The group – University of Copenhagen

The group

The group is headed by associate professor Morten B. Thomsen

Morten has studied cardiac electrophysiology since 2001. Initially, he used a specific cardiac arrhythmia (complete heart block, or atrio-ventricular block) to induce cardiac hypertrophy during his PhD studies in the Netherlands. These hypertrophic hearts were more prone to another arrhythmia: torsades de pointes, and he studied how to predict onset of this arrhythmia. If you can predict it, you can prevent it. Prevention is better than treatment. In the case of torsades de pointes arrhythmias treatment could include defibrillation, i.e., administering a large electrical shock to the chest.

Later, at Columbia University in New York City, Morten studied how cardiac electrophysiology was altered by the presence of a single, small protein, called KChIP2. He found that this protein altered the calcium current in the heart cells and showed how a single protein can affect several different ion channels.

In 2009, Morten started at the University of Copenhagen as group leader within the Danish National Research Foundation Centre for Cardiac Arrhythmia. The centre expired in 2015 and he entered as faculty in the Department of Biomedical Sciences. Today, he studies how lifestyle and disease affect cardiac electrophysiology.

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