Dr. Villanueva received her B.A. and M.D. from Boston University. She completed her internal medicine residency at Duke University and cardiology fellowship at the University of Virginia. In 1992, she joined the faculty at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, where she is currently professor of medicine and associate chief for translational research in the division of cardiology. In the clinical arena, Dr. Villanueva is the director of non-invasive cardiac imaging at Heart and Vascular Institute, UPMC Presbyterian Hospital, overseeing the clinical imaging programs in echocardiography, nuclear cardiology and cardiac magnetic resonance. She is also the founding director of the National Institutes of Health T32 for post-doctoral fellows, entitled “Training Program in Imaging Sciences in Translational Cardiovascular Research.”
Dr. Villanueva is the founding director of the Center for Ultrasound Molecular Imaging and Therapeutics, a multidisciplinary translational research facility espousing the philosophy that moving new technologies to the bedside requires strong biomedical science and engineering working together in often non-traditional partnerships, to imagine innovative solutions to unmet clinical needs. She has focused her research on the development of ultrasound contrast agents for assessment of the microcirculation, ultrasound molecular imaging and ultrasound-mediated image-guided therapeutics for clinical applications in cardiovascular medicine, cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. Her research collaborations span academic institutions throughout the United States, Canada and Europe, as well as industry.
For her research, Dr. Villanueva received the Feigenbaum Award from the American Society of Echocardiography (ASE), the highest award given to a young investigator in echocardiography, as well as the American Heart Association (AHA) Peter J. Safar Pulse of Pittsburgh Award. She is an Established Investigator of the AHA and has been elected to the American Society for Clinical Investigation and the Association of University Cardiologists. She has served on numerous NIH study sections and held many roles in professional societies, including serving on the Board of Directors of the ASE; the American College of Cardiology (ACC) Scientific Sessions Program Committee, Women in Cardiology Committee, and Echocardiography Committee; and numerous other committees for the ASE, ACC and AHA.