Veli Kemal Topkara, MD

Advanced Heart Failure and Transplant Cardiology
Cardiovascular Disease, Internal Medicine
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Veli K. Topkara is an Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Department of Medicine, Division of Cardiology at Columbia University Medical Center. He specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of patients with advanced heart failure including those requiring ventricular assist device support and heart transplantation. Dr. Topkara is board-certified in internal medicine, cardiovascular diseases, and advanced heart failure and cardiac transplantation

Dr. Topkara received his medical degree from Hacettepe University, Faculty of Medicine in 2003. He completed internal medicine residency training at Baylor College of Medicine as a MeRIT Scholar and cardiology fellowship training at Washington University in St. Louis. Dr. Topkara completed post-doctoral basic cardiovascular research training at Washington University School of Medicine in the laboratory of Dr. Douglas Mann and received a master’s degree in genetic epidemiology from Washington University School of Medicine in 2012. He also completed additional clinical fellowship training in advanced heart failure and cardiac transplantation at Columbia University Medical Center at NewYork-Presbyterian.

Dr. Topkara’s research focuses on basic mechanisms of myocardial recovery with an emphasis on transcriptional and metabolic regulation of cardiac reverse remodeling pathways. His research interests include clinical and genetic determinants of chemotherapy-induced heart failure, inherited cardiomyopathies, and clinical outcomes of patients requiring left ventricular assist device support and/or cardiac transplantation. Dr. Topkara analyzes biological samples obtained from patients with heart failure to identify novel biomarkers associated with disease progression, and performs mechanistic studies in cell and animal models. Dr. Topkara has received recognition for his research accomplishments. His research awards include the 2010 Jay N. Cohn New Investigator Award in Basic Science from the Heart Failure Society of America and 2010 Northwestern Cardiovascular Young Investigators' Forum Basic Science Award. Dr. Topkara has published more than 90 publications and presented his research nationally and internationally.

Areas of Expertise / Conditions Treated

  • Cardiomyopathy
  • Heart Failure
  • Heart Transplantation
  • Left Ventricular Assist Devices (LVAD)
  • Mechanical Circulatory Support

Academic Appointments

  • Assistant Professor of Medicine at CUMC

Administrative Titles

  • Medical Director of Research, Mechanical Circulatory Support Program

Hospital Affiliations

  • NewYork-Presbyterian / Columbia University Irving Medical Center


  • Turkish


  • Male

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173 Fort Washington Avenue
Room 617
New York, NY 10032

Credentials & Experience

Education & Training

  • MD, 2003 Hacettepe University Faculty of Medicine (Turkey)
  • Residency: Baylor College of Medicine Medical Center, Houston
  • Fellowship: 2013 Washington University School of Medicine, Barnes Jewish Hospital
  • Fellowship: 2014 NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center

Committees, Societies, Councils

Member, International Society of Heart and Lung Transplantation (ISHLT)

Member, American Heart Association, Council on Functional Genomics and Translational Biology

Board Certifications

  • Cardiovascular Disease
  • Internal Medicine

Honors & Awards

  • 2012 - The Rising Star Award in Cardiovascular Research - Washington University School of Medicine
  • 2010 - Jay Cohn Young Investigator Award in Basic Science - Heart Failure Society of America
  • 2010 - First Place (Fellows Basic Science) - Northwestern Cardiovascular Young Investigators' Forum
  • 2006 - Clinical Investigator Scholar, MeRIT Program - Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX
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Selected Publications

  • Topkara VK, Coromilas EJ, Garan AR, Li RC, Castagna F, Jennings DL, Yuzefpolskaya M, Takeda K, Takayama H, Sladen RN, Mancini DM, Naka Y, Radhakrishnan J, Colombo PC. "Preoperative Proteinuria and Reduced Glomerular Filtration Rate Predicts Renal Replacement Therapy in Patients Supported With Continuous-Flow Left Ventricular Assist Devices." Circ Heart Fail. 2016 Dec;9(12).
  • Ton VK, Vunjak-Novakovic G, Topkara VK. "Transcriptional patterns of reverse remodeling with left ventricular assist devices: a consistent signature." Expert Rev Med Devices. 2016 Nov;13(11):1029-1034.
  • Clerkin KJ, Garan AR, Wayda B, Givens RC, Yuzefpolskaya M, Nakagawa S, Takeda K, Takayama H, Naka Y, Mancini DM, Colombo PC, Topkara VK. Impact of Socioeconomic Status on Patients Supported With a Left Ventricular Assist Device: An Analysis of the UNOS Database (United Network for Organ Sharing). Circ Heart Fail. 2016 Oct;9(10).
  • Clerkin KJ, Naka Y, Mancini DM, Colombo PC, Topkara VK."The Impact of Obesity on Patients Bridged to Transplantation With Continuous-Flow Left Ventricular Assist Devices." JACC Heart Fail. 2016 Oct;4(10):761-8.
  • Topkara VK, Garan AR, Fine B, Godier-Furnémont AF, Breskin A, Cagliostro B, Yuzefpolskaya M, Takeda K, Takayama H, Mancini DM, Naka Y, Colombo PC. "Myocardial Recovery in Patients Receiving Contemporary Left Ventricular Assist Devices: Results From the Interagency Registry for Mechanically Assisted Circulatory Support (INTERMACS)." Circ Heart Fail. 2016 Jul;9(7).
  • Topkara VK, Chambers KT, Yang KC, Tzeng HP, Evans S, Weinheimer C, Kovacs A, Robbins J, Barger P, Mann DL. "Functional significance of the discordance between transcriptional profile and left ventricular structure/function during reverse remodeling."JCI Insight. 2016 Apr 6;1(4):e86038.
  • Wever-Pinzon O, Naka Y, Garan AR, Takeda K, Pan S, Takayama H, Mancini DM, Colombo P, Topkara VK. "National trends and outcomes in device-related thromboembolic complications and malfunction among heart transplant candidates supported with continuous-flow left ventricular assist devices in the United States." J Heart Lung Transplant. 2016 Jul;35(7):884-92
  • Pan S, Aksut B, Wever-Pinzon OE, Rao SD, Levin AP, Garan AR, Fried JA, Takeda K, Hiroo T, Yuzefpolskaya M, Uriel N, Jorde UP, Mancini DM, Naka Y, Colombo PC, Topkara VK. "Incidence and predictors of myocardial recovery on long-term left ventricular assist device support: Results from the United Network for Organ Sharing database." J Heart Lung Transplant. 2015 Dec;34(12):1624-9.