Hereditary factors play an important role in the development and progression of cardiovascular disease. Dr. Olson's mission in the Cardiovascular Genetics Lab is to discover genetic variants that cause or confer susceptibility to heart and blood vessel disorders in otherwise healthy children and young adults.

Research in our lab focuses on the genetics of three heritable conditions:

  • Dilated cardiomyopathy: A disease of the heart muscle, dilated cardiomyopathy is a common cause of heart failure and can be life-threatening. Treatments include medications and implantable devices and in some cases heart transplant. Read more about dilated cardiomyopathy.
  • Hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS): Hypoplastic left heart syndrome is a congenital defect that leaves the left side of the heart critically underdeveloped. Treatment includes medication plus either surgery or a heart transplant. Read more about HLHS.
  • Spontaneous coronary artery dissection (SCAD). SCAD is a condition in which a tear forms in one of the blood vessels in the heart, creating a life-threatening emergency. SCAD is increasingly recognized as a cause of myocardial infarction in young women. Read more about SCAD.

Research affiliations

Recognizing that collaboration with other researchers is integral to scientific discovery, Dr. Olson's lab is affiliated with several other Mayo Clinic research areas, including: