Mary A. Woo, M.N. ’88, Ph.D. ’92

Woo’s research has focused on investigations into autonomic- cardiac interactions in relation to sudden death risk, particularly in advanced heart failure patients. In her early studies focusing on heart rate variability as an independent predictor of sudden cardiac death risk in advanced heart failure patients, she used both traditional techniques and a new method she developed – called Poincare plots – that was the first heart rate variability technique to be an independent predictor of sudden death risk in advanced heart failure patients. More recently, she was the first investigator to report specific sites of gray matter loss in heart failure patients, and is currently funded by the National Institutes of Health to verify these findings in a larger sample of subjects. Woo has continued to examine predictors of sudden death risk as well as the influences of sleep and hemodynamics on heart rate variability and mortality in heart failure. After graduating from the school’s doctoral program Woo joined the school’s faculty, where she is currently a professor. She served as associate dean for research from 2001 to 2006.