Kathleen McDowell, a PhD student in the lab of Dr. Natalia Trayanova, was named the winner of the Jos Willems Young Investigator Competition at the International Society for Computerized Electrocardiology (ISCE) meeting in Birmingham, Alabama. At the conference, she presented her recent study, “Investigating the Arrhythmogenic Effects of Atrial Fibrosis in Patient-Specific Models.” The study uses a novel computational model of the human left atrium, constructed from MRI scans of an atrial fibrillation patient. The model incorporates realistic structural and electrophysiological heterogeneity, including accurate fibrotic lesion geometry obtained from late gadolinium enhancement MRI. This model was used to investigate the mechanisms which underlie the breakup of pulmonary vein ectopic waves in the fibrotic atrium.
The Jos Willems Young Investigators Competition, named in memory and honor of former ISCE member Jos Willems, is held at each ISCE conference in order to encourage young investigators to enter research careers in electrocardiology.