CHICAGO, November 10, 2006 Columbia University Medical Center scientists will present the latest research findings in a wide range of cardiovascular areas at the 2006 American Heart Association Scientific Sessions in Chicago, Nov.12-15. Columbia's groundbreaking medical research presentations at AHA this year include:
NEW UNDERSTANDING OF MOLECULAR ROOTS FOR ATRIAL FIBRILLATION
Robert Kass, Ph.D., chairman of the department of Pharmacology at Columbia University Medical Center , will present the latest research on the discovery of a potential molecular culprit for atrial fibrillation (AF), the most common arrhythmias in the human heart, which can be a precursor for stroke. Dr. Kass has found evidence that hyper phosphorylation of the KCNQ1/KCNE1 potassium ion channel can predispose tissue to rapid and spontaneos electrical events, a hallmark of AF. This is the first report to discuss the hyper-phosphorylation of the KCNQ1/KCNE1 pottasium ion channel, and Dr. Kass hopes that these findings will lead to the development of drugs that can disrupt hyperphosphorylation of this channel, thereby allowing prevention and treatment for this serious cardiac arrhythmia, atrial fibrillation.
GENES INFLUENCE HEART TRANSPLANT REJECTION
Mario Deng, MD, assistant professor of Medicine in the division of Cardiology and director of the Cardiac Transplantation Research at Columbia University Medical Center, will present his laboratory's research on the relationship between genes and the rejection of transplanted hearts. Dr. Deng reconstructed the network of genes that are active at the time of heart transplant rejection and those active when the transplant is not rejected. The researchers found that different genes were active in the white blood cells of patients who rejected the transplant. These findings will hopefully help to develop new non-invasive anti-rejection diagnostic tests and target molecules for immuno-suppression
Contact: Craig LeMoult
Columbia University Medical Center