Dr. Chen’s laboratory is part of the Krannert Institute of Cardiology, Division of Cardiology, Department of Medicine of the Indiana University School of Medicine. The primary interest of our laboratory is to advance the science related to cardiac arrhythmias; however, members of our laboratory also collaborate widely within the Institute and provide basic science support to various basic science and clinical research programs.
The Krannert Institute of Cardiology was founded in 1963 through the generous support of Mr. and Mrs. Herman Krannert. The funds they donated have been used by Drs. Charles Fisch, Douglas Zipes and all previous and present members of the division to establish an outstanding cardiovascular research program. One of the founding faculty members of the Institute, Dr. Suzanne Knoebel, left her estate to provide further research support of the investigators at Krannert Institute of Cardiology. The research laboratories at Krannert are currently staffed by researchers with broad interests in cardiovascular diseases. In addition to the traditional strength in echocardiography and electrophysiology research, Krannert Institute of Cardiology has recently developed research programs in cardiovascular genetics. The research laboratories also receive funding from the National Institutes of Health/National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, the American Heart Association and multiple other extramural funding agencies.
Area of interests:
Our research laboratory is interested in studying the mechanisms of ventricular fibrillation, ventricular defibrillation and atrial fibrillation. One area of research focuses on the relationship between autonomic nerve activity and cardiac arrhythmia. Our recent work focuses on translating what we found in the animal laboratory to human patients. For example, we have developed methods to record skin sympathetic nerve activities in humans and use the results to non-invasively estimate cardiac sympathetic tone. Our laboratory is also interested in studying the mechanisms of ventricular fibrillation. Our recent efforts focus on an ionic channel called small conductance calcium activated K (SK) channels. We found that SK channels are important sources of repolarization currents in both normal and diseased ventricles. Better understanding of this ionic channel may improve our understanding of ventricular fibrillation and other life threatening ventricular arrhythmias. Our other recent research interests include the mechanisms by which genetic variations can cause cardiac arrhythmia.