Studying skin cells in ARVC to understand heart rhythm disturbances

Unravelling the molecular and mechanistic complexity of ARVC via the skin

David Kelsell (lead researcher)

Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry

Start date: 01 August 2014 (Duration 5 years)

Arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy (ARVC) is an inherited disorder of heart muscle that can cause dangerous abnormal heart rhythms, heart failure and even sudden death. There is an urgent need to understand the causes and processes behind this disease to help develop new methods of prevention and treatment.

Professor David Kelsell from Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry is leading a collaborative 5-year project involving the best researchers and clinicians in the field of ARVC. He has been awarded over £1 million from BHF to study the potential genetic errors (called mutations) in people with AVRC that lead to sudden cardiac death.

The researchers are using a new investigative approach. Some people with ARVC also have skin abnormalities and so Professor Kelsell will be looking at the molecular features of affected skin cells to try to find clues about the abnormalities in these cells that could also affect heart cells. The team will reprogram skin cells into heart cells to carry out studies on the ‘lab manufactured’ heart cells. They will additionally study mice with ARVC. The results from this study will give new insights into ARVC and provide the basis for developing patient management strategies and treatments.

Project details

Grant amount £1,043,917
Grant type Programme Grant
Start Date 01 August 2014
Duration 5 years
Reference RG/13/19/30568
Status In progress

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