The Akar Laboratory within the Cardiovascular Research Center at the Icahn School of Medicine is dedicated to the investigation of arrhythmia mechanisms in structural heart disease at multiple levels of integration. We specialize in the development of novel imaging technologies using voltage, calcium, and sodium fluorescent probes for the investigation of cardiac excitability and arrhythmias. A major focus of our work is the investigation of abnormalities in action potential conduction and repolarization at the multi-cellular tissue network level using high-resolution optical mapping, and the elucidation of underlying mechanisms, using state-of-the-art cellular electrophysiological and molecular biological techniques. Specific areas of active research include mechanisms of mechano-electrical feedback, the electrophysiology of mechanical dysfunction during progression from compensated hypertrophy to end-stage heart failure in small and large animal models, the interaction of myocardial energetics and electrical function in post-ischemic remodeling and reperfusion related arrhythmias, the role of altered gene expression in transgenic mouse models or using gene transfer approaches on ion channel function, intracellular calcium handling, and arrhythmogenesis, and the development of realistic computational models of cardiac bioelectric properties.
Dr. Akar was recruited to the Cardiovascular Research Center from Johns Hopkins University where he was an Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Division of Cardiology. Dr. Akar's research is focused on optical mapping of ventricular arrhythmias and mitochondrial control of ionic changes.