Pulmonary Hypertension – Echo

The Pulmonary Hypertension (PH) Research Group’s overarching goal is to improve quality of care and outcomes for patients living with PH. We capitalize on rich clinical and research databases established within our two clinical treatment centers, the Veteran’s Health Administration and Boston Medical Center, to address a range of clinical, translational, and health services PH research questions. Unique features of this research group include the largest systemic sclerosis related PH biorepository in the US and a longitudinal database of over 400 adults living with sickle cell disease focused on pulmonary vascular disease. Using diverse and complementary research methodologies, our funded research has identified: the epidemiology of and risk factors for pulmonary vascular complications in sickle cell disease, factors impacting and outcomes of guideline-discordant PH care, clinical risk factors affecting prognosis in systemic sclerosis-related PH, and socioeconomic disparities in PH care. Current projects within the PH Research Group include: understanding the impact of venous thromboembolism on clinical outcomes in sickle cell disease, utilizing novel echocardiographic techniques to evaluate sub-clinical left ventricular dysfunction in patients with sickle cell disease and systemic sclerosis, establishing risk factors for mortality among patients with systemic sclerosis-related PH, characterizing PH care organization and coordination within experts centers, and identifying variation in the management of PH in critical care settings.


Elizabeth S. Klings, MD

Dr. Klings is an Associate Professor of Medicine, Director of the Pulmonary Hypertension (PH) Center and the Center for Excellence in Sickle Cell Disease (SCD), caring for over 500 adult and pediatric patients, at Boston University School of Medicine/Boston Medical Center. Her NIH and Foundation funded research has helped to define the clinical problem of pulmonary hypertension related to sickle cell disease and she is considered an international expert on that subject. She led the American Thoracic Society sponsored Clinical Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Treatment of PH in SCD (published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine in 2014) and Workshop for Defining Clinical and Research Priorities in Sickle Cell Lung Disease (published in the Annals of ATS in 2019). Her current research interests include understanding the role of venous thromboembolism in PH of SCD and improving diagnostic and treatment strategies for patients with PH due to systemic sclerosis.


Published on 4/15/2022

Nakagawa A, Cooper MK, Kost-Alimova M, Berstler J, Yu B, Berra L, Klings ES, Huang MS, Heeney MM, Bloch DB, Zapol WM. High-Throughput Assay to Screen Small Molecules for Their Ability to Prevent Sickling of Red Blood Cells. ACS Omega. 2022 Apr 26; 7(16):14009-14016. PMID: 35559170. PubMed

Published on 3/21/2022

Johnson SW, Gillmeyer KR, Bolton RE, McCullough MB, Qian SX, Maron BA, Klings ES, Wiener RS. Variable Monitoring of Veterans with Group 3 Pulmonary Hypertension Treated with Off-Label Pulmonary Vasodilator Therapy. Ann Am Thorac Soc. 2022 Mar 21. PMID: 35312466. PubMed

Published on 2/16/2022

Klings ES, Steinberg MH. Acute chest syndrome of sickle cell disease: genetics, risk factors, prognosis, and management. Expert Rev Hematol. 2022 Feb; 15(2):117-125. PMID: 35143368. PubMed

View full list of 77 publications.

Associate Director

Kari R. Gillmeyer, MD, MSc

Kari R. Gillmeyer is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Boston University. Her NIH- and foundation-funded research utilizes mixed methods including qualitative analyses, quantitative analyses of large administrative databases, and social network science to address complex PH clinical and health services research questions, with the ultimate goal to improve organization and quality of PH care and to mitigate disparities in PH.


Published on 5/18/2022

Rampon G, Jia S, Agrawal R, Arnold N, Martín-Quir?s A, Fischer EA, Malatack J, Jagan N, Sergew A, Case AH, Miller K, Tanios M, Doros G, Ross CS, Garcia MA, Gillmeyer KR, Griffiths NG, Jandali B, Modzelewski KL, Rucci JM, Simpson SQ, Walkey AJ, Bosch NA. Smartphone-guided Self-prone Positioning versus Usual Care in Non-Intubated Hospital Ward Patients with COVID-19: A Pragmatic Randomized Clinical Trial. Chest. 2022 May 18. PMID: 35597286. PubMed

Published on 3/21/2022

Johnson SW, Gillmeyer KR, Bolton RE, McCullough MB, Qian SX, Maron BA, Klings ES, Wiener RS. Variable Monitoring of Veterans with Group 3 Pulmonary Hypertension Treated with Off-Label Pulmonary Vasodilator Therapy. Ann Am Thorac Soc. 2022 Mar 21. PMID: 35312466. PubMed

Published on 9/1/2021

Garcia MA, Rampon GL, Doros G, Jia S, Jagan N, Gillmeyer K, Berical A, Hudspeth J, Ieong M, Modzelewski KL, Schechter-Perkins EM, Ross CS, Rucci JM, Simpson S, Walkey AJ, Bosch NA. Rationale and Design of the Awake Prone Position for Early Hypoxemia in COVID-19 Study Protocol: A Clinical Trial. Ann Am Thorac Soc. 2021 09; 18(9):1560-1566. PMID: 33647225. PubMed

View full list of 11 publications.

Other Faculty

Justin K. Lui, MD

Justin K. Lui is an Instructor of Medicine at Boston University. His NIH-funded research focuses on the role of subclinical left ventricular strain, assessed via a novel imaging modality termed Speckle-Tracking Echocardiography, on clinical outcomes in systemic sclerosis-related PH. Using quantitative approaches in data science and machine learning algorithms, his work aims to develop deeper cardiopulmonary phenotyping of this rare disease population to advance novel diagnostic and treatment strategies.


Published on 4/1/2022

Walsh KF, Lui JK. Post-tuberculosis pulmonary hypertension: a case of global disparity in health care. Lancet Glob Health. 2022 04; 10(4):e476. PMID: 35303453. PubMed

Published on 7/28/2021

Lui JK, Billatos E, Schembri F. Evaluation and management of pleural sepsis. Respir Med. 2021 10; 187:106553. PMID: 34340174. PubMed

Published on 6/3/2021

Lui JK, Sangani RA, Chen CA, Bujor AM, Trojanowski MA, Gopal DM, LaValley MP, Soylemez Wiener R, Klings ES. Prognostic Value of Cardiac Axis Deviation in Systemic Sclerosis-Related Pulmonary Hypertension. Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken). 2021 Jun 03. PMID: 34085410. PubMed

View full list of 24 publications.


Shelsey W. Johnson, MD
Ruchika A. Sangani, MD
Matthew Spring, MD