Translational Research on Heart Failure and Arrhythmias Cluster

Cluster group photo

Research overview

Heart failure, sudden death, and atrial fibrillation are often manifestations of cardiomyopathies and chronic cardiac damage. We study the effects of genetic factors for the development of heart failure, atrial fibrillation, and sudden death. We use molecular biology, imaging, and physiological techniques to identify mechanisms leading to these diseases, work on novel ways to develop and validate personalized approaches to diagnose and treat patients with these conditions, and test interventions in experimental models and in clinical trials.

Our research group

We use cellular and integrated physiological measurements, molecular biology, and imaging techniques to characterise heart function in transgenic models. These allow us to identify molecular mechanisms of cardiac dysfunction (e.g. in inherited cardiomyopathies) and help to delineate new therapeutic targets for personalized treatment of heart failure and arrhythmias.

Our group works closely with other research groups on campus and in the two major NHS trusts (UHB and SWBH) in Birmingham. We maintain research contacts with the German Atrial Fibrillation NETwork and with the Medical Faculty at the University of Münster, and collaborate with professional organisations and research networks in Britain and Europe. Together with these partners, we explore possibilities to translate new insights into hypotheses that can be tested in clinical trials and/or in biobanks, with the final goal to improve treatment of patients suffering from heart failure, atrial fibrillation, and/or to prevent sudden death using personalized approaches to diagnosis and therapy.

Current projects

  • Deciphering the genetic topology of atrial fibrillation
  • Understanding the function of pitx2 in the left atrium
  • Translating mechanisms of AF into new diagnostic and therapeutic modalities
  • Sodium channel dysfunction and its contribution to heart failure and arrhythmias
  • Understanding the relevance of desmosomal proteins for right heart function and failure
  • Improving outcomes by early rhythm control therapy in atrial fibrillation
  • BigData@Heart project supported by the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI)
  • RATE-AF clinical trial supported by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR)
  • IMPRESS-AF clinical trial supported by the NIHR
  • Cardiotonic steroids in AF/HF project grant supported by the British Heart Foundation (BHF)
  • Hypoxia and atrial function project grant supported by the BHF

Recent publications

For the full list of publications, please visit PubMed

Staff

Principal Investigators
Professor Paulus Kirchhof
Dr Larissa Fabritz 
Dr Davor Pavlovic
Dr Dipak Kotecha 
Dr James Winter
Dr Andrew Holmes

Postdoctoral Researchers
Dr Winnie Chua
Dr Claire Hepburn
Dr Jasmeet Reyat
Dr Daniel Johnson
Dr Molly O'Reilly
Sabina Yasin
Dr Lisa Fortmeller - at University of Münster, Germany

Research Associates
Syeeda Nashitha Kabir
Olivia Grech

PhD Students and MD Students
Antonia Malinova
Laura Sommerfeld
Dannie Fobian
Chris O’Shea
Simon Wells
Victor Cardoso
Sheabul Hoque
Karina Bunting
Yanish Purmah
Jawad Qamar
Lily Cao
Simrat Gill
Sian-Marie O’Brian

Former Group Members
Sebastian Fischbach
Sarah Hopkins
Marcel Kemper
Stefan Kuhlmann
Pushpa Patel
Dr Genna Riley
Dr Ewa Truchanowicz
Dr Eleni Vloumidi
Ting Yu Yue
Dr Fahima Syeda
Dr Samantha Tull
Clara Apicella