Dr. Emily Plowman, BREATHE Steering Committee Member, and Dr. Eric Jeng, Assistant Professor in the Department of Surgery, were awarded a 4-year, $2.5M R01 grant from the National Institute of Nursing Research to study “Mechanisms, Predictors and Clinical Markers of Dysphagia in Cardiac Surgical Patients.” Dysphagia is a common complication of cardiac surgical procedures, leading to malnutrition, dehydration, and even aspiration pneumonia. Although preventable, dysphagia-related aspiration pneumonia is a major cause of mortality. Early detection and accurate monitoring of dysphagia are essential to facilitate timely intervention. Currently, clinical care of dysphagia is hindered by fundamental gaps in knowledge, including 1) contributing risk factors of dysphagia are unknown; 2) no validated tools to accurately detect and monitor. Drs. Plowman and Jeng aim to target these knowledge gaps with a broad goal to shift care toward a proactive, multifaceted, and data-driven perioperative Model of Swallowing Integrated Care (MOSAIC). Outcomes will drive future targeted therapeutic and preventative strategies and enhance personalized health care models to ultimately improve patient outcomes. Congratulations Drs. Plowman & Jeng!