Research Interests What causes cardiac arrhythmias? Why do heart cells die if they are deprived of oxygen? What can we do to decrease ischemia/reperfusion injury in the heart? My laboratory is interested in these broad questions.
Ischemic Heart Disease claims more human lives each year than any other single disease. The most common manifestations of ischemic heart disease are arrhythmia and myocardial infarction, yet the mechanisms underlying these phenomena have yet to be fully elucidated. Investigating these mechanisms and understanding how they are altered between health (i.e. with exercise) and disease (i.e. diabetes) is a goal of our research.
My laboratory focuses on cardiac electrophysiology, spanning the level of the intact heart down to isolated heart cells (myocytes) and further down to the powerhouses of the cell (mitochondria). A major question that we are interested in investigating is: How does the metabolic state of the heart influence the activity of cardiac ion channels, and vice-versa. There is increasingly strong evidence that the activity of cardiac ion channels can influence the susceptibility of the heart to arrhythmias, infarction, and mechanical dysfunction.