Distinguished Scientist Shelby Kutty, M.D., Ph.D.

January 10, 2017

Image with caption: Shelby Kutty, M.D., Ph.D.

Shelby Kutty, M.D., Ph.D.

This profile is part of a series to highlight the researchers who will be honored at a ceremony for UNMC's 2016 Scientist Laureate, Research Leadership, Distinguished Scientist and New Investigator Award recipients.

The Distinguished Scientist Award

The Distinguished Scientist Award -- which is sponsored by the chancellor -- recognizes researchers who have been among the most productive scientists at UNMC during the past five years.

  • Name: Shelby Kutty, M.D., Ph.D.
  • Title: Vice chair of pediatrics; associate professor of pediatrics, internal medicine and physiology; director of cardiac imaging and research
  • Joined UNMC: 2008
  • Hometown: Kochi, India

Research focus:

  • Myocardial function
  • Ultrasonic contrast

Research goals:
We study ways that ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging can benefit children and adults with congenital heart disease through precise assessment of myocardial function to provide accurate cardiac prognosis. We are asking:

  • Can ultrasound contrast agents be used to reduce medical radiation exposure in children?
  • How can these contrast agents be used to treat problems like vasospasm, catheter-related thrombosis, and endocarditis?
  • Can modern imaging tools reveal cellular and metabolic changes of ventricular remodeling in animal models of right heart injury?
  • Does restoration of mitochondrial form and function improve right heart function?

Our clinical and translational research may:

  • Identify novel cardiac imaging strategies or imaging "biomarkers" for improved detection or outcome prediction in congenital heart disease.
  • Lead to better disease-specific utilization of multi-modality imaging, and reduce "low-value" imaging.
  • Have a significant role in helping cardiologists understand the importance of ultrasound contrast agents for cardiovascular imaging in children.
  • Discover markers of right heart remodeling and establish therapeutic targets for improving right heart function.

The best advice I've ever been given:

  • As a child I grew up with my maternal grandmother who used to say, "Always be respectful . . . and always think in your head before you talk."
  • A quote from Shakespeare's "Hamlet" has influenced me over the years: "There is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so." It fosters a positive outlook on daily challenges, empathetic interactions with others, and a balanced approach to life.
  • Two cardiology mentors have advised the recipe for success in academic medicine: "Understand your strengths and weaknesses, and surround yourself with people who help compensate for your weaknesses."

Three things you may not know about me:

  • I think I inherited scientific curiosity and writing skills from Mom, an insightful physics grad, and people skills from Dad, who ran an advertising business when I was growing up.
  • I am OCD about frequently checking (and responding to most) emails on my smartphone. Sometimes I wake up in the night or early morning and deal with them as they arrive.
  • I hate shopping . . . can't remember the last time I went to buy clothes or visited a mall. My wife takes care of everything, including my trademark blue shirts and beige pants.

rajan nair
January 21, 2017 at 11:58 PM

Nice description about ur childhood and academics, which very few fortunate like you inherit. God bless you in your endeavour to serve the needy.

Shailaja pramod
January 21, 2017 at 7:46 PM

Congratulations shelbi

Professor Kasim Salim
January 21, 2017 at 7:20 PM

Great comments. Nice to see you reaching heights in Scientific research in Paediatric Cardiac imaging etc. Congratulations.

Shahir 33rd batch, kozhikode med college
January 21, 2017 at 4:25 PM

Shelby, we are very proud of you. Thank you for doing that

January 21, 2017 at 10:45 AM

Shelby, happy to hear that ur doing good Dr. Mujeeburahiman Urologist, mangalor

Shahina Afzal koya
January 21, 2017 at 10:38 AM

Dear Shelby, May almighty bless you and family and guide to sucess in all your endeavors.

David Russell
January 14, 2017 at 3:43 PM

Shelby, your career progress is remarkable. Creative thinker, productive researcher, forward thinking leader, you give new meaning to the word acceleration. Hearty congratulations.

Kusum Kharbanda
January 14, 2017 at 8:57 AM


Mary Craft
January 11, 2017 at 4:19 PM

From Ling, Navya and I, here in the research lab, Congratulations!!! We know how hard you work. You have accomplished a lot just in the time I have been here. We know you will continue to make great contributions and succeed in all that you do!

Jodi Remar
January 11, 2017 at 2:30 PM

Well deserved Shelby! Congrats!

John Lof
January 11, 2017 at 11:16 AM

Congrats on your well-deserved recognition! We are very fortunate to have someone of your intellect, dedication, and good humor working here with us!

Andreas Schuster
January 11, 2017 at 6:50 AM

Great news! Congratulations Shelby!...

George Swan
January 10, 2017 at 12:22 PM

Well deserved distinction, Dr Kutty! I'm looking forward to seeing more and more contributions as your career progresses. All the best!

Ed Hansen
January 10, 2017 at 10:46 AM

Shelby, This distinction comes as no surprise for me. Over the course of our developing friendship, I have been amazed at the number of things you are involved in and manage to excel at. It is most notable that in the face of all your success you remain humble and kind, deeply committed to the well-being of others. Kudos, Ed

Chris Boyer
January 10, 2017 at 9:44 AM

Awesome news! Nicely done!

Sharon McLean
January 10, 2017 at 9:08 AM

Congratulations, Dr. Kutty! Much deserved!

Thomas Karl
January 10, 2017 at 6:54 AM

Great news! Congratulations.