Louise Reilly, PhD, research associate, Cardiovascular Medicine, has received an American Heart Association Postdoctoral Fellowship award in the amount of $106,532 over two years.
The funding will support her proposal entitled "Arrhythmia Mechanisms in KCNJ2-related CPVT." The research is aimed at understanding why people suffer from certain forms of sudden cardiac death (SCD).
A syndrome that can lead to SCD is Catecholaminergic Polymorphic Ventricular Tachycardia (CPVT). Patients with CPVT have altered heart rhythm when exercising or experiencing high stress, despite an absence of structural heart disease.
Dr. Reilly and colleagues in the laboratory of Lee Eckhardt, MD, MS, associate professor, Cardiovascular Medicine, are using molecular genetic approaches to identify which cellular factor(s) are responsible for changing heart rhythms under these conditions, and why these factors are altered in people with CPVT. Previous work identified genetic mutations in a potassium channel involved in regulating heart rhythm as being linked to inherited arrhythmia syndromes, including a type of CVPT.
Scientists hope that this study will yield a greater understanding of how heart arrhythmia occurs in patients with CPVT and related conditions, and therefore help in managing the disease.