VS: So I’m here interviewing Molly Maleckar of Tulane University. Molly, how many times have you attended NASPE or HRS conferences?
Molly: Well, actually, technically when it was still NASPE, I attended the first one a few years ago in Washington, DC, this is actually my third time at NASPE/HRS, my third conference.
VS: And would you please try to summarize what you work on in the lab?
Molly: Sure, I’m here presenting a study which is about determining the defibrillation threshold from the upper limit of vulnerability, defibrillation shocks, but my main work has to do with developing a model of infarction so we can study arrhythmogenesis in the post-infarcted heart.
VS: Okay, and what do you see as maybe the upcoming hot foci in the field right now?
Molly: I think that our lab really has a leg-up because disease models right now are really what’s happening. People are doing a lot of experimental work and have been for probably the last ten years in terms of ion channel kinetics and gross effects on the defibrillation efficacy of post-injury heart situations, but they’ve really — mechanistically there’s not a lot of insight, so I think our lab has really got it down. We’ve got ischemia 1a, 1b, the infarction, and I think that that’s really where it’s going.
VS: What about mechanical [mechano-electric] feedback?
Molly: Also extremely important, of course I didn’t think of that since I’m not working on it, but also Wendy in our lab does that — that’s the next step. The ideal would be to have a computational model of the human heart, post infarct, with a little bit of heart failure thrown in there [with mechano-electric feedback]. That’s probably fifteen years away, maybe ten, maybe less, but definitely those are also very important things to look at now.
VS: Alright, thank you Molly.
Molly: No problem.
Next, maybe tomorrow, I’ll post my interview with Martin Fink of UCSD.