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Fadi Akar

  • ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR Medicine, Cardiology
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Education

  • BS, Pennsylvania State University
    Electrical Engineering

  • MS, Case Western Reserve University
    Biomedical Engineering

  • PhD, Case Western Reserve University
    Biomedical Engineering

  • Postdoc, Johns Hopkins University
    Molecular Cardiology and Electrophysiology

Biography

    Fadi G. Akar, Ph.D. received his doctoral degree in 2002 in Biomedical Engineering from Case Western Reserve University. Dr. Akar was then a postdoctoral fellow, a research associate and an assistant professor of medicine in the Division of Cardiology at Johns Hopkins University from 2002 to 2007. Dr. Akar joined the Cardiovascular Research Center at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in 2007, where he established his cellular electrophysiology and arrhythmia laboratory.

    Read more about the Akar Laboratory here.

Research

Summary of Research Studies:

Dr. Akar directs a translational arrhythmia research laboratory at Mount Sinai. Our work is aimed at uncovering mechanisms underlying sudden cardiac death across a variety of clinically relevant structural heart diseases. We specialize in developing integrative tools that allow us to undertake a systems biology approach to the investigation of arrhythmia mechanisms and to test novel treatment strategies.

The Akar Laboratory specializes in the use of integrative methodologies for the investigation of arrhythmia mechanisms in the heart. This involves developing novel imaging technologies, including voltage, calcium, and sodium fluorescent techniques for the assessment of electrical heterogeneities across the heart. A major focus of my work is the investigation of abnormalities in impulse formation, conduction, and repolarization using high-resolution optical mapping, and the elucidation of underlying cellular and molecular mechanisms, using state-of-the-art electrophysiological and molecular biological techniques. Specific areas of active research include mechanisms of mechano-electrical feedback, the electrophysiology of mechanical dyssynchrony and resynchronization therapy in canine and porcine models of heart failure, the interaction of myocardial energetics and electrical function in post-ischemic remodeling and reperfusion related arrhythmias, and the role of altered gene exp! ression and targeted gene delivery on ion channel function and arrhythmogenesis in cardiovascular diseases.

Cardiac Bioelectricity Research Laboratory
Fadi G. Akar, PhD - Principal Investigator

Current Members:
Chaoqin Xie, MD, PhD
Jun Hu, PhD
Justin Kauffman, BS
Nora Biary, BS
Parash Pokharel, MD
Sarah Rooney, BS


Past Members:

Craig Feibusch - Graduate student
Christopher Ovanez - Graduate student
R. Daniel Nass - Post-doctoral fellow
Hongwei Jin - Post-doctoral fellow
Alexander Lyon - Post-doctoral fellow

Dongzhu Jin, MD, PhD

Active Grants / Funding:

  • NIH/NHLBI 1R01-HL091923 (Akar PI)
  • NIH/NHLBI 1R21-HL097108 (Akar PI)
  • AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION 0830126N (Akar PI)
  • HIRSCHL & WEILL-CAULIER TRUSTS (Akar PI)
  • NIH/NHLBI 1R01-HL107376 (Zhao PI, Akar Co-I)
  • Ongoing Projects:

    • Electrophysiological remodeling underlying arrhythmias during the transition from compensated hypertrophy to end stage heart failure
    • Integrative investigation of mitochondrial dysfunction and its role in arrhythmogenesis
    • Modulation of conduction and arrhythmias by metabolic processes
    • Modulation of Cardiac Contractility and Calcium Handling by Accessory Potassium Channel Subunits
    • Gene transfer of calcium handling proteins for reversing pathological electrical remodeling in heart failure
    • Small Molecules Targeting Serca2a - Phospholamban Interactions for Treating Mechano-electrical Dysfunction in Heart Failure

    Publications

    Akar FG, Clancy CE. Arrhythmia models: in vivo, in vitro and in silico. Drug discovery today. Disease models 2009; 6(3).

    Hajjar RJ, Akar FG. Regression of cardiac hypertrophy by cyclic guanosine monophosphate-dependent protein kinase signaling are myocytes active sources or mere beneficiaries?. Journal of the American College of Cardiology 2010 Dec; 56(24).

    Lyon AR, Joudrey PJ, Jin D, Nass RD, Aon MA, O'Rourke B, Akar FG. Optical imaging of mitochondrial function uncovers actively propagating waves of mitochondrial membrane potential collapse across intact heart. Journal of molecular and cellular cardiology 2010 Oct; 49(4).

    Akar FG. Use-dependent modulation of myocardial conduction by a new class of HERG agonists: deal breaker or cherry on top?. Journal of cardiovascular electrophysiology 2010 Aug; 21(8).

    Salama G, Akar FG. Deciphering Arrhythmia Mechanisms - Tools of the Trade.. Card Electrophysiol Clin. 2011 March; 3(1): 11-21.

    Xie C, Akar FG. Mitochondrial dysfunction: a new frontier in the search for elusive arrhythmia mechanisms. . Front Physiol. 2010 December;(1): 163.

    Biary N, Akar FG. A brighter side of ROS revealed by selective activation of {beta}-adrenergic receptor subtypes. . J Physiol 2010 August ;: 2973-4.

    Jin H, Nass RD, Joudrey PJ, Lyon AR, Chemaly ER, Rapti K, Akar FG. Altered spatio-temporal dynamics of the mitochondrial membrane potential in the hypertrophied heart.. Biophys 2010 May; 98(10): 2063-71.

    Akar FG. Left ventricular repolarization heterogeneity as an arrhythmic substrate in heart failure.. Miverva Cardioangiol. 2010 April; 58(2): 205-12.

    Ultrastructure and regulation of lateralized Connexin43 in the failing heart.. Circ Res 2010 April; 106(6): 1153-63.

    Industry Relationships

    Physicians and scientists on the faculty of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai often interact with pharmaceutical, device and biotechnology companies to improve patient care, develop new therapies and achieve scientific breakthroughs. In order to promote an ethical and transparent environment for conducting research, providing clinical care and teaching, Mount Sinai requires that salaried faculty inform the School of their relationships with such companies.

    Below are financial relationships with industry reported by Dr. Akar during 2013 and/or 2014. Please note that this information may differ from information posted on corporate sites due to timing or classification differences.

    Consulting:

    • Celladon Corporation

    Mount Sinai's faculty policies relating to faculty collaboration with industry are posted on our website at http://icahn.mssm.edu/about-us/services-and-resources/faculty-resources/handbooks-and-policies/faculty-handbook. Patients may wish to ask their physician about the activities they perform for companies.

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    Tel: 212-241-9251
    Fax: 212-241-4080

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