Gene Therapy for post-MI ventricular tachycardia

Cardiac ventricular arrhythmia is a heart rhythm disorder that can tragically result in sudden death. It is caused by abnormal electrical conduction in the heart’s main pumping chamber.

Patients who have experienced a heart attack are at an increased risk of sudden death because the damaged heart muscle alters electrical conduction, leading to abnormal rhythms.

My group's research has found that the certain genes alter conduction in laboratory models. By using gene based techniques targeting these molecules we can effectively treat ventricular arrhythmias. In ongoing work we are assessing the role of these genes in causing ventricular arrhythmia in a at Westmead Hospital; potentially identifying a new and much needed target for the prevention and treatment of sudden cardiac death. If these pre-clinical studies succeed the next step will be to trial this gene-based approach in cardiac patients at high risk of ventricular arrhythmia and sudden death.

Biological pacing for bradycardia by gene transfer

Adult and paediatric patients are affected by rhythm disorders that result in impaired cardiac impulse initiation or conduction. The resulting bradycardias can cause significant morbidity or mortality.

Our research group is collaborating with a group in the US to develop safe and long-term gene transfer approaches for the treatment of this group of disorders.