Current and Past News
Sarah Franklin, PhD, Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine, was recently awarded a Beginning Grant-in-Aid from the American Heart Association. This two year grant will fund the research in her lab to examine the role of histone methyltransferases in the pathophysiology of cardiac hypertrophy and failure.
CVRTI’s Abhijit Mondal, MS. has been invited again to be a Student Associate at the Lassonde New Venture Development Center for the coming academic year (2013-14). The Lassonde Center mentors and assists students/researchers towards determining commercialization potential of technologies coming out of University of Utah labs. Students from all backgrounds are competitively selected and receive a partial stipend. They are trained in the various disciplines involved with early stage business development. Mr. Mondal is pursuing his Ph.D. in Bioengineering under the direction of Dr. Alonso P. Moreno.
Natalia S. Torres PhD, a post-doctoral fellow working with Dr. Bridge here at the CVRTI, has been awarded a 2 years AHA Postdoctoral Fellowship for her work “Changes in structures and function underlying excitation contraction coupling in rabbit peri-infarct cells”. The goal of this project is to investigate how fundamental mechanisms of excitation-contraction coupling are altered after myocardial infarction.
Alexa Anderson, an undergraduate student working in Dr Sarah Franklin’s laboratory, was recently accepted into the Biosciences Undergraduate Research Program, which only admits 20 students each summer. This prestigious two-year training program provides students the opportunity to participate in research under the mentorship of University faculty. Students also attend courses designed to help them explore their interest in biological research, learn techniques used in many research laboratories, and are compensated for their lab work.
Dr. Michael C. Sanguinetti, PhD, Professor of Internal Medicine (Cardiology Division) is the recent recipient of the Nora Eccles Harrison Presidential Endowed Chair in Cardiology. Dr. Sanguinetti’s research focuses on the biophysical and molecular properties of ion channels, especially those in the heart. His work is widely cited and has resulted in landmark discoveries concerning the channels involved in life-threatening cardiac arrhythmias. Dr. Sanguinetti is a senior investigator at the Nora Eccles Cardiovascular Research and Training Institute (CVRTI), where he serves as Associate Director. The Nora Eccles Harrison Presidential Endowed Chair in Cardiology was established in 1979 by the Nora Eccles Treadwell Foundation and was the first endowed chair established at the Health Sciences Center at the University of Utah.
Trevor Taylor, an undergraduate student in Dr Sarah Franklin’s lab, was awarded a Research Assistantship from the University of Utah’s UROP Program. This award will support his research project to identify protein binding partner of cardiac histone methyltransferases implicated in the pathophysiology of heart failure progression.
Justin Lichter, BSc, graduate student in Bioengineering and research assistant at CVRTI, was recipient of an outstanding poster award at the Cardiac Physiome Workshop held in San Diego, 30. October - 2. November. The poster was entitled Cytoskeletal Remodeling of Cardiac Ventricular Myocytes during Heart Failure.
Sarah Franklin PhD, Assistant Professor of Medicine at CVRTI, was awarded First Place in the Young Investigator Competition at the annual International Society for Heart Research meeting (North American Section) held in Banff Alberta Canada on May 30th. As a finalist in the competition she presented her research entitled “Systems analysis of cardiac chromatin identifies nucleolin as a regulator of growth and cellular plasticity in cardiomyocytes.”
CVRTI’s Abhijit Mondal, MS. has been invited to be a Student Associate at the Lassonde New Venture Development Center for the coming academic year (2012-13). The center mentors and assists students/researchers towards determining commercialization potential of technologies coming out of U labs. Students from all backgrounds are competitively selected and receive a partial stipend. They are trained in the various disciplines involved with early stage business development. Mr. Mondal is pursuing his Ph.D. under the direction of Dr. Alonso P. Moreno, developing new in vitro techniques using microelectrode array embedded in two and three dimensional cell cultures for studying the effects of controlled gap junction communication on electrical and metabolic propagation.
CVRTI's Katie J. Sciuto has received a 2012 NSF Graduate Research Fellowship. The NSF Graduate Research Fellowship provides a portable stipend for the fellow to use at the institution of his/her choice. The Fellowship is highly competitive and only 10% of applicants receive the award. Ms. Sciuto will pursue her Ph.D. at CVRTI studying the effects transgenic relative to pharmacological modulation plays on the relationship of gap junctions and cardiac electrophysiology in the laboratory of Dr. Steve Poelzing.
Congratulations to CVRTI personel who presented research or contributed to research presented at the 56th annual Biophysical Society meeting in San Diego, CA, Feb 24 through Feb 29 (Presenter and/or CVRTI member):
Rengasayee Veeraraghavan, Joyce Lin, James P. Keener, Steven Poelzing. A Novel Role For Ephaptic Coupling In Cardiac Conduction: An Experimental And Modeling Study
Paul W. Venable, Tyson G. Taylor, Junko Shibayama, Mark Warren, Kenneth W. Spitzer, Alexey V. Zaitsev. Spatial Fourier Transform (SFT) For Robust Detection Of Mitochondrial Depolarization In Ischemic Myocardium
Peter M. Kekenes-Huskey, Johan Hake, Yuhui Cheng, Michael Holst, Frank B. Sachse, John H. Bridge, Andrew McCulloch, James A. McCammon, Anushka Michailova. Modeling Calcium Dynamics In Realistic Rabbit Ventricular Myocytes With Several Transverse Tubules
Thomas G. McNary, Kenneth W. Spitzer, John H.B. Bridge, Hilary Holloway, Peter Kohl, Frank B. Sachse. Geometric Changes Of Transverse Tubules In Rabbit Cardiac Myocytes During Contraction
Natalia S. Torres, Frank B. Sachse, Kenneth W. Spitzer, John HB Bridge. Activation Of Calcium Release From Ryr Clusters Depends On Their Distance From The Sarcolemma
Abhijit Mondal, Daniel A. Appadurai, Frank Sachse, Alonso P. Moreno. Brownian Permeability Computation Model Predicts That Differences In The Internal Radii Of The Pore Are Determinant For Unidirectional And Reversal Fluxes Through Gap Junction Channels
Anders Peter Larsen, a post-doctoral student at the CVRTI, has been awarded a Danish Council for Independent Research Grant for his work "Diabetic cardiomyopathy and sudden cardiac death in diabetes - Role of cardiac calcium handling". The goal of the project is to investigate the relationship between abnormal cardiac calcium handling and sudden cardiac death in diabetic hearts.
CVRTI student Tyson Taylor has been selected to receive a Young Investigator Award for his abstract titled Role of Hyperkalemia in the Transmural Activation Rate Gradient and Asystole During Long-Duration Ventricular Fibrillation (LDVF) in Isolated Canine Heart being presented at the Resuscitation Science Symposium 2011, November 12-13, 2011 in Orlando, Florida. The awards recognize the top scoring abstracts submitted by early career investigators in cardiac and trauma resuscitation science.
CVRTI students Justin Lichter and Thomas McNary were awarded travel expenses to attend the sixth National Biomedical Computation Resource Summer Institute in La Jolla Ca, August 1-5, where they studied mesoscale modeling of cardiac myocytes. Thomas McNary received honorable mention for his presentation Mechanical Deformation of Ventricular Myocytes Affects the Geometry of Transverse Tubules.
On July 7, 2011, The Nora Eccles Harrison Cardiovascular Research and Training Institute has its first annual retreat at the Snowbird resort in Little Cottonwood Canyon. The program will feature oral presentations by CVRTI trainees. We are very pleased to announce that Dr. Kenneth Laurita will be joining us for this event as our invited key note speaker. Please contact Anders Peter Larsen for more information.
On March 17-18, 2011, The Nora Eccles Harrison Cardiovascular Research and Training Institute and The University of Utah Molecular Medicine Program present the Cardiovascular, Hypertension and Diabetes Symposium at the Eccles Institute of Human Genetics Auditorium. Please download the symposium brochure for more information.
Steve Poelzing, PhD, Research Assistant Professor of Bioengineering, has recently been awarded a 5 year $1.87M R01 grant from NHLBI for a project titled
Extracellular Space as a Modulator of Gap Junction-Conduction Velocity Relationship.
Maren Arp, student at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany, was awarded a research internship from the German Academic Exchange Service to work with Frank Sachse on image-based multidomain modeling of cardiac tissue.
Junco Warren, PhD, a postdoctoral fellow in Alexey Zaitsev's laboratory, was awarded an NIH NRSA grant from 2010 to 2013. The project is titled "Excitability and Mitochondrial Polarization in Ventricular Fibrillation" and seeks to determine the relationship between mitochondrial function, glycogen metabolism and the changes in membrane potential and intracellular calcium that occur during ventricular fibrillation.
Natalia Torres, PhD student of John Bridge, was selected for a $500 Travel award to present her EC coupling work at the New Horizons in Calcium Signaling Meeting in Beijing, China in October, 2010.
C. Jerry Jou, a fellow in Martin Tristani-Firouzi’s laboratory, was awarded the American Heart Association Fellowship-to-Faculty Transition grant from 2010 to 2015 for his project “Zebrafish as a Model of Long QT Syndrome.” The goals of this proposal are to understand the molecular and cellular mechanisms that underlie variable penetrance of Long QT Syndrome.
Vivek Garg, a postdoctoral fellow in Mike Sanguinetti’s laboratory, was awarded an American Heart Association Fellowship for his project ‘Molecular Basis of Action of HERG Channel Activators’. The goals of this proposal are to understand the structural basis of action of hERG channel activators and characterizing their antiarrhythmic potential.
NIH awarded a $1.9 million grant to investigators at the CVRTI to evaluate cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) for treatment of heart failure. Drs. Frank Sachse and John Bridge will collaborate with investigators from the Johns Hopkins University to study effects of CRT at cellular level using novel approaches for confocal imaging and image analysis.
Inventors at the CVRTI (Drs. Sachse and Bridge) and the Bioengineering Department (Dr. Hitchcock) developed an approach for local delivery of fluorescent dyes, which simplifies imaging of tissue micro-structure using fiber-optics confocal microscopy. The approach has applications in basic medical research and clinical diagnosis of diseases. An international patent application (WO 2010/016885 A1) was published on the 11. Feb. 2010.
Alexey Zaitsev, PhD, Research Associate Professor of Bioengineering, is the recent recipient of a 2 yr NIH supplement award of $135,000 for his R01 grant titled: Ventricular Fibrillation in a Globally Ischemic Heart: From Cell to ECG
Dr. Mike Sheets (CVRTI) and Dr. Dorothy Hanck (University of Chicago) have been awarded a 2 year, $1.4M, NIH R01 grant for their research titled Drug Therapy Targeted to the Voltage-Gated Sodium Channel.
Dr. Steve Poelzing, PhD, Research Assistant Professor of Bioengineering, is the recent recipient of a $370,000 R21 NIH grant for his research project
Ion Channel Characterization Using Current Voltage Resonance Spectroscopy.