Samuel S. Gidding

Division Chief of Cardiology, Nemours Cardiac Center
Professor of Pediatrics, Jefferson Medical College
Member of the INBRE Research Committee

Nemours Biomedical Research

Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children
Nemours Cardiac Center
1600 Rockland Road
Wilmington, DE 19899

Phone: (215) 651-6639

  • M.D., College of Medicine and Dentistry of NJ, Rutgers Medical School, 1978
    B.A., Mathematics, Trinity College, Hartford, CT, 1974

Research Overview:

As a faculty member at Northwestern University, Dr. Gidding developed an interest in lipidology and nutrition as well, being mentored by Dr. Neil Stone and Dr. Linda Van Horn.  He started one of the first pediatric preventive cardiology outpatient clinics in the country in 1986.  In addition to initiating several local preventive cardiology observational studies and trials, he became active in 2 NIH funded multicenter studies; the DISC study (randomized trial of diet in children) and CARDIA (longitudinal study of the evolution of cardiovascular risk in young adults, now in its 22nd year) as echo co-investigator and continues to be active in that study.  He was given a secondary appointment and did his sabbatical in the Preventive Medicine Department with Dr. Philip Greenland and Dr. Kiang Liu in Biostatistics.  While on sabbatical he initiated a collaboration with Dr. Gerald Berenson and the Bogalusa Heart Study, a longitudinal study of cardiovascular risk in children.

After moving to the Nemours Foundation and A. I. DuPont Hospital for Children, Dr. Gidding continued to develop his research career through local collaborations with Dr. Sandra Hassink and Dr. Bonita Falkner leading to studies of obesity, physical fitness, hypertension, and insulin resistance.  Following up on earlier work on the non invasive assessment of cariac and vascular end organ injury in young individuals, he initiated collaborations with Dr. Zahi Fayad to assess atherosclerosis using MR imaging and with the PDAY study (a study of the relationship of atherosclerosis pathology to cardiovascular risk); this led to the development of the PDAY risk score to identify those likely to have premature atherogenesis.

An important collaboration at Nemours has been with Nemours Health and Prevention Services, a program dedicated to public health efforts and obesity prevention within the state of Delaware.  Pioneering research using the electronic medical record has allowed identification of the prevalence of obesity and hypertension in the Nemours Childrens Clinics (caring for 12% of the children of the state).  These findings helped lead to the development of an electronic medical record based program for primary care physician education with regard to obesity for which Dr. Gidding served as consultant and educator.

After over 2 decades in the field, Dr. Gidding now believes that the critical problem in pediatric preventive cardiology is implementation of current guidelines concerning what is known about primordial and primary prevention of atherosclerosis.  The coexistence of substantial expertise in preventive cardiology, a primary care pediatric practice managing 10-15% of the state’s children, an electronic medical record, and a highly skilled public health intervention team all under the Nemours umbrella, linked to the Outcomes research expertise at Christiana Care presents a unique opportunity to prove that preventive cardiology guidelines, particularly obesity prevention and treatment, can be effectively integrated into high quality general pediatric care.

Dr. Gidding has a long-standing interest in general pediatric cardiology. Historically, he participated in studies using echocardiography to evaluate cardiac disease and function and children and this interest continues. He has a special interest in Kawasaki disease, coarctation of the aorta, and natural history studies of congenital heart disease.