Group Photo of the Molecular Pharmacology Lab, 2020.
ABOUT USIn August 2016, Niels Voigt joined the Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology as Professor of Molecular Pharmacology. Since its inception, his research group has expanded by more than 20 members and its central focus is to investigate the pathophysiology of cardiac arrhythmias.
Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common cardiac arrhythmia and is associated with increased morbidity and mortality, particularly due to embolic stroke and heart failure. Current approaches to restore normal sinus rhythm (antiarrhythmic drugs, AF ablation) have major limitations including dissatisfying efficacy and risk of life-threatening proarrhythmic events. Therefore, we aim to unravel novel molecular mechanisms contributing to AF initiation and maintenance. In particular, we employ modern experimental techniques including cellular electrophysiology and calcium imaging to investigate atrial myocytes and tissue samples from patients undergoing open heart surgery. In addition, we utilize advanced techniques in the generation of atrial engineered heart tissue (aEHM) and modern gene editing approaches (CRISPR/Cas9) in order to develop new experimental models of AF. These approaches will provide the molecular basis for novel and patient-tailored therapeutic strategies for AF.