Research Interests

As a scientist, my main goal is to generate impactful results, leading to the development of new therapies for patients with malignant cardiac arrhythmias. In my lab at The Ohio State University, we have developed an integrated approach to study heart rate disorders directly in humans by using functional, molecular and structural 3D mapping techniques. Our dual-sided high-resolution optical mapping system is capable of resolving the intramural activation of the complex 3D atrial structure in human and animal hearts. The integration of the transmural optical mapping with 3D gadolinium-enhanced MRI bridges the knowledge of the functional and structural properties of the human atria. These innovative methodologies allow us to pursue two main directions:

1. Structure and Function of the Human Sinoatrial Node, the primary pacemaker of the heart. We have contributed critical knowledge in this field by showing that in human hearts, fatty tissue and fibrosis electrically and mechanically insulate the SAN while electrical communication between the SAN and right atrium is restricted to discrete SAN conduction pathways. Recently, we have shown that pathological upregulation of fibrosis and adenosine A1 receptors within the SAN may lead to tachycardia-bradycardia arrhythmias and cardiac arrest (Lou et al., Circulation 2014). Based on this data, we are developing new therapies against tachycardia-bradycardia arrhythmias.

2. Atrial Fibrillation Mechanisms and Treatments. Our integrated functional-structural 3D approach allows us to define the exact sources of AF and their electrical, structural and molecular basis (mechanisms). By using this approach, we demonstrated for the first time that AF is driven by intramural reentry anchored to specific microanatomic tracks in diseased human atria (Hansen et al., European Heart Journal 2015). In collaboration with clinical surgeons and electrophysiologists, we are developing highly selective and safe diagnoses and patient-specific targeted treatments for AF patients.

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Education and Training

PhD, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Russia
Post Doctoral, Cardiology Research Center, Moscow, Russia