Katelyn A. Bruno, Ph.D., is an assistant professor of medicine and lab manager of the Translational Cardiovascular Disease Research Laboratory of DeLisa Fairweather, Ph.D., at Mayo Clinic. Dr. Bruno uses disease models to investigate the mechanisms of viral myocarditis, dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) and heart failure. She works on both basic molecular mechanisms of disease and clinical translational projects, including investigating new biomarkers to predict disease progression from myocarditis to DCM.
Currently, Dr. Bruno is leading an investigation on how collagen deficiency (such as Ehlers-Danlos syndrome) leads to increased myocarditis or other inflammatory diseases. Her newest research project involves assessing the mechanism by which cancer treatment drugs can cause myocarditis and cardiomyopathy in disease models, in order to prevent cardiomyopathy in oncology patients.
- COVID-19 convalescent plasma. Dr. Bruno is a key member of the U.S. COVID convalescent plasma expanded access program (EAP), a national program co-sponsored by the U.S. Government's Food and Drug Administration and Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority. The EAP works to coordinate the collection and distribution of COVID-19 convalescent plasma for the treatment of individuals with severe or life-threatening disease, as well as to determine the safety and efficacy of convalescent plasma use. Dr. Bruno built the REDCap database that houses all site, physician and patient data for the EAP and leads the Data Integrity Team, responsible for cleaning and validating all data in the EAP.
- Myocarditis, DCM and heart failure. Dr. Bruno's specific area of interest is environmental steroid hormones. She studies the effect of vitamin D deficiency and supplementation on myocarditis, DCM and heart failure. She has found that sex differences exist in vitamin D in animals and patients with myocarditis. She has also found that environmental exposure to endocrine disruptors such as bisphenol A and other plastics alter myocarditis. Dr. Bruno's work in this area includes translational research collaborations with Dr. Fairweather and Leslie T. Cooper, M.D.
- Hypermobility conditions and Ehlers-Danlos syndrome. Dr. Bruno is using disease models to investigate hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (hEDS) to better understand the mechanism of disease and how viral or other infections may influence disease. Currently there are no models available to study hEDS.
- Cardio-oncology. Several case reports have found that oncology drugs can cause myocarditis in as many as 1 percent of patients, and there is a 50 percent fatality rate in those who develop myocarditis. Dr. Bruno is investigating the effect of cancer treatment drugs on cardiac inflammation (myocarditis and pericarditis) in order to prevent this adverse side effect in patients.
Significance to patient care
The focus of Dr. Bruno's research is to find breakthroughs in disease by better understanding the pathogenesis of disease in order to discover new diagnoses and therapies for patients with cardiovascular and autoimmune diseases such as myocarditis.
- Adjunct faculty, University of North Florida, 2018-present
- Assistant secretary of the board, Myocarditis Foundation, 2016-present
- Director of communications, International Society of Cardiomyopathies, Myocarditis, and Heart Failure, 2016-present
- Director of communications, Myocarditis Foundation, 2013-present
- Finalist, Jay N. Cohn New Investigator Award, Heart Failure Society of America, 2018