The Cardiovascular Physiology and Surgery Core

Overview of Services

The Cardiovascular Physiology and Surgery Core is available to provide the Johns Hopkins community and beyond three types of cardiovascular procedures on small animals, including, but not limited to, mouse and rat: echocardiography, survival surgery, and hemodynamics. Other procedures may be possible after discussion with the core surgeons. Within each of these three areas, there are several different specific techniques and procedures that will be offered. Echocardiograpy: Functional assessment of the heart and major blood vessels is provided by this service. Images are generated using one of two systems -- an Accuson Sequioa echo-Doppler system or a state-of-the-art Visual-Sonics 2100 imaging system. The first is useful for routine M-mode and 2-D imaging, and for flow Doppler assessments. The latter provides higher resolution imaging and also has tissue Doppler capabilities, including speckle tracking for regional strain analysis. Functional imaging is also available to assess aortic diameter and wall thickening, flow in the aorta to assess vascular stiffening (pulse wave velocity, velocity time integral used to determine cardiac output, etc.). Survival Surgery: We provide a variety of surgically generated heart disease models for use in mice or rats. This includes aortic or pulmonary artery banding for pressure-overload, myocardial infarction or ischemic reperfusion models of the left ventricle, and osmotic pump implantation for delivery of pharmaceuticals. Pressure-Volume Loops: Analysis of right or left heart function is possible by inserting a miniature pressure-volume catheter into the relevant ventricle to measure in situ cardiac function using pressure-volume relationships. This is used to assess ventricular pressures, systolic and diastolic function, relaxation rates, filling rates, load-independent contractility paramenters, disatolic compliance, and other indexes. These studies are not designed to be survival surgeries. Chronic Electrocardiographic Telemetry: Electrocardiographic recordings from implantable transmitters for multiple days, if needed, are available via this service.


Dear Users and PIs,

The Core will reopen on Monday, June 15th. Based on the JHU Research Return to Campus: Phase I Guidance, only low-risk activities will be allowed in Phase 1.  Scheduling users and maintaining occupancy rate maximums will be essential. 

The echo data analysis station in Ross 867 remains closed.

Scheduling and Reservations. All reservations booked before March 18th were cancelled with JHU’s closing. Please email us your new plans so we can try to organize a re-start that will optimize use and maximize safety. However, please note that any reservations will be tentative and can be cancelled at any time by Core staff, or if JHU SOM shuts down again.

Safety Precautions.  Everyone should do their best to practice good safety procedures for their own health and for the health of those around them.  Please do your part to maximize the safety of all of us during COVID-19 pandemic.  To this end, please follow the JHU SOM Phase 1 Guidance.  If you are sick, or have been in recent contact with someone who showed COVID-19 infection symptoms, you should not come to your session, which can be cancelled without charge.

While performing laboratory activities at the Core laboratories:

  1. Maintain social distancing of 6 feet between you and other researchers at all times.
  2. Continue to wear masks based on state public health requirements for masking. 
  3. Continue to wear biosafety gloves. If you need gloves to handle your animals, please bring multiple sets of gloves. 
  4. Place the animals on the animal work area to be designated by Core. 
  5. Before starting, disinfect the animal cages and the carts using EPA-approved hospital grade disinfectant.

We will try to arrange for 70% EtOH spray bottles, hospital-grade disinfectant spray bottles and paper towels for every work area.  Core staff will clean the laboratory surfaces daily using EPA-approved hospital-grade disinfectant.

Any Hazardous Biological, Chemical, Radioactive.  Please inform the Core staff before any experiment if you have used hazardous chemicals, biologicals (especially pathogenic virus, bacteria) or radioactive materials on your animals.

If you have any or concerns, please email us.

Dr. David Kass
Nadan Wang
Missy Leppo
Shi Pan


David Kass, Professor Program Chairman

Nadan Wang, Lab Manager/Director

Michelle "Missy" Leppo, Surgical Technician

Shi Pan, Research Associate

Location and hours of operation


Monday - Friday, 9am - 5pm 

Monday - Friday, 8am - 4pm

Designated hours

720 Rutland Avenue. Baltimore, MD 21205
Room: Ross 868

720 Rutland Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21205
Room: Ross 812

720 Rutland Avenue. Baltimore, MD 21205
Room: Ross 868

Links and Resources



Name Role Phone Email Location
Michelle "Missy" Leppo
Surgical Technician
Ross 812
Nadan Wang
Ross 868
David Kass
Program Chairman
Ross 858
Shi Pan
Research Associate
Ross 868

Service list

Search available services: View: by category alphabetically
Echocardiography Advanced (1)