Heart and Brain Interactions in Cardiac Arrhythmia Development

Postdoctoral Scientist: Dr. Patapia Zafeiriou

Contact details

    Dr. Patapia Zafeiriou
    Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology,
    University Medical Center Goettingen,
    Robert-Koch-Str. 40, 37075 Goettingen

    Tel: +49 (0) 551 39-5777
    Fax: +49 (0) 551 39-5699
    E-mail: patapia.zafeiriou[at]med.uni-goettingen.de

Brief Biography
Our research group investigates molecular mechanisms of cardiac arrhythmia development, with a special focus on cardiomyocytes and neurons organized in electrically excitable networks.

In the heart, an important transcription factor for normal cardiac conduction is T-box 5 (TBX5). In humans, TBX5 mutations cause Holt-Oram Syndrome (HOS), a rare autosomal congenital disease linked to abnormal cardiac electrophysiology and arrhythmias. By the use of an inducible animal model we unravel the molecular consequences of TBX5 loss in the adult heart and test its therapeutic potential in arrhythmia control. Findings in murine models are associated with patient data.

There is increasing evidence in support of the notion that the brain and autonomic nervous system affect arrhythmia development. The Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology has a long track record in cardiac muscle engineering. We recently advanced our focus towards defined brain organoid models to simulate human heart and brain interactions. As to brain engineering, we developed from human iPSC Bioengineered Neuronal Organoids (BENOs) with neuronal network function and plasticity. We hypothesize that a better understanding of heart and brain interaction, via tissue engineered models, will allow us to identify mechanisms underlying heart rate and rhythm control as well as arrhythmia development.

Available for research student supervision? Yes.


Ms. Franziska Rathjens
PhD Student

Main Building
Tel: +49 (0) 551 39-5779

Ms. Nina Rubik
MD Student

Main Building

Ms. Kea Schmoll
Masters Student

Main Building

Mr. Lennart Schneider
Masters Student

Main Building