Laura C Sommerfeld MSc

Laura Sommerfeld

Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences
PhD Student

Contact details

University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

After completing her BSc and MSc in Germany, Laura Sommerfeld joined the Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences as a PhD student in 2018. Here she investigates molecular mechanisms of
cardiac arrhythmias with a focus on desmosomal proteins.


  • 2018 MSc in Cardiovascular Sciences, University of Goettingen, Germany
  • 2015 BSc in Molecular Medicine, University of Goettingen, Germany


Laura Sommerfeld gained her BSc in Molecular Medicine from the University of Goettingen, Germany, where she subsequently took on her master’s studies in Cardiovascular Sciences. She was supervised by Professor Susanne Lutz (Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology, University Medical Center Goettingen), Professor Friederike Cuello (Experimental Pharmacology and Toxicology, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf), PD Dr Katrin Streckfuß-Bömeke (Department of Cardiology and Pneumology, University Medical Center Goettingen) and Professor Philip Eaton (then The Rayne Institute, King’s College London) and received training in a variety of techniques to study mechanisms of cardiac diseases in cardiac cells of different origin, including adult and stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes.

After obtaining her MSc, she moved to Birmingham to pursue a PhD within the Translational Research Cluster on Heart Failure and Arrhythmias, supervised by Professor Larissa Fabritz and Dr Katja Gehmlich.

Since starting her PhD, Laura has already participated in consortium meetings of the research cluster, including the Foundation Leducq - Transatlantic Network of Excellence, European ‘CATCH ME’ consortium and the Dutch-German Joint Meeting of the Molecular Cardiology Working Groups.


Laura is studying molecular mechanisms of arrhythmias and cardiomyopathies, including desmosomal instability. Besides biochemical and molecular methods, she is trained in a range of imaging techniques, including super-resolution microscopy, optical mapping and echocardiography.

During her BSc and MSc, she was especially interested in the role of G protein-dependent signaling pathways in cardiomyocytes in the context of cardiac hypertrophy.


Research Groups and Centres

Other activities

  • BHF Accelerator Award Steering Committee, ICVS (PhD Student Member)
  • British Society for Cardiovascular Research (Student Member)
  • ESC Working Group on Cardiac Cellular Electrophysiology (Member)