October 30, 2014
Rapid progress in virtual heart modeling shows great promise for improved outcomes
Dr. Natalia Trayanova creates computer-generated virtual heart models to simulate individual patients’ hearts in order to help cardiologists carry out life-saving treatments.Read on
October 29, 2014
Cardiac modeling by Trayanova lab featured in IEEE Spectrum
In a recent article featured in IEEE Spectrum, Dr. Natalia Trayanova, Murray B. Sachs Professor of Biomedical Engineering and ICM core faculty member, describes recent progress by her lab in the creation of custom virtual heart models for individual cardiac patients. These advances may fundamentally change the clinical approach to treating life-threatening heart conditions.
Dr. Trayanova and her colleagues are currently testing whether personalized heart models will serve as better predictors of a cardiac patient’s risk of developing a life-threatening arrhythmia. Such information will provide physicians with a noninvasive means to help determine whether implantation of a defibrillator is warranted. Implantation is the current standard treatment when a patient’s proportion of blood pumped out of the heart with each beat falls below 35 percent. However, follow-up studies indicate that only 5 percent of defibrillators implanted in such patients will provide a life-saving shock in the first year after the procedure. The virtual heart model is also expected to improve treatment of ventricular tachycardia by ablation, as the individualized simulations will provide cardiologists the ability to improve upon and narrow their target in such procedures. Dr. Trayanova and her lab expect that advances in computer-simulated heart models will “change the paradigm” of treatment and outcomes for heart patients of all ages.
To view the full story, click here
July 23, 2014
Dr. Natalia Trayanova gives keynote lecture at 2014 SIAM Annual Meeting
Natalia A. Trayanova, Murray B. Sachs Professor of Biomedical Engineering and the Institute for Computational Medicine, presented a keynote lecture at the 2014 SIAM Annual Conference of the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics. The conference was held July 7-11 in Chicago, Illinois. Natalia's presentation entitled “Virtual Electrophysiology Laboratory” was scheduled for Thurs, July 10.
Click here to view more information about the SIAM conference.
To view the abstract from Dr. Trayanova's presentation, click here.
May 23, 2014
Medical Device Daily Features Research by Dr. Natalia Trayanova
Research by Dr. Natalia Trayanova, Murray B. Sachs Professor of Biomedical Engineering and member of the Institute for Computational Medicine, was featured in the May 12 edition of Medical Device Daily. The story by Mark McCarty highlights her presentation at this year’s Heart Rhythm Society. From the story: "[Dr. Trayanova] remarked at the HRS session that the MRI effort in her lab is aimed at development of a multi-scale modeling platform, one possible use of which is to map out the optimal targets for ablation for ventricular tachycardia with a degree of precision she suggested is not currently available in clinical practice."
For more information about Dr. Trayanova’s presentation and for a link to the article, click here.
April 29, 2014
Trayanova Lab in NIH Video Contest
As part of the 10-Year Commemoration of the NIH Roadmap/Common Fund, the Trayanova lab is currently competing in an NIH-sponsored Video Competition. Recipients of funds from the NIH Common Fund (Natalia’s Pioneer Award) have been invited to make a video to explain their work in accessible but entertaining ways, and to promote what they do.
Their video is now live on the NIH Common Fund Website.
April 28, 2014
Eranga Ukwatta named BME Centennial Postdoctoral Fellow
Eranga Ukwatta of the Institute for Computational Medicine has been awarded the Johns Hopkins University Biomedical Engineering Centennial Postdoctoral Fellowship. The BME Fellowship is intended for rising stars who are recent or soon-to-be PhD graduates with a record of achievement, a strong desire for scientific discovery, and aspirations for societal impact.
Eranga joined the team of ICM core faculty members Natalia Trayanova and Fijoy Vadakkumpadan in late 2013. He is working to develop clinically applicable image processing methodologies for the generation of computational models of the heart, particularly in patients with structural disease, such as myocardial infarction. His research will address challenges such as segmentation of cardiac and torso images, and interpolation of infarct geometry.
April 16, 2014
Kelly Chang, a PhD student in Dr. Natalia Trayanova's lab, has been awarded the Johns Hopkins University's 2014–2015 ARCS Foundation Scholarship. The graduate award of $15,000 may be used for education-related expenses. As part of the award, Kelly is invited to present her research at the ARCS Awards Reception later this year.
September 30, 2013
Natalia Trayanova, PhD, Murray B. Sachs Professor, is awarded the 2013 NIH Director’s Pioneer Award
Dr. Natalia Trayanova, Murray B. Sachs Professor of Biomedical Engineering and member of the Institute for Computational Medicine, has been awarded the prestigious 2013 NIH Director’s Pioneer Award.
The award will fund Natalia’s concept for a “virtual electrophysiology lab”: a patient-specific heart simulator that accurately represents electrophysiological and electromechanical cardiac functions and interactions. It will allow physicians to develop individualized treatment plans for patients with heart rhythm or pump disorders and to assess each patient’s risk of developing arrhythmia. Use of the patient’s own MRI scans as an input will ensure personalization of the heart model. Natalia’s innovative, non-invasive approach is expected to result in improved patient care as well as reduced treatment costs.
September 19, 2013
Drs. Natalia Trayanova and Patrick Boyle to appear on "Maryland Morning" Monday, 9/23
The Institute for Computational Medicine’s Dr. Natalia Trayanova, Murray B. Sachs Professor of Biomedical Engineering, and Dr. Patrick Boyle, Postdoctoral Fellow, will be interviewed during the Monday, September 23rd episode of Maryland Morning with Sheilah Kast on WYPR, 88.1 FM. The interview will focus on research by the Trayanova lab published in the August 28 issue of Nature Communications, entitled, "A comprehensive multiscale framework for simulating optogenetics in the heart".
An audio segment is posted along with a write-up on the Maryland Morning Website
September 17, 2013
Kelly Chang to be first recipient of David C. Gakenheimer Fellowship award
Kelly Chang, a Graduate Student in the lab of Dr. Natalia Trayanova, Murray B. Sachs Professor of Biomedical Engineering and member of the Institute for Computational Medicine, has been selected as the first recipient of the Institute for Computational Medicine’s David C. Gakenheimer Fellowship, for the 2013-2014 academic year.
Dr. Gakenheimer, who holds a bachelor’s degree in engineering mechanics from Johns Hopkins University, generously funded this fellowship to provide support to a student conducting heart research in developing and advancing diagnostic methods such as detection, classification and treatment of rhythm disorders.
Congratulations to Kelly and good luck with your research!
August 28, 2013
Research from Dr. Trayanova's lab published in Nature Communications and featured on JHU News site
Dr. Natalia Trayanova, Murray B. Sachs Professor of Biomedical Engineering and member of the Institute for Computational Medicine was featured in a recent news release on the Johns Hopkins University News website. The article, entitled “Researchers Aim to Use Light—Not Electric Jolts—to Restore Healthy Heartbeats” was released on August 28 along with publication of the research in Nature Communications.
"In a paper published today in the online journal Nature Communications, five biomedical engineers from Johns Hopkins and Stony Brook universities described their plan to use biological lab data and an intricate computer model to devise a better way to heal ailing hearts. Other scientists are already using light-sensitive cells to control certain activities in the brain. The Johns Hopkins-Stony Brook researchers say they plan to give this technique a cardiac twist so that doctors in the near future will be able to use low-energy light to solve serious heart problems such as arrhythmia."
To read the full story, click here.
August 22, 2013
Dr. Natalia Trayanova's Research Featured in Johns Hopkins Children's Center News
Dr. Natalia Trayanova, Murray B. Sachs Professor of Biomedical Engineering and member of the Institute for Computational Medicine was featured in a recent news release on the Johns Hopkins Children's Center website. The article, entitled “‘Virtual Heart’ Precision-Guides Defibrillator Placement in Children with Heart Disease” describes the Trayanova lab's groundbreaking research in pediatric cardiology. The lab seeks to remove the guesswork from the process of placing defibrillators on children born with heart defects through the use of 3-D virtual heart models.https://www.hopkinschildrens.org/newsDetail.aspx?id=12488
The full story can be read on the hopkinschildrens.org website.
This story has also been featured in: Johns Hopkins Medicine News.
August 19, 2013
Hermenegild Arevalo as finalist for Young Investigator Competition at ICE 2013
Hermenegild Arevalo, a PhD student in the lab of Dr. Natalia Trayanova, was chosen as one of the finalists in the Young Investigator Competition at the 2013 International Congress on Electrocardiology held in Glasgow, Scotland from August 7-10. This honor is an amazing achievement for Hermenegild, who was competing against applicants from all over the world.
At the conference, Hermenegild presented his recent study, "Patient-Specific MRI-Based Models of Infarcted Hearts Can Predict Risk of Sudden Cardiac Death". For more information on the meeting, visit the ICE 2013 website here.
July 22, 2013
Dr. Natalia Trayanova's Research Featured in SIAM Connect News Site
Dr. Natalia Trayanova, Murray B. Sachs Professor of Biomedical Engineering and member of the Institute for Computational Medicine was featured in "SIAM Connect", The Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics' news site. The article, The beat goes on: Modeling the human heart is under the rubric "Explaining Applied Math Research", and is based on the keynote address Dr. Trayanova delivered at the Annual AiAM meeting in Boston earlier this year. A brief video overview of her talk and an interview with Dr. Trayanova conducted after her keynote lecture can be found here.
July 10, 2013
Dr. Natalia Trayanova Featured in Johns Hopkins Engineering Magazine
Dr. Natalia Trayanova, Murray B. Sachs Professor of Biomedical Engineering and the Institute for Computational Medicine, is featured in the summer 2013 edition of The Johns Hopkins Whiting School's Engineering Magazine. “She's Got the Beat” focuses on research in Dr. Trayanova's lab to unravel complexities in the nonlinear landscape which lead to heart disease.
As stated in the article, “From the outset, Trayanova’s lab has been focused on modeling strategies that examine the basic mechanisms of heart disease and shed light on what’s going on and why in an ailing heart. But Trayanova has always had her sights set on the step beyond that as well—delivering clinical innovations. That’s an area where her team is now making exciting progress.”
To read the entire article at the Johns Hopkins summer 2013 Engineering Magazine, click here
July 6, 2013
Dr. Natalia Trayanova gives keynote lecture at IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society
Natalia A. Trayanova, Murray B. Sachs Professor of Biomedical Engineering and the Institute for Computational Medicine, presented a keynote lecture at the 35th Annual Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society. The conference was held on July 3-7 in Osaka, Japan. Natalia's presentation entitled “Modeling Heart Function and Dysfunction” was scheduled for theme 5 in the keynote speaker series.Click here to view more information about the conference.
To view a pdf abstract of Dr. Trayanova's presentation, click here.
June 16, 2013
Dr. Natalia Trayanova's Research Featured in Hopkins Medicine News
Dr. Natalia Trayanova of the Institute for Computational Medicine was recently featured in the Johns Hopkins Medicine ‘Dome’ Newsletter for her contributions to cardiology research. The article, entitled “Mapping the Heart”, discusses her work towards creating “a model of the heart that would work like Google Maps” through the study of its electrical and mechanical functions.
“Our goal is to learn as much as possible through these noninvasive tests that we are developing,” Trayanova says. “The more we know about heart function at both the theoretical level and the patient-specific level, the more we can improve the current therapies for patients suffering from heart disease.”
Click Here to read the entire article at hopkinsmedicine.org
March 21, 2013
Dr. Natalia Trayanova’s recent application to NHLBI recommended for funding with percentile of 1%
Dr. Natalia Trayanova’s recent application to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, “Predicting the Optimal Ablation Targets for Infarct-related Ventricular Tachycardia” has been recommended for funding with the remarkable percentile of 1%. This caps a string of achievements in the past year for Dr. Trayanova, the Murray B. Sachs Professor of Biomedical Engineering and the Institute for Computational Medicine, who in February gave the Keynote Address for the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics Conference on Computational Science and Engineering, in Boston.
February 22, 2013
Kathleen McDowell, JHU Biomedical Engineering graduate student in the School of Medicine, placed first in the student poster competition at the Gordon Research Conference (“GRC”) on Cardiac Arrhythmia Mechanisms. The conference was held in Ventura, CA in February 2013 and focused on integrating basic and translational science with clinically relevant topics.
December 5, 2012
Tom O'Hara's application for NIH-F32 Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award for Individual Postdoctoral Fellows entitled "Molecular Mechanisms of Arrhythmogenesis in Human Heart Failure" received a perfect score of 10.0 in review, and will likely be funded for up to 3 years.
December 5, 2012
Dr. Fijoy Vadakkumpadan, a research faculty and member of Dr. Natalia Trayanova's team, has been awarded the American Heart Association National Scientist Development Grant. This grant supports highly promising beginning scientists in their progress toward independence by encouraging and adequately funding research projects that can bridge the gap between completion of research training and readiness for successful competition as an independent investigator. The award provides $77,000 per year for four years.
November 1, 2012
In order to reach out to physicians and medical researchers who are unfamiliar with the field of computational medicine, a review article titled, Computational Medicine: Translating Models to Clinical Care
was published in Science Translational Medicine
. Dr. Natalia Trayanova, a coauthor of the article, describes how computational models of electrical activity in the heart are on their way to being used to guide doctors in diagnosing and preventing sudden cardiac death. Details are available in the article posted in JHU News and Information.
October 31, 2012
Dr. Natalia Trayanova gives a plenary talk at Cardiac Physiome Workshop in San Diego, Oct 31-Nov 2. The focus of the meeting is to combine experimental and modelling research focused on understanding cardiac physiology across scales of biological organization from molecule to organ system.
July 26, 2012
Jason Constantino has been named a 2013 Siebel Scholar. Students are nominated for the Siebel Scholarship on the basis of academic and research excellence and leadership activity during their graduate school career and awarded to 85 graduate students from the world’s top graduate schools. The scholarship itself is $35000 to supplement the student's stipend in his/her final year or graduate school, and scholars become part of the Siebel Scholars community, which involves attending annual conferences and events.
"The Siebel Foundation
has been recognizing students from the top graduate programs in Business, Computer Science and Bioengineering programs since 2000. The goal of the Siebel Scholarship program is to bring together talented students from these disciplines to work with the Foundation to find solutions to important problems faced by society."
July 5, 2012
Dr. Natalia Trayanova of the Institute for Computational Medicine is currently featured on Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Systems Biology & Medicine's list of the top ten Articles. The list is a collection of the top cited publications published by the journal.
June 4, 2012
Kathleen McDowell, a PhD student in the lab of Dr. Natalia Trayanova, has been awarded an American Heart Association Predoctoral Fellowship, which provides funding for 2 years of research.
May 1, 2012
Natalia A. Trayanova, Professor of Biomedical Engineering and the Institute for Computational Medicine, recently presented the keynote lecture at the 3rd International Conference on Engineering Frontiers in Pediatric and Congenital Heart Disease. The conference was held at the Stanford University Cardiovascular Institute in Stanford, CA.
April 25, 2012
Kathleen McDowell, a PhD student in the Dr. Natalia Trayanova's lab, was the winner of the Jos Willems Young Investigator Competition at the 2012 International Society for Computerized Electrocardiology (ISCE) meeting, in Birmingham, Alabama. Kathleen presented her recenty study, "Investigating the Arrhythmogenic Effects of Atrial Fibrosis in Patient-Specific Models". The study uses a novel computational model of the human left atrium, constructed from MRI scans of an atrial fibrillation patient. The model incorporates realistic structural and electrophysiological heterogeneity, including accurate fibrotic lesion geometry obtained from late gadolinium enhancement MRI. This model was used to investigate the mechanisms which underlie the breakup of pulmonary vein ectopic waves in the fibrotic atrium.
Brent Millare, a second-year BME PhD student in Dr. Natalia Trayanova's lab, has been awarded National Research Service Award (NRSA) from NHLBI. The award will support his project "Metabolic/Electrophysiological Model of the Heart under Ischemia/Reperfusion", which aims to address the ways in which coupling between metabolic and electrophysiological processes in the whole heart contribute to the risk of arrhythmia under ischemia and reperfusion. The fellowship provides three years of support for research training.
February 13, 2011
Jason Constantino placed third in the young investigators poster competition (translational category) at the Gordon Research Conference on Cardiac Arrhythmia Mechanisms, which was held on February 13-19 at Galveston, Texas. His poster was entitled, "Systems Biology Approach to Cardiac Electromechanics: Impaired Calcium Kinetics and Remodeled Ventricular Structure Prolong the Electromechanical Delay in Dyssynchronous Heart Failure."
Jason Bayer, a PhD student in Dr. Trayanova's lab, has been awarded an American Heart Association predoctoral fellowship. Jason's research is part of an ongoing collaborative study with Dr. Sanjiv Narayan at the University of California, San Diego, that focuses on elucidating the underlying mechanisms of T-wave alternans in human heart failure. More specifically, he will be utilizing a combined clinical and computational modeling approach to investigate the role of cellular alternans in T-wave alternans that precede lethal ventricular arrhythmias. The overall goal of the research is to optimize T-wave alternans testing and risk stratification of arrhythmia vulnerability in patients to improve the success and economics of arrhythmia prevention. The duration of the award is from July 1, 2010 to June 30, 2012.
Jason Bayer has been selected as a finalist in the Young Investigator Competition at the International Congress of Electrocardiology in Lund, Sweden, June 2010. The title of his talk will be "Spacially discordant alternans in action potential voltage underlie T-wave alternans in human heart failure."
Two of Dr. Trayanova's students have been awarded
National Research Service Awards (NRSA) from NHLBI worth five years of research training support.
- Hermenegild Arevalo won the award to support his project "Image-based models that predict arrhythmia morphology in post-infarction hearts." The goal of the project is to examine the ventricular tachycardia reentrant pattern in the infarcted heart and its dependence on the morphology of the infarct scar.
- Jason Constantino's research project, "Image-based models of electromechanics in normal and failing hearts," aims to characterize the relation between electrical activation and mechanical contraction in normal and failing hearts under different loading conditions. The new insights gained from this project are expected to ultimately lead to rational optimization of cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) delivery and improvement in selection criteria for identifying viable CRT candidates.
Dr. Natalia Trayanova has been selected as a Fellow of the American Heart Association. The most distinguished level of the society, Fellow status recognizes members who have realized major professional achievement and leadership within the American Heart Association.
Dr. Natalia Trayanova was named the William R. Brody Faculty Scholar for her groundbreaking work in the development of computational tools and simulations that advance understanding and improve the treatment of cardiac rhythm disorders. Faculty Scholars are named for a three-year term and provide exceptional faculty with flexible financial support to promote their research, teaching activities, and entrepreneurial thinking.
Lukas Rantner received the prestigious DOC fellowship award from the Austrian Academy of Sciences. This is a 2-year fellowship awarded to "highly qualified doctoral students, irrespective of their research area. This highly competitive fellowship is awarded based on international peer review of the applicant's detailed research proposal."
Dr. Natalia Trayanova, of the Institute for Computational Medicine and Professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering, was just selected as a Fellow of the Heart Rhythm Society
. The most distinguished level of the society, Fellow status recognizes members who have realized significant professional achievement, provided exceptional service, and are prominent in the field of cardiac arrhythmia research and treatment. Natalia will be honored at the society's annual meeting, in mid-May. More information about the Heart Rhythm Society can be found
On the second anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, Fox News 45, a local tv station, interviewed Dr. Trayanova and her students about the disruption Katrina caused both in their academic work and their personal lives and how the professor and her students moved to a new "home" at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. This was featured on their News at 10 broadcast and can be viewed
Dr. Viatcheslav Gurev, a post-doctoral fellow in Dr. Trayanova's Computational Cardiac Electrophysiology Lab, has been awarded a post- doctoral fellowship from the American Heart Association for the project "Defibrillation mechanisms in ventricular dilatation: the role of active deformation". The duration of the fellowship is 2 years, commencing on August 1, 2007.
The competitive renewal of the research grant entitled "Virtual Electrode Hypothesis for Defibrillation" was awarded by the National Institutes of Health to Dr. Efimov (PI) from Washington University at St. Louis and Dr. Trayanova (co-PI). Funding for the project commenced in May 2007. Project duration is 4 years.
Dr. Trayanova was awarded a new NIH research grant entitled "Defibrillation Mechanisms in Infarcted Hearts". The award is for 4 years, and the total award is $2,130,611.
In October 2006 Dr. Trayanova was awarded a new NSF grant entitled "Shock-Induced Arrhythmogenesis in Regional Myocardial Ischemia". The award is of 3 year duration.
The Computational Cardiac Electrophysiology Laboratory relocated to Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Trayanova became a Professor at the Department of Biomedical Engineering and the Institute for Computational Medicine.
Brock Tice, a graduate student in Dr. Trayanova's Computational Cardiac Electrophysiology Lab, has been awarded a pre-doctoral fellowship from the American Heart Association for the project "Investigation into the mechanisms of defibrillation failure using high-resolution models of cadiac tissue". The duration of the fellowship is 2 years, commencing on July 1, 2006.
"Tulane Researchers Know Secrets of the Heart" (an article in the Tulane New Wave about Dr. Trayanova and the research in her lab)
Two of Dr. Trayanova's graduate students won Tulane research awards at the end of this academic year:
- Molly Maleckar, Outstanding Graduate Student Award, Tulane School of Engineering
- Brock Tice, Outstanding Research Graduate Student Award, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Tulane University
Due to Hurricane Katrina, during October through December 2005 the Cardiac Computational Electrophysiology Laboratory temporarily relocated to the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Washington University in St. Louis.
The competitive renewal of the research grant entitled "Cardiac Tissue Structure in the Defibrillation Process" was awarded by the National Institutes of Health to Dr. Trayanova (PI). Funding for the project has commenced as of September 2005.
Dr. Trayanova received the Tulane University Award for Excellence in Research and Scholarship.
At the Senior Awards Banquet of the Tulane School of Engineering, two graduate students from Dr. Trayanova's lab received awards for excellence in research and scholarship: Weihui Li, recipient of the Tulane School of Engineering Graduate Student Award, and Hermenegild Arevalo, recipient of the Van Buskirk Award.
Dr. Trayanova and her students attended the Gordon Conference on Cardiac Arrhythmia Mechanisms in St. Ivez Valley, CA. At The Conference, Dr. Trayanova was elected as the Vice Chair of the 2007 and the Chair of the 2009 Gordon Conference.
PhD student Mary Molly Maleckar won the Award for Best Poster Presentation in the Tissue/Organ Category at the 2005 Gordon Research Conference.
Dr. Trayanova was appointed to the Editorial Board of the journal Heart Rhythm.
December 13, 2004
The Bulgarian daily newspaper "Trud" published an article about Dr. Natalia Trayanova and her research.
October 1, 2004
Dr. Trayanova meets the Nobel Laureate Sir Andrew Huxley in Oxford.
July 25, 2004
Dr. Natalia Trayanova and her research team were profiled on Bulgarian TV. The series, of which the show was part, is entitled "The Other Bulgaria". It is one of the highest-rated shows on Bulgarian TV. For information regarding the show (in Bulgarian)
Dr. Blanca Rodriquez, post-doctoral fellow in Dr. Trayanova's lab, won the Young Investigator Award in Basic Science at the Heart Rhythm Society meeting held in San Francisco, May 2004.
The research grant entitled "The Role of Electroporation in Defibrillation" was awarded by the National Institutes of Health to Dr. Igor Efimov (PI) and Dr. Trayanova (co-PI). Funding for the project will commence in October 2004.