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Research Group: Autoimmune Channelopathies (Group Leader: Prof. Dr. med. Jin Li)

Cardiac arrhythmias are the main contributors to cardiovascular morbidity and mortality worldwide. While structural heart disease and inherited cardiac conditions represent the major underlying cause, the etiology of heart rhythm disturbances in a considerable proportion of patients remain unexplained.

Contrary to past assumptions, increasing evidence indicates the involvement of autoantibodies in cardiac arrhythmias through cross-reaction with cardiac antigens. As cardiac ion channels are key regulators of each heartbeat, any perturbance of their function may disrupt normal cardiac electrophysiology. In this context, the primary goal of Prof. Li’s group is to establish autoantibody profiles of patients with different cardiac arrhythmias. Elucidating the pathomechanisms with state-of-the-art in vitro and in vivo models will help us understand this emerging field of antibody-mediated arrhythmia, holding promise for novel treatment approaches for patients.

Ongoing research lines

  • Establishing autoantibody profiles of patients with different cardiac arrhythmias
  • Unveiling and understanding the mechanism of action of autoantibody-induced arrhythmias with in vitro and in vivo models
  • Identifying autoantibodies as novel biomarkers and therapeutic targets

Research Team

Recruitment is ongoing

Funding

2022-26 SNSF Eccellenza Professorial Fellowship (PCEFP3_203333), P
2022-23 Fondation Institut Universitaire de Cardiologie et de Pneumologie de Québec (IUCPQ), Co-PI
2020 SNSF Spark (CRSK-3_190182), PI
2020 Swiss Heart Foundation (FF19110), Co-PI
2017-21 SNSF Ambizione (PZ00P3_173961), PI
2017-18 Fondation Gustave & Simone Prévot, PI
2017 Jubiläumsstiftung von SwissLife, PI
2012-13 Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, LI2376/1-1), PI