Dr. Stempien-Otero is an Associate Professor of Medicine and holds the Craig Tall Family Endowed Professorship in Heart Failure. An attending physician at UWMC, she cares for patients with end-stage heart failure before and after cardiac tra nsplantation. Research in the Stempien-Otero lab is focused on the role of bone m arrow derived cells in cardiac repair and regeneration. Specifically, their research lies in how bone marrow derived cells direct the accumulation of excess collagen (fibrosis) in the heart and how that process can be reversed to allow optimal endog enous or exogenous cardiac regeneration. The laboratory has translated findings in transgenic mice into a human model to test the hypothesis that direct injection of bone marrow derived cells can alter fibrosis and improve blood vessel formation in patients with end stage ischemic heart disease.
A strong advocate for women’s cardiovascular health, Dr. Stempien-Otero founded the local Women and Heart Disease Initiative of the American Heart Association. She is a graduate of Dartmouth College and the University of Connecticut School of Medicine. Following internship and residency at the University of Virginia where sh e was chief resident, she completed a cardiology fellowship at UW and joined the fac ulty in 1997. She received an Outstanding CME Teacher Award for 2005 from the School of Medicine, and she serves as a research mentor for undergraduate students as well as residents and fellows.