Doctoral student named Aurora Research Institute Colton Scholar

Christopher Beal, a doctoral student studying computational sciences, was named Aurora Research Institute’s first Colton Scholar in Cardiology Research.

Beal is developing software that aims to predict serious cardiac events in patients with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy using electrical activity of the patient’s heart.

“The software will use machine learning methods to recognize patterns in electrocardiograms,” Beal said. “The software will be designed specifically to aid the work of cardiologists, providing another tool to help them better identify high-risk patients and quickly determine the right course of treatment.”

The Colton Scholar program was made possible through a generous $1 million donation to Aurora Health Care Foundation. The fund, which is in honor of A. Jamil Tajik, MD, was created with the intention of providing a researcher the opportunity to advance understanding of cardiovascular disease under the mentorship of Tajik, who is the president emeritus of Aurora Cardiovascular Services and an internationally known cardiovascular disease expert.

Tajik and M. Fuad Jan, MD, of the Aurora Institute are Beal’s advisors on the Colton Scholar project.

The Aurora Research Institute is part of Advocate Aurora Health, one of the 10 largest not-for-profit health systems in the United States. The institute is a leader in cardiovascular research, including preclinical studies, clinical trials and clinical outcomes research, and conducted more than 230 total cardiovascular research projects in 2019.