Aorta Academy

5 doctors sitting on stage below a banner that says "the john ritter foundation for aortic health"

Welcome to the Aorta Academy.

The one-stop resource for the latest aortic health information, breakthrough research, and community support.

Dr. Prakash is wearing a tie and standing in front of a background with a jumprope, light weights, and ear phones

Dr. Prakash and his research team joined us for a Q & A session devoted to exercise and lifestyle while […]

Lisa Castillo, MS Genetic Counselor

Aortic dissection is a serious and often fatal condition that affects thousands of individuals each year. While advances in medical […]

Dr. Milewicz is wearing a lab coat and is standing in front of a background of medical research items like test tubes and beakers

Genetic alterations in ACTA2 cause a variety of problems, including aortic aneurysms, aortic dissections, early onset coronary artery disease due […]

laboratory in the background of 4 scientists facing the camera

Have you ever wondered what sort work happens in research labs working on aortic disease? This engaging webinar featured four […]

Call for volunteers. Woman doing bicep curls with light weights wearing a blue tank top and headband.

DO YOU have a history of aortic dissection? Do you want to get active and engage in regular physical activity […]

Dr. Yetman is wearing a suit jacket and smiling. She has curly brown hair. The background image is a EKG readout with a stethoscope.

The Genetic Aortic Disorders Association Canada (GADA) and the John Ritter Foundation for Aortic Health (JRF), present the latest webinar […]

Word cloud of: negative, positive, VUS, benign, pathogenic. Words are floating above a photo of a man with glasses and his daughter. Both are displaying a pinky nail painted purple.

Ryan Rodarmer, MS Genetic Counselor A “negative” genetic test may not completely rule out an underlying genetic cause for aortic […]

Question marks and a headshot of Dr. Murdock with an aorta drawing.

Dr. Murdock, a geneticist specializing in genetic aortic disease joined us for a webinar devoted entirely to answering your questions!

Dr. Siddharth Prakash provides an update on the clinical trial of exercise for aortic dissection patients. The pamphlet references can […]

Introduction Loeys-Dietz syndrome

Gretchen MacCarrick, M.S., C.G.C. explains the major features of Loeys-Dietz Syndrome and emphasizes the importance of genetic testing.

Livie was born with Smooth Muscle Dysfunction Syndrome (SMDS), caused by a specific variant in ACTA2. Sadly she passed away […]

A roadmap through the mountains with the john ritter research team pictured to the right

September 2021 For Aortic Dissection Awareness Week 2021, Dr. Dianna Milewicz and her team at the John Ritter Research Program […]

September 2022 The John Ritter Foundation and UTHealth co-hosted a patient symposium as part of Aortic Dissection Awareness Week. They […]

Dr. Cutitta standing in front of a backdrop of a person's brain with mental health written in crayon.

June 2022 Dr. Katherine Cutitta is a pediatric psychologist from Baylor College or Medicne and the Texas Children’s Hospital. Dr. […]

John Ritter Research Program. Headshots of different team members.

Learn what is means to participate in research and hear answers to our most frequently asked questions! You can reach […]

background of a picture of DNA with a female genetic counselor standing in foreground.

July 2022 Genetic counselor Andrea Rideout breaks down everything you need to know about genetic testing for thoracic aortic aneurysms […]

Help solve the puzzle of aortic disease. John Ritter Research Program.

September 2022 The John Ritter Research Program is independent of the John Ritter Foundation and is run by Dr. Dianna […]

Dr. Prakash is wearing a blue shirt and a tie. Is standing in front of a graph showing blood pressure as you exercise.

June 2022 Exercise is the topic we hear questions about the most! Dr. Siddharth Prakash shared an update on what […]

Dr. Milewicz standing in front of a genetic pedigree

May 2022 Dr. Milewicz shares an update on aortic disease research. Dr. Milewicz is well known to our community and […]

image of the layers of an artery and Dr. Milewicz in a red suit

April 2022 Dr. Dianna Milewicz provides an update on research progress for Smooth Muscle Cell Dysfunction (SMDS) patients and answers […]

Septiembre 2022, la Fundación de John Ritter coordino su primer webinario sobre enfermedades aorticas hereditables en español, dirigido por expertos […]

Dr. Shalhub is wearing a white coat and standing in front of an abstract representation of a network of different people.

December 2022 The John Ritter Foundation is now powering Aortic Dissection Collaborative for Patient-Centered Research, which provided opportunities for patient […]

Dr. Estrera next to a bag of lays layers chips which look like a cross section of the aorta.

April 2022 Dr. Estrera, Professor and Chair for the Department of Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgery, at the McGovern Medical School […]

Thoracic aortic aneurysm. Do we have it on the ropes?

Dr. John Elefteriades a cardiothoracic surgeon at Yale University and Yale New-Haven Hospital shares an overview of thoracic aortic disease […]

8 TAD patients who have another family member with TAD arrow to aortic imaging of first and second degree relatives arrow to 4/18 new first degree relatives have aneurysm and 2/10 second degree relatives have aneurysm. 8 TAD patients with no family history of TAD arrow to aortic imaging of first and second degree relatives arrow to 6/19 first degree relatives found to have aneurysms and 1/7 second degree relatives found to have aneurysms

April 2022 By Maura Boerio, BS Clinical Research Assistant in the lab of Dr. Dianna Milewicz A summary of “Preventing […]

Familial thoracic aortic disease without a known cause Christina Rigelsky, MS, CGC Lead Cardiovascular Genetic Counselor Cleveland Clinic

Christina Rigelsky, MS, CGC is the lead cardiovascular genetic counselor at Cleveland Clinic. In this video she discusses familial aortic […]

Screenshot of Dr. Milewicz being interviewed on FOX26. She is wearing a black blazer and white blouse.

December 2022 Dr. Dianna Milewicz is the longtime chair of the John Ritter Foundation Professional Advisory Board. Last week she […]

Three reserachers (two women and one man) stand in front of a large graphic of a chromosome

Regalado ES, Guo DC, Prakash S, et al. Aortic Disease Presentation and Outcome Associated With ACTA2 Mutations. Circ Cardiovasc Genet. 2015;8(3):457-464. […]

Dr. David Liang gives an in-depth explanation of the different genes associated with Loeys-Dietz Syndrome and overviews the history of […]

Transesophageal echocardiogram of a bicuspid aortic valve. Dr. Braverman is superimposed over the image and is wearing a white doctor's coat.

By Dr. Alan Braverman The bicuspid aortic valve is the most common congenital valve heart condition affecting approximately 1% of […]

Patient Voices. ACTA2: type A dissection at 26. Picture of a blonde woman with short hair wearing a silver/white dress and smiling widely. She has a scar on her chest.

Type A dissection at 26 “Are you sure?” – words I will never forget from the night I experienced a […]

image of DNA

Gretchen MacCarrick, M.S., C.G.C. Gretchen shares information about Loeys-Dietz Syndrome and risk for thoracic aortic aneurysm and dissection. She also […]