Richard Lee

M.D., University of Illinois, College of Medicine

Department: Surgery

Academic Rank: Co-Director, Center for Comprehensive Cardiovascular Care; Vice-Chair of Surgery

Lab Web Page Links:


Primary Area of Cardiovascular Research Interest

- Improving outcomes in patients with AF (atrial fibrillation).

- Incorporation of simulation into cardiovascular training and practice.

Related Areas of Cardiovascular Research Interest

- Developing new technologies & procedures for treatment.

- Developing national standards for technical skills assessment in cardiovascular surgery.

Summary of Cardiovascular Research Interest

Atrial Fibrillation – We are interested in:
1. Curing atrial fibrillation
2. Eliminating the need for rate and rhythm control medicines
3. Reducing burden of stroke in patients with atrial fibrillation.

We have developed a hybrid procedure for treatment of atrial fibrillation that utilizes a combination of minimally invasive and catheter ablation. In patients who are not candidates for a cure, we utilize and develop new technology to eliminate the left atrial appendage, decreasing stroke. This is especially in ischemic patients who have a contraindication to anticoagulation. In long term treatment follow-up we have demonstrated increased survival in patients whose atrial fibrillation is treatment at time of cardiac surgery.

Our future direction will focus on identifying undiagnosed atrial fibrillation and defining its effects on dementia.

Surgical Simulations – We have developed and validated objective assessment tools for simulated and real cardiology surgical techniques.

We have demonstrated that deliberate practice outside of the operating room leads to improved technology.

Our goal is to demonstrate application of simulation to increase live performance and define objectives, technical standards to improve patient outcomes and safety