Monthly Archives: February 2005

Gordon Research Conference: Day Four

The first notes I have for the day are from a talk by Alexy Zaitsev titled “Many Faces of Ventricular Fibrillation in the Ischemic Heart,” a title which he gradually worked up to from something much simpler, given what a complex issue it is.

I was very excited when he came to speak at Tulane last year, given that he does experimental work on ischemia, which I study via simulation. One interesting thing that he talked about was that he induced ischemia after ventricular fibrillation, and watched how it affected the fibrillation. He showed that [K+]O elevation results in organization of VF.

After Dr.Zaitsev, Alan Karma spoke about Nonlinear Dynamics of Reentry and Fibrillation. He covered mechanisms setting up a heterogeneous substrate.

That was the day that I put my poster up and subsequently defended it against quite the barrage of questions. It helped me to realize that I really needed to get on top of the material better.

Was it only four days? I thought it was longer. Anyway, that’s the last of the notes that I have. Oh right, I think we skipped a bit :). Also, for some things like molecular biology, I didn’t really take notes, as I was totally lost. I’m going to try to amend that by taking some molecular biology classes next academic year.


This is out of order, but I’m concentrating on other things. Here we are at Kalyra this afternoon. It was featured in the movie “Sideways.” From left to right: Blanca, me, Natalia, Molly

We bought a couple of bottles of Cabernet Sauvignon after tasting their selection. The Gewurtztraminer was amazing, we may go back and get some tomorrow!

Gordon Research Conference: Day 3

I don’t have notes for whether I ran on the third day of the conference or not. If memory serves me correctly, I did, and it was the last one. The morning sessions started off with a talk on calmodulin as a sensor for calcium regulation. I don’t have record handy of who the first speaker was. I got better at taking notes as the conference went on.

Next was a talk by Dr.Pogwizd, of whose papers I have read a couple. He talked about sodium/calcium exchange with regard to contractile dysfunction and arrhythmogenesis.

Then, Guy Salama talked about intracellular calcium as a trigger of arrhythmias, particularly with regard to LQT-3.

I don’t want to disclose details of the talks due to the nature of the conference and so on… I have a note here that I should compare Vm and Cai in regional ischemia when I see alternans. I was very interested in his talk, but at some point realized that it didn’t directly apply to my current work, as the experiments he covered involved global ischemia. This of course especially interested Blanca.

I spoke with Dr.Pogwizd at lunch following the morning session and he noted that I should check papers by M.R. Rosen for info on the QT interval for male vs. female animals. Apparently it’s often sexually dimorphic.

I don’t have any notes on what we did in the afternoon break. I think we may have gone to Kalyra that day. This is what I get for doing this post so late. The evening session was started off by Mario Delmar, who elaborated on regulation of connexin function by binding partner. I didn’t realize quite how complex the behavior of connexin was until this talk, not having had to investigate it in detail previously. He showed a really gorgeous image of a computer model of the connexin protein, found in Science (PubMed abstract/access) done by Unger VM, Kumar NM, Gilula NB, and Yeager M.

Next Andre Kl?bert covered the role of connexin proteins in cardiac impulse propagation, covering the different types of connexin and pointing out distinguishing characteristics thereof.

Finally for that session (at least as far as I took notes 0f) was Stephen Rohr, who covered the coupling of cardiac myocytes by firbroblasts of cardiac origin.He cited Camelliti 2004 (in both Circ Res and Cardiovasc Res) as well as Goldsmith et al 2004 in a dynamics journal… but I can’t read my writing very well. This talk generated several pages of discussion. Five pages, actually.

I’ll have to do the next GRC entry tomorrow, I’m tiring of this.

Gordon Research Conference: Day 2

I awoke without need of an alarm on the second day and went for a run at 6 am. It was dark and rainy when I started out, but the rain had stopped by the time I returned to the hotel. The Marriott was pretty close to town, and I found “The Hitching Post” as seen in the movie “Sideways” while I was out running. There’s also a note in my mournal about drinking a lot of wine the previous night. Wine was omnipresent at the conference.

The morning session focused on sodium channel dysfunction, including talks by Robert Kass, Jonathan Makielski, and Yoram Rudy. They, like several other talks at the GRC: CAM focused a little more on genetics than I’m used to, which at times became confusing. Interesting to note was that one of these talks discussed a situation in which a markovian model predicted behavior in an experiment. That says a lot in favor of computer simulations, I think.

We went to the Kalyra and Sanford wineries early that afternoon, both seen in the movie “Sideways.” I’m not one for being quite so touristy, but they did have good wine. See the previous entry for a pic from Kalyra.

At the poster session that afternoon, I discovered the wonderful Eagle Castle Zinfandel (2000), which many others agreed was very tasty. It also runs under $20. I may order some from the distributor (Wade’s Wines).

My journal from the evening session hints that between dinner, alcohol, and a long day, I was pretty tired by the time the evening session rolled around. I later took it easy on the wine and discovered that I continued to be tired at evening sessions even still. They were long, sometimes stressful days. The evening session was all about potassium channels, with talks by Jeanne Nerbonne (who later complimented my backpack), Louis J. Ptacek, and Anatoli Lopatin. I didn’t take too many notes from the most of that session. I think I kind of spaced out.

Gordon Research Conference: Day 1

This is a backdated post, intended as a summary of the first day of the Gordon Research Conference on Cardiac Arrhythmias


Travel was long, though rather uneventful. We arrived at the airport in New Orleans on time, had some trouble with checking in using the United machines, so we had to talk to someone at the counter. Aside from being rude, he also informed us that United is now charging $30/leg of trip to sit in an exit row. Not impressive, United. Anyway, we hopped an A320 to Denver, where we arrived at about 10:00 local time, or a little before. I think it was my first time on the ground in Colorado. It was warmer than I expected in February. After finding a bit to eat and some coffee, we boarded a commuter (CanadAir of some kind) for the 2.5 hour flight to Santa Barbara.

Pictures from the Denver Airport:

Art in Denver Art in Denver II Denver Airport

Once we arrived at Santa Barbara Airport (which is extremely small, by the way), we found our rental car and headed to downtown Santa Barbara just as it was beginning to rain. I pointed out a little indian place with a lunch buffet, where we proceeded to stuff ourselves. Then, to kill time until our free parking time was up, we walked up and down State St., where we found some coffee (I had Chai), Natalia and Molly looked at a variety of clothing stores (mostly through the window), and finally headed back to the car.

Pictures from downtown SB:

State Street 2 State Street 1

At the Conference

Once we made it to the hotel, I met my roommate. You see, they overbooked the conference and basically forced us to take roommates. Being the only guy on the trip, I was lined up for a single, while Molly and Blanca shared a room. I ended up with an interesting guy named David from Duke, who has a poster on mathematically modeling the restitution curve. He happened to know Lisa Fauci of the math department at Tulane, from whom I have recently taken a class in cardiac modeling.

Natalia and Molly were late (for a variety of reasons) to meet me in the lobby before the reception, so I had a seat. A woman who introduced herself as Jeannie (Genie?) from University of Wisconsin, Madison introduced herself and informed me that there was wine, but not really a crowd, downstairs. I went and got a glass of wine and we talked about our respective fields a bit. She’s a research scientist working on the genetics of protein channels, using immunohistochemistry and so on.

Had some good Santa Barbara wine, as did Molly:
Molly with Wine

and then proceeded to dinner. I was grilled by the guy I was sitting next to (Les Tung) about our implementation of regional ischemia, specifically IK(ATP) and admittedly was not as quick to produce an answer as I ought to have been.

After dinner we headed downstairs to the first session, where we met Ray from UCLA, who is doing some interesting work on computational modeling of Long Q-T syndrome. Talks were on the subject of sudden cardiac death, and general conference introduction.

It occurred to me during that session to write a script for my 2D study that determines which simulations contain reentries and which do not. It’s a neat idea, but I don’t know that I really have time in the overall plan to implement it. I wouldn’t get much out of it at this point, but in retrospect it would have been good. I don’t know that I would have been able to write this when I needed it.

Later, a backdated entry for the 21st.