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James                          Fallavollita

James A. Fallavollita MD

Department of Medicine


Specialty/Research Focus

Cardiology; Cardiovascular Disease; Regulation of metabolism

Professional Summary:

My clinical activities as a noninvasive cardiologist primarily take place at the Buffalo VA Medical Center (VAMC). My responsibilities include attending on the inpatient cardiology consultation service and interpreting echocardiograms, stress tests and electrocardiograms (EKGs).

My research career initially focused on translational research using porcine models to investigate physiologic and metabolic adaptations that result from acute and chronic myocardial ischemia (chronically stunned and hibernating myocardium). These preclinical investigations have led to clinical research, including the recent completion of an NIH-sponsored clinical trial. This trial, on which I am the co-principal investigator with John M. Canty, Jr., MD, proved that the presence of sympathetically denervated myocardium quantified by positron emission tomography can predict the risk of sudden death in patients with ischemic cardiomyopathy. I am in the process of extending these findings to the clinical management of patients with implantable cardiac defibrillators.

My work as a physician-scientist has included serving on numerous research-related oversight committees and as a peer reviewer for multiple national, regional and local committees. I have been funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Department of Veterans Affairs and the American Heart Association to conduct a variety of investigator-initiated research projects.

Medical education is a critical component of my professional life. Nearly all of my clinical and research activities are performed in conjunction with the education of fellows in cardiovascular diseases, residents in internal medicine and medical students. I facilitate small group sessions for second-year medical students in Cardiovascular Physiology for which I have earned several commendations for teaching excellence; I am gratified to have participated in the education of hundreds of young physicians. I have also published dozens of abstracts and manuscripts with various levels of trainees, giving them the opportunity to grow as physician-scientists while at the same time advancing medical knowledge.

Education and Training:
  • MD, University of Washington School of Medicine (1987)
  • BS, University of Washington (1983)
  • Professor of Medicine, School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, University at Buffalo (2007-present)
  • Staff Cardiologist, Medicine, Buffalo Veterans Affairs Medical Center (1994-present)
  • Program Director, Cardiovascular Disease Fellowship, School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, University at Buffalo (2007–2008)
  • Associate Professor of Medicine, Medicine, University at Buffalo (2001–2006)
  • Assistant Professor of Medicine, Medicine, University at Buffalo (1998–2001)
  • Research Assistant Professor, Medicine, University at Buffalo (1994–1998)
  • Research Clinical Fellow, Medicine, University at Buffalo (1991–1994)
  • Clinical Assistant Instructor, Medicine, University at Buffalo (1990–1993)
  • Internship and Residency, Medicine, University at Rochester (1987–1990)
Awards and Honors:
  • Outstanding Research, Department of Medicine (2014)
  • Commendations for Teaching Excellence (2011)
  • University at Buffalo School of Nursing Dean's Mentor Award (2008)
  • Fellowship, American College of Physicians (2002)
  • Fellowship, American Heart Association (2001)
  • Young Investigator Award to attend the European Society of Cardiology Conference (1999)
  • Travel Award, 4th Annual Astra Merck Cardiovascular Young Investigator Forum (1998)
  • Fellowship, American College of Cardiology (1997)
  • Clinician Scientist Award, American Heart Association (1996)
  • Young Investigator Award, NYS ACC (1994)
  • John C. Sable Memorial Heart Fund Grant, Independent Order of Oddfellows (1993)
  • Commissioned Officer Student Training and Extern Program. US Public Health, Bethesda, MD (1985)

Research Expertise:
  • Cardiovascular stem cell therapy
  • Chronic adaptations to myocardial ischemia
  • Sudden cardiac death
Grants and Sponsored Research:
  • July 2013–June 2015
    T3np for Cardiac Resuscitation - Pivotal Pre-Clinical Trial
    UB CAT/Pro-Al Medico Technologies
    Role: Co-Investigator
  • April 2004–June 2011
    2004-2009 Hibernating Myocardium and Sudden Cardiac Death
    National Heart Lung and Blood Institute
    Role: Co-Principal Investigator

Journal Articles:
See all (41 more)
Books and Book Chapters:
  • Fernandez SF, Canty JM, Fallavollita J. PET imaging and quantitation of cardiac innervation. 2017.
  • Carey MG, Fallavollita JA, Canty JM Jr, Al-Zaiti SS. ECG predictors of mortality among implantable cardioverter-defibrillator candidates for the primary prevention of sudden cardiac death. J Am Coll of Card. 2013; 61(10).
  • Fallavollita JA, Pietrasik G, Canty J. Myocardial sympathetic denervation by PET identifies a substrate for sudden cardiac arrest but not slow ventricular tachycardia (<240 BPM) in patients with ischemic cardiomyopathy. J Am Coll of Card. 2013; 61(12).
  • Fallavollita J, BM Heavey, S Baldwa, TL Mashtare Jr, AD Hutson, M Sajjad, RA deKdemp, AB Curtis, ME Cain and JM Canty Jr.. Volume of denevated myocardium is a novel predictor of VT/VF: Prediction of arrhythmic events with positron emission tomography (PAREPET) study. Heart Rhythm Journal. 2012.
  • Pietrasik G, JM Canty and JA Fallavollita. Deceleration capacity, not heart rate turbulence, predicts sudden cardiac death in high-risk patients with ischemic cardiomyopathy. Heart Rhythm Journal. 2012.

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Contact Information

Clinical and Translational Research Center
875 Ellicott Street
Suite 7030
Buffalo, NY 14203
Phone: 716-829-2663
Fax: 716-854-1840

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