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The Rappaport Institute looks forward to continuing to make substantial future contributions in biomedical research"

Professor Karl Skorecki

Optogenetics for the treatment of cardiac arrhythmias

Optogenetics approaches, utilizing light-sensitive proteins, have emerged as unique experimental paradigms to modulate neuronal excitability and have consequentially revolutionized neuroscience.

The group of Dr. Lior Gepstein is developing similar strategies to also control cardiac-tissue excitation by light and consequentially to design new therapeutic measures for different cardiac disorders. Specifically this group has demonstrated in vitro and in vivo the ability to pace cardiac tissue following activation of the light-sensitive depolarizing channel Channelrhodopsin-2 and to suppress cardiac tissue electrical activity following activation of hyperpolarizing light-sensitive proteins.

This technology is being explored to target specific cardiac disorders such as different cardiac bradyarrhythmias, tachyarrhythmias, and heart failure with mechanical dyssynchrony.

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