Caroline E. Burns, PhD

Caroline E. Burns, PhD

Boston Children's Hospital
Harvard Medical School
Caroline Burns.

Research in the Burns Lab focuses on cardiovascular development and regeneration.

Cardiovascular diseases represent the number one cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide, affecting a broad spectrum of ages from babies that are born with congenital heart defects to adults that suffer acute myocardial infarctions and/or develop congestive heart failure over time. Our research program is motivated by the simple assumption that we can use the zebrafish as a model to understand how the cardiovascular system is established during development and how it efficiently regenerates following injury during adulthood.


Caroline Erter Burns received her B.S. from Wofford College in 1995. She received her Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University after completing her thesis work in the laboratory of Dr. Christopher V.E. Wright in the Department of Cell Biology. After receiving formal training in early embryonic patterning, she pursued her long-standing interest in combining aspects of both development and disease by studying hematopoietic stem cell biology in the laboratory of Dr. Leonard I. Zon at Boston Children’s Hospital. Dr. Burns was recruited to the Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School in 2007 where she and her husband, Dr. Geoff Burns, started a joint research program studying cardiovascular development and regeneration in the zebrafish. She was promoted to Associate Professor of Medicine in 2016. She and Geoff were recruited to Boston Children's Hospital in 2019 where they continue to oversee a joint research lab in the Department of Cardiology.

Research Interest(s)