To explore potential sources of cellular electrical communication, the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at VTC is hosting the world’s first Ephaptic Coupling Conference in Roanoke, Virginia, from May 5 to 7.
Scientists at the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute have found evidence that may disrupt conventional understanding about how electrical activity travels in the heart — a discovery that potentially can lead to new insight into medical problems, such as heart arrhythmia and sudden cardiac death.
The research team was led by Steven Poelzing, an associate professor at the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute, and Soufian AlMahameed, who was a clinician associate professor at the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine and the director of Carilion Clinic’s Center for Atrial Fibrillation at the time of data collection.
Two members of the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine’s Alpha Omega Alpha national medical honor society recently organized an event that brought clinicians and biomedical researchers together to learn from each other and formulate ideas for future collaborations.
Steven Poelzing, an associate professor at the institute, will lead a research team to investigate how the microscopic spaces surrounding heart cells affect connections called gap junctions, which allow electrical impulses and small molecules to pass between cells.
The doctoral program is the Virginia Tech Graduate School’s largest interdisciplinary program, with more than 200 members of Virginia Tech’s Faculty of Health Sciences teaching and mentoring the students.
He will use the award funds to study, in a rodent model, how the composition of fluids administered to patients who have suffered cardiac arrest or myocardial infarction affects whether or not they survive and how well they recover from the event.
The public is invited to learn more about heart development and current cardiovascular research during Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute’s first heart school, held as part of American Heart Month.