Engineering and medicine team up on research aimed at atrial fibrillation

Posted: February 1, 2017

Professor Hund in the lab

Biomedical Engineering Associate Professor Thomas Hund and Davis Heart and Lung Research Institute (DHLRI) Director Peter Mohler have been awarded $3.2 million to continue their innovative cardiovascular disease research.

The goal of the four-year grant from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute is to identify novel strategies for reducing the burden of atrial fibrillation, an irregular heartbeat that increases the risk of stroke and heart disease. A major health issue worldwide, atrial fibrillation (AF) affects over 3 million people in the U.S. alone with growing incidence.

According to Hund, existing AF therapies are limited by efficacy or risk of complications.

“This specific project uses a highly interdisciplinary approach to elucidate the role of a novel cellular pathway in regulating atrial function and susceptibility to arrhythmia,” said Hund.  “We hope our work will lead to a host of new targets and therapeutic strategies for patients with AF.”

The project also includes Cynthia Carnes, a professor in Ohio State’s College of Pharmacy, and Xander Wehrens, a professor and physician at Baylor College of Medicine.

Results of related research by Hund and Mohler were published in 2015 issues of the Journal of the American Heart Association and the journal Circulation.