King of Hearts
Mick Jagger owes some thanks for the fact he’s alive and strutting to Ajit Yoganathan and his lab crew. In fact, millions of people do.
The rock icon received a replacement heart valve in the spring of 2019 in a New York City hospital, and Yoganathan has led the testing of every prosthetic heart valve design on the U.S. market for safety and effectiveness. His Cardiovascular Fluid Mechanics Laboratory (CFM Lab) has served as a valve approval site for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for four decades.
Yoganathan invented the science of prosthetic heart valve engineering in that lab at the Georgia Institute of Technology in 1979. It is his signal achievement, and the primary reason for his 2015 induction into the National Academy of Engineering. He and his fellow lab members have had a profound influence on prosthetic valve design — including the advanced model in Jagger’s chest.
For surgeons and researchers seeking a deeper understanding of how the heart pumps blood and how to fix it when the flow goes wrong, Yoganathan and the CFM Lab crew are bigger icons than the Rolling Stones.