It has been a great few weeks for the CardSS Lab in terms of publications!!
FIRST and very much foremost, we are extremely excited about Savannah‘s new paper, published yesterday in eLife!! In this study, we explore potential consequences of fibrotic remodeling in the hearts of patients with embolic stroke of undetermined source (ESUS). Our key finding: extent, distribution, and potential arrhythmogenicity of fibrotic substrate in ESUS is indistinguishable from those properties in the hearts of patients with atrial fibrillation (AFib). Thus, a new hypothesis: the lack of arrhythmia in ESUS patients with fibrosis is due to an absence of triggers.
This is extra special because it is the very first completely made-in-UW original research article – not to mention the first time a CardSS Lab trainee has published a paper as lead author. And in eLife, no less… not too shabby!!
UW Medicine made a nice video featuring interviews with Pat and and our primary clinical collaborator on this work, Dr. Nazem Akoum:
There were also press releases (!!) from UW Medicine, our own Bioengineering department, and eLife itself. Yay for press!
SECOND, but certainly also a huge milestone, Pat had a paper accepted to Nature Scientific Reports last week. This work originated as a collaboration with Prof. Emilia Entcheva’s COOL Lab at George Washington University, several years ago while Pat was still in Baltimore working alongside Prof. Natalia Trayanova in the Computational Cardiology Lab at Johns Hopkins University. It explores how optogenetic actuators can be used to quantitatively characterize the strength of electrical coupling between different cell types. We call this technology “OptoGap”, because we are awesome at naming things and because it deals with Optogenetic characterization of electrical coupling mediated by Gap junctions ; see what we did there? The journey from science to preprint publication to submission to acceptance for this project was very long and arduous, with many setbacks and interruptions along the way.
LAST BUT NOT LEAST, our colleagues in Trayanova lab also published an exciting paper in Cardiovascular Research (first-author Joe Yu), with Pat as co-author. This is interesting work that explores potential arrhythmogenic consequences of applying engineered hiPSC-CM patches to the infarcted human ventricles to remuscularize damaged tissue. We are excited to see where this research goes from here, and also to continue the CardSS Lab’s own UW RRF-funded work in this area, including projects from graduate trainees Chelsea Gibbs and Alex Ochs as well as undergraduate researcher and resident cartoonist Kelly Zhang. [paywall-free link to paper for UW community] [free access link to paper, provided with permission from publisher]