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BME Seminar Series: Dr. Seth Weinberg, Virginia Commonwealth University

Assistant Professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering
Thursday, March 8, 2018, 10:00 am

105 Biomedical Research Tower

Abstract

"Between two cells: the critical role of intercellular sodium nanodomain signaling in cardiac tissue"

Conventional dogma states that electrical communication between cardiac cells is primarily governed by gap junctional proteins. In this talk, I will discuss our recent computational studies predicting the formation of sodium nanodomains in the intercellular space between cells, mediated by voltage-gated sodium (Nav) channels, and the role of these nanodomains in maintaining healthy and normal electrical activity in patients with disease-associated mutations. In particular, I will present simulations of electrical activity in long QT type 3 (LQT3) syndrome, a disorder associated with a gain-of-function mutation in Nav channels that can lead to arrhythmias and sudden cardiac death. LQT3 is often a concealed disease, for which patients do not display irregular electrical rhythms, despite having the arrhythmia-associated mutation. Our work presents a novel hypothesis that intercellular sodium nanodomain signaling can regulate the phenotypic appearance of arrhythmias in LQT3 patients and in potentially other cardiac diseases.

Bio:

Dr. Seth Weinberg is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Virginia Commonwealth University. He received a B.S.E. in Biomedical Engineering from Duke University in 2006 and a Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from the Johns Hopkins University in 2012.  From 2012 to 2014, Dr. Weinberg was the Biomathematics Initiative post-doctoral fellow at the College of William & Mary, and from 2014-2016, he was a Research Assistant Professor at the Virginia Modeling, Analysis, and Simulation Center (VMASC) at Old Dominion University.  His research is on the development of multiscale modeling of physiological systems, with a focus on cardiac electrophysiology, multi-cellular signaling, and mechanobiology. Dr. Weinberg is an author on over 30 peer-reviewed articles, review papers, and book chapters, and he is a PI on two recently awarded R01 grants from the National Institutes of Health.