Bjorn C. Knollmann, MD, PhD
Professor of Medicine
My laboratory is interested in the biology of cardiac arrhythmias. Using genetically-altered mice as model systems, ongoing research examines several key pathways of arrhythmias and sudden death in humans: 1) Impaired cardiac calcium cycling and mutations in cardiac Ca2+ handling proteins, 2) Troponin T mutations associated with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and 3) Mutations associated with the congenital long QT syndrome. In neither case the mechanisms that lead to sudden cardiac death are fully understood. The laboratory performs comprehensive studies from the molecular level to the whole animal in each mouse model in order to better understand the mechanisms of arrhythmogenesis. For example, single cell patch-clamp, intracellular calcium and cell shortening measurements, whole-heart electro-physiology and contractility measurements, and in vivo electrocardiogram and hemodynamic studies are performed. This research may identify therapeutic strategies, which then can be tested in the same model system prior to human studies.