Translational Research on Heart Failure and Arrhythmias

Group leaders: Prof Paulus Kirchhof and Dr Larissa Fabritz


Heart failure, sudden death, and atrial fibrillation are often manifestations of cardiomyopathies. We study the effects of genetic factors for the development of heart failure and the arrhythmia syndromes sudden death and atrial fibrillation.

These syndromes can be expression of common disease mechanisms in the heart. We use molecular biology, imaging and physiological techniques to identify such mechanisms, and test interventions to prevent heart failure and arrhythmias in experimental models and in clinical trials. 

Our research group

We have only begun our work here in Birmingham at the end of 2011, and we still cooperate closely with University of Münster. The group uses physiological measurements, molecular biology, and imaging techniques to characterise heart function in transgenic models. These allow us to identify molecular mechanisms of cardiomyopathies and help to delineate new therapeutic targets for the treatment of heart failure and arrhythmias.

Together with colleagues in Birmingham and beyond, we explore possibilities to translate these insights into hypotheses that can be tested in clinical trials, with the final goal to improve treatment of patients suffering from heart failure, atrial fibrillation, an/or at risk for sudden death. We are members of international research networks.

Current projects

  • Molecular mechanisms of atrial fibrillation due to genetic defects
  • Sodium channel dysfunction and their contribution to heart failure and arrhythmias
  • The left atrium as a driver for thrombosis
  • Understanding the relevance of desmosomal proteins for right heart function and failure
  • Testing the value of early rhythm control therapy in atrial fibrillation

Recent publications

For full publication lists see:


Principal Investigators
Professor Paulus Kirchhof - School of Clinical and Experimental Medicine
Dr Larissa Fabritz - School of Clinical and Experimental Medicine

Postdoctoral Researchers
Dr Genna Riley - School of Clinical and Experimental Medicine
Dr Fahima Syeda - School of Clinical and Experimental Medicine
Eleni Vloumidi
Stavros Apostolakis (part time) - School of Clinical and Experimental Medicine

PhD Students
Ting Yu Yue
Daniel Betney
Marcel Kemper

Research Technicians
Sarah Hopkins

Lisa Fortmueller
Sebastian Fischbach