboratory located along the I-270 Technology Corridor

Tissue Biobank
Tissue Biobank

One of the largest tissue biobanks of its kind

Genomic Research
Genomic Research

Rapidly expanding genomic research capabilities

Registry Studies
Registry Studies

Extensive registry of cardiovascular specimens and correlating diseases

Heart Lab

CVPath Institute recently established a Heart Lab, designated to perform various imaging and evaluations of experimental devices on heart specimens.

Cardiology fellows, pathologist and medical device professionals are utilizing these advanced tools to make imaging diagnosis and evaluations on the various heart and vascular conditions and treatment devices.

The 600 square foot laboratory has been furnished with a state-of-art Nikon XT H 225 Micro-CT and Cios Alpha high‐definition mobile C‐arm systems, as well as VISICUBE intravascular ultrasound system, C7XR, and Lunawave OCT imaging systems.

Molecular Biology

The CVPath Research Laboratory is fully equipped to perform advanced molecular assays and experiments. We routinely perform PCR, immunoblotting, ELISA, Flow cytometry, immunohistochemistry, immunofluorescence, RNAscope ISH, SNP genotyping, cell culture, advanced real-time flow loop assay, endothelial permeability assays, and angiogenesis assay.

Instruments in this laboratory include an Agilent 4200 Tapestation, Qiagen Tissue Lyzer, a Thermo Scientific Qubit fluorimeter, a Nanodrop 1000 Spectrophotometer, an Agilent 2100 Bioanalyzer, an ABI 9800 Fast Thermal Cycler, two BioRad T100 Thermal Cycler, an ABI 7500 Fast Real-time PCR system, a QuanStudio real-time PCR system, a QIAcube (Qiagen), a BD Biosciences ACCURI C6 Plus Flow Cytometer, a Zeiss LSM 800 confocal microscope, a Bio-Rad, ChemiDoc System, one –35°C freezer dedicated for DNA biobank, three –20°C freezers, two 4°C fridge and one –80°C freezer (other 7 –80°C freezers are located in a dedicated freezer room).

Additionally, there is laboratory space devoted to cell culture services with the following equipment included: a Thermo Electron Corporation cell culture hood (Forma Class II) with an A2 Biological Safety Cabinet, four Thermo Electron Corporation cell culture incubators (CO2 Incubator), and a BMG Labtech FLUOstar OPTIMA multifunctional microplate reader for biological assay.  It is also equipped with imaging capture devices, including a Nikon Inverted Microscope with a digital camera attached (Eclipse TE2000-U).


CVPath Institute is the leading non-profit research and educational organization dedicated to cardiovascular pathology. The Institute’s research team consists of pathologists, basic scientists, and highly skilled technical staff who have a deep understanding of cardiovascular pathology. Our strengths and capabilities are enriched by one of the largest and most comprehensive biorepositories of diseased human tissue.

The CVPath Institute laboratory is located along Maryland’s I270 “Technology Corridor” in Gaithersburg, MD and encompasses 16,600 square feet of both office and laboratory space equipped with advanced technology.

Histology capabilities include processing and embedding tissues in paraffin, plastic, or OCT compound with histologic sectioning by routine microtomy, cryosectioning, and section grinding. In addition, the facility is able to perform a wide variety of routine and specialized staining techniques. CVPath Institute scientists also manage a full laboratory for cell modeling, molecular biology,  and protein analysis.

Tissue Biobank

CVPath Institute has one of the largest tissue biobanks of its kind, a large repository of heart biospecimens collected from human autopsies of patients who died of sudden death since the 1990s. Our organization has collected over 7,000 autopsy hearts from the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner of the State of Maryland and other contributors.  For every case, hearts have been systematically evaluated with detailed histopathological analysis at CVPath Institute.  This includes obtaining a minimum of 5 sections of myocardium per heart, including the anterior, lateral, posterior, septum, and right ventricle, together with complete coronary artery beds. In a number of cases, this also includes detailed studies including the conduction system examination. We have also stored frozen blood, serum, kidney and liver samples in our freezers. We then collect the diagnosis rendered by the medical examiner, including drug toxicology studies that are routinely conducted for individuals 18 to 50 years of age. We have genotyped over 2,000 samples and have performed next-gen sequencing on 600-samples using cardiovascular gene panels.


The samples in this biobank and the data derived from the specimens are routinely used by our researchers and collaborators and have been a valuable resource in many studies.

Genomic Research

CVPath Research Laboratory is developing its capabilities in genomic research. Isolated DNA and RNA samples from CVPath Registry Studies are being used in genotyping, whole exome sequencing, targeted sequencing of cardiovascular gene panels, bulk RNA-seq and single cell RNA-seq studies. Over 2,000 human DNA samples have been genotyped in SCD Registry study. The Research Laboratory is experienced in common laboratory preparations for next-gen sequencing used in these research studies. We have dedicated bioinformatics server to process and analyze the genomic data using various tools and pipelines. In the meantime, we also collaborate with American Heart Association Institute for Precision Cardiovascular Medicine using cloud computing platform. Precision Medicine Platform is a cloud-based data science platform we are using to integrate genomic and pathologic data.  This will also allow comparative analyses with other large cohort datasets that are stored on the platform.  This platform provides a secure workspace equipped with artificial intelligence tools, machine learning and cloud computing, as well as global collaboration capabilities. It is HIPAA compliant and has also been certified through the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP) for cloud computing security.

Registry Studies

CVPath Registry studies include sudden death registry, coronary disease, coronary stent, carotid disease, and other cardiovascular disease registries. There are over 7,000 samples have been archived in these registry studies, including cases of sudden cardiac death, coronary thrombosis, stent thrombosis and failures, carotid endarterectomy, aortic valves, and various cardiac and vascular devices from preclinical and clinical studies. All the hearts and vascular specimens have detailed histology and pathology analyses, many of them have been or to be genotyped. Tissue samples and FFPE blocks are stored and archived in our Biobank for further research studies.

30 Years of Discoveries and Milestones

Pioneering discoveries in the cardiovascular field from the researchers of CVPath Institute.

1990's and 2000's

Discoveries in the 1990’s

2000's - 2015
2000's - 2015

Discoveries in the 2000’s

2016 -
2016 -

Our most recent discoveries


1990’s – Intravascular Brachytherapy – Virmani predicts that intravascular brachytherapy for the treatment of coronary disease “will not work”.

1995 – Defined Plaque Erosion – Farb, Virmani, and colleagues describe a second significant cause of acute coronary thrombosis.

1997 – Identify Entity of Thin-cap Fibroatheroma (TCFA) – Burke, Virmani and colleagues develop a working definition of lesion vulnerability based on fibrous cap thickness and address predisposing risk factors to high-risk plaque.

2000 – Natural History of Atherosclerosis – Virmani, and colleagues introduce a modification to the American Heart Association Consensus Classification based on their experience with lesion morphology in sudden coronary death.

2001 – Further Define Thin-cap Fibroatheroma (TCFA) – Kolodgie, Virmani, and colleagues further explain the pathologic entity of the thin-cap fibroatheroma (TCFA) in relation to morphology, incidence and location.

2000's - 2015


2003 – Significance of Intraplaque Hemorrhage – Kolodgie, Virmani, and colleagues identify erythrocyte-derived cholesterol resulting from intraplaque neoangiogenesis and hemorrhage as a mechanism of necrotic core expansion and lesion vulnerability.

2004 – Late In-stent Thrombosis – Virmani and colleagues first describe the pathology of late-stent thrombosis attributed to drug-eluting stents.

2004 – Hypersensitivity and Late Stent Thrombosis – A severe localized hypersensitivity reaction consisting of predominantly T lymphocytes and eosinophils may have caused late stent thrombosis.

2010 – Neoatherosclerosis in Stents – Virmani, and colleagues are first to describe the pathology of neoatherosclerosis in drug-eluting and bare-metal stents.

2012 – Endothelium in Atherothrombosis and coronary stenting – Virmani and colleagues discovered that maintenance of a competently functioning endothelium is critical for long-term vascular health.

2013 – 2nd Generation Drug-eluting Stent – CVPath researchers discovered CoCr-EES demonstrated great strut coverage with less inflammation, less fibrin deposition, and less late and very late stent thrombosis.

2015 – Renal Sympathetic Denervation for Hypertension – the CVPath research team discovered that transcatheter ablation of renal autonomic nerves is a viable option for the treatment of resistant arterial hypertension.

2016 -

2016 – Thrombogenicity in Biodegradable Polymer Stents – Contemporary Drug-Eluting Stents with Biodegradable Polymer Coatings Assessed ExVivo in a swine shunt model.

2017 – Pathology of Transcatheter Aortic Valves – First systemic macroscopic pathologic analysis of self-expanding transcatheter aortic valves.

2018 – CD163 Macrophages in Atherosclerosis – Alternative macrophages promote plaque angiogenesis, leakiness, inflammation, and progression. 

2019 – Histopathologic characteristics of PAD – We demonstrated detailed histopathologic characteristics of peripheral arteries in patents with abundant risk factors.


Educational Services

CVPath Institute offers educational opportunities to train tomorrow's scientific leaders through workshops, fellowships and internships. The institute provides expert training in advanced pathology techniques to promising researchers in various stages of their educational and vocational careers.

Hands on Hearts Workshop
Hands on Hearts Workshop

Our “Hands on Hearts” workshop is offered at various cardiovascular conferences throughout the year.

Fellowship Programs
Fellowship Program

A highly competitive fellowship program in the field of cardiovascular research and pathology.


Undergraduate opportunities to learn in a research environment.

Hands on Hearts Workshop

Hands on Hearts is a 1 to 3-day anatomic heart disease session that is directed by CVPath Institute faculty and is held annually at the CRT and the TCT conferences. The session includes pathological specimens demonstrating human cardiac disease as well as CT-generated casts of human hearts prior to intervention. Participants get one-on-one hands-on teaching with actual cadaver hearts demonstrating a variety of structural and congenital disorders. Specimens include hearts with aortic stenosis, mitral regurgitation, atrial and ventricular septal defects, PFOs, as well as cardiomyopathies and ischemic heart disease. In addition, implanted cardiac devices such as bioprosthetic valves, PFO closure devices, and stents are also available for study. The sessions are an invaluable resource for education and research with practical applications for structural heart interventions.

Fellowship Program

HISTORY:  Although the Institute has only been in existence since January 2005, the professional and teaching staff previously worked at the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology in the Department of Cardiovascular Pathology where Dr. Renu Virmani, M.D. was the Chairman of the Department for twenty years.  At CVPath Institute, Inc. (CVPath), Dr. Renu Virmani, M.D. is the President, Dr. Aloke Finn, M.D. is the Medical Director and Chief Scientific Officer, Dr. Maria Romero, M.D. is the Chief of Anatomic Pathology, Dr. Frank Kolodgie, Ph.D. is Associate Director, and Saikat Ghosh, Ph.D. is the Senior Research Scientist. The goal of CVPath is to conduct research in the field of cardiovascular disease.

DURATION OF THE TRAINING PROGRAM: The duration varies from one year up to four years depending upon the amount of training an individual desires. The goal of the one-year training fellowship is to get enough expertise in the field of cardiovascular pathology such that the individual is able to examine a heart and to recognize most diseases microscopically. These individuals are required to have an MD degree and to have experienced two to three years of training in pathology, or cardiology.

The two to three-year programs are for individuals with an MD degree and a background either in pathology or in internal medicine, or cardiology and who have a research interest beyond heart disease. These individuals will be trained in cardiovascular pathology including cardiovascular, structural heart, and peripheral artery disease. Furthermore, at the completion of the program, they will have written at least one manuscript for publication as a first author. Others will carry out applied research in the field of cardiology and will conduct an independent animal research project that will lead to a better understanding of a disease process or help develop novel animal models in this regard. The individual will learn not only to design the study with background, goals, methods, and discussion but also to write a justification as to inferences that can be drawn from the results of the project and how it has improved our understanding of the processes being studied. This research will lead to a publication in a peer-reviewed journal.

The two to four-year programs are designed to give a more in-depth understanding with the individual learning other techniques of molecular biology, immunohistochemistry, confocal microscopy, and also tissue culture methodologies to enhance their understanding of various disease processes.

PREREQUISITE TRAINING/SELECTION CRITERION: An individual must hold an MD degree or a Ph.D. degree. The MD must have training in the field of pathology, internal medicine, or cardiology, whereas an individual with a Ph.D. will have completed the degree and will be doing a post-doctoral fellowship in the field of cardiovascular diseases. The individual will need to demonstrate his or her interest in learning and want to train in the field of cardiovascular diseases by either having published in this field or show interest by having written an essay or letter which states an area that the individual is interested in exploring in the field of cardiovascular medicine.

GOALS AND OBJECTIVES FOR TRAINING: The goals and objectives of the training program is that the individual will, at the end of the training, be able to perform research pertaining to cardiovascular diseases consisting of designing an animal study, be able to perform sterile and non-sterile surgery, harvest animal tissue, prepare animal tissue for histological processing, histologic assessments both by light and electron microscopy, perform morphometry and data analysis, and prepare research reports and manuscripts for publications. The individual should be able to carry out tissue culture work utilizing molecular techniques to better understand disease processes. The latter is dependent on the time spent in training.


As a leading medical research and educational organization dedicated to improving patient health management for those suffering from cardiac and vascular diseases, CVPath Institute is one of the largest and most comprehensive repositories of diseased human tissue available for investigative studies and teaching, and is pleased to be able to offer internships to students working towards their undergraduate degree in the field of medicine.

Interns accepted in the program are expected to assist full-time researchers taking a role in the development and implementation of research activities, which includes strengthening and expanding existing research projects, assisting with writing reports for sponsors, and presenting research at internal meetings as well as at conferences.

Interns are also exposed to a wide array of other research activities at CVPath Institute such correlation of Optical Coherence Tomography findings with histopathology, a topic of high clinical relevance in Interventional Cardiology.  Meanwhile, all interns will receive basic training on Good Laboratory Practice (GLP), Protected health information (PHI) under the US Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), Laboratory Safety and Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) education, Animal Care and Use in Research, as well as Ethics and Research Integrity.

As an intern, you will participate and learn aspects of the principles, techniques, applications, and practices utilized in one or more of the following areas: molecular biology, cell culture, histology, morphometry, genetics and genomics at CVPath Institute.  Work may include using microscopy, digital photography image analysis of cardiovascular research material in direct support of diagnosis, research, and publication.


Intern performance and learning progress is evaluated on an ongoing basis.  A performance evaluation below expectations may result in early termination of the internship.  Upon successful completion of the internship, you will receive a certificate of training from the CVPath Institute.  A professional reference letter may be provided for future education endeavors

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