The Todd and Karen Wanek Family Program for Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS) is a research program with the goal of delaying or preventing heart failure for individuals with HLHS.

To learn more or to participate, please visit our website or contact HLHS@mayo.edu.

Follow the program on Facebook at Mayo Clinic HLHS, on Twitter @MayoClinicHLHS, and on Instagram at MayoClinicHLHS.

Apr 3, 2019

Sixth Annual IMPACT Symposium to be held on April 6th

By Brianna N. Tranby, @briannatranby


UWECThe Innovative Minds Partnering to Advance Curative Therapies (IMPACT) Program will hold its sixth annual IMPACT Symposium this Saturday, April 6 in Eau Claire, WI.  The Eau Claire Mayo Clinic Health System and the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire are excited to host the first event at the IMPACT Program’s new home base in Eau Claire.

The IMPACT Program was started at Mayo Clinic in 2014 with the goal of connecting undergraduate students with Mayo Clinic faculty to develop creative solutions to critical health questions.  The daylong event includes poster presentations by teams of two to four students, oral presentations from the top teams, and a keynote address from Dr. Tim Nelson, Director of the Todd and Karen Wanek Family Program for Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS) and Director of Research and Innovation at Mayo Clinic Health System Eau Claire.

This unique competition is designed to foster cross-pollination between undergraduate students and medical professionals, and multi-disciplinary teams are highly encouraged.  This year’s teams were challenged to develop hypotheses to the following question: What is the underlying cause of HLHS?  Students worked alongside Mayo Clinic and Mayo Clinic Health System scientists and physicians to investigate biological pathways that might underlie this rare congenital heart defect and could serve as innovative targets for curative therapies.

Teams will be judged based on the innovation of their hypotheses.  The winning team will receive $1,000 per student and a paid summer internship to do research related to their IMPACT topic at Mayo Clinic, as well as an award plaque for the students’ home institution.  This year, 41 teams from 18 schools across four different states will participate in the 2019 IMPACT Symposium!

We look forward to seeing the exciting proposals from this year’s teams!  For more information, please visit the IMPACT website or contact Sarah Tweedale with the UW-Eau Claire IMPACT Program at IMPACT@uwec.edu.


The Todd and Karen Wanek Family Program for Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS) is a collaborative network of specialists bonded by the vision of delaying or preventing heart failure for individuals affected by congenital heart defects including HLHS. The specialized team is addressing the various aspects of these defects by using research and clinical strategies ranging from basic science to diagnostic imaging to regenerative therapies.

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