Advisory Board

Natalia Trayanova

John Hopkins Biomedical Engineering

Dr. Natalia Trayanova is the inaugural Murray B. Sachs Endowed Professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering and a professor in the Department of Medicine at Johns Hopkins University. She is also faculty of the Institute for Computational Medicine and director of the Computational Cardiology Laboratory. Trayanova is known for her groundbreaking work in computational cardiology, for which she received the NIH Director’s Pioneer Award in 2013. Also the inaugural William R. Brody Faculty Scholar at Johns Hopkins University, Trayanova is a Fellow of the International Academy of Medical and Biological Engineering, Heart Rhythm Society, American Heart Association, Biomedical Engineering Society, and the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering. The basic science research in Trayanova’s Computational Cardiology Laboratory focuses on understanding the pathological electrophysiological and electromechanical behavior of the heart, with emphasis on the mechanisms for cardiac arrhythmogenesis and pump dysfunction. Importantly, Trayanova’s work also has a strong translational component, which centers on improving the diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular disease. Using a personalized MRI-based simulation approach, Trayanova is developing new methods for the risk stratification of sudden cardiac death and improving the accuracy and success of atrial and ventricular ablation therapies. 

Rob Macleod


Rob MacLeod was trained in physics, electrical engineering, and physiology & biophysics and is a full professor of Bioengineering and Internal Medicine (Cardiology) at the University of Utah.  He is a co-founder and Associate Director of the Scientific Computing and Imaging (SCI) Institute and holds a similar position at the Nora Eccles Harrison Cardiovascular Research and Training Institute (CVRTI).  He also co-founded the Consortium for ECG Imaging.  He is Vice Chair and Director of the Undergraduate program in Biomedical Engineering.  His research interests include computational electrocardiography with special interest in simulating bioelectric fields, e.g., from cardiac defibrillation and neuromodulation, and exploring new approaches for electrocardiographic imaging (ECGI) He also uses experimental investigation and clinical approaches to improve management of atrial and ventricular and atrial arrhythmias and acute myocardial ischemia.  For his research, he uses a broad range of techniques including scientific computing, imaging, image and signal processing, and visualization and well as experimental approaches in cardiac electrophysiology.

Melece Hozini

Dr. Mélèze HOCINI, M.D is an associate professor at Bordeaux University Hospital, Department of Cardiac arrhythmias center in Bordeaux, France led by Michel Haissaguerre. She has more than 20 years of experience in catheter ablation procedures, including atrial fibrillation ablation and ablation of ventricular fibrillation (VF). Her research interests focus on the mechanisms of atrial rhythm disorders and their treatment, as well as mapping and treatment of ventricular fibrillation and evaluation of patients at risk of sudden cardiac death.

She has been strongly implicated in the development and evaluation of several innovative therapeutic strategies in atrial fibrillation. Some discoveries led to the development of a curative treatment recommended by international guidelines currently benefiting several hundreds of thousands of patients every year worldwide. She has also a keen interest in lethal ventricular arrhythmias, particularly ventricular fibrillation in different patient populations (IVF, J wave syndromes, ischemic VF, and VF in the setting of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy). She is currently leading the first large-scale study on the characterization of human VF dynamics in various patient populations to better understand VF mechanisms and to propose solutions to detect and prevent patients at risk of SCD.



Stanley Nattel

Montreal Heart Institute

The major focus of Nattel’s research career has been atrial fibrillation (AF). Using multiple approaches and innovative models, Nattel’s lab has shaped the current understanding of the molecular and ionic basis of AF. After systematically studying a wide range of ionic currents in human tissue, Nattel developed an ionically based mathematical model to reproduce a variety of observed action potential behaviors in human atrial myocytes. This provided insights into the mechanisms of clinically important action potential properties, integrating the existing experimental data and adding to that limited by the nonspecificity of available pharmacological probes.This model was subsequently used in 2- and 3-dimensional tissue models by the Nattel lab and many others to gain insights into AF mechanisms, determinants, and therapeutic responses. Using canine atrial and ventricular fibroblasts, Nattel’s lab assessed a variety of morphological, secretory, and proliferative responses and found that differences between the cell types contribute to atrium-selective fibrosis and also suggested that platelet-derived growth factor signaling and related pathways might be keys to novel therapeutic targets for the prevention of arrhythmogenic atrial structural remodeling. Nattel introduced the concept of atrial remodeling at the structural level, first investigating a dog model of congestive heart failure and discovering a key role of atrial interstitial fibrosis in promoting AF maintenance. Later, the lab showed that reversing congestive heart failure can normalize atrial function but does not reverse the fibrosis and conduction abnormalities promoting AF, supporting the central role of fibrosis in AF promotion


Gernot Plank

Medical University of Graz

Gernot Plank is Professor of Computational Cardiology at the Medical University of Graz, Austria. He received an M.Sc. Degree in Electrical Engineering in 1996 and a Ph.D. degree in Biomedical Engineering in 2000, both from the Technical University of Graz, Austria. He has been a Postdoctoral Fellow at Technical University of Valencia, Spain (2000–2002), at the University of Calgary, Canada (2003, supervised by Prof. Vigmond) and, as a Marie Curie Fellow, he held a Visiting Faculty position at the Johns Hopkins University, USA (2006–2008, supervisor: Prof. Trayanova). In 2008 he became Academic Fellow at the Oxford e-Research Centre and the Oxford Computing Laboratory at the University of Oxford, U.K before being appointed as Associate Professor in 2011, and a full Professor of Computational Cardiology at the Medical University of Graz. His research has been supported by grants from the Austrian Science Fund, NIH, Wellcome Trust, European FP7 and H2020 awards as well as by industry and resulted in more than 120 peer-reviewed journal publications. His basic research interests are focused on the development of computational methods for modeling total cardiac function and their application

Trudie Lobban

Hearth Rhythm Alliance

Trudie Lobban MBE, FRCP Edin, established STARS (Syncope Trust And Reflex anoxic Seizures) charity following the diagnosis of her daughter with RAS and at the request of her paediatric neurologist in 1993.  STARS has developed into an international non-profit organisation and Trudie is recognised worldwide as a patient expert on syncope and unexplained loss of consciousness. Trudie was instrumental in organising and campaigning to introduce new standards in the UK for arrhythmias and sudden cardiac death with the successful launch of an extra chapter in the National Service Framework on Coronary Heart Disease by the government and Department of Health in the UK in 2004/5.  Trudie went on to establish the Arrhythmia Alliance – The Heart Rhythm Charity®: working together to improve the diagnosis, treatment and quality of life for all those affected by arrhythmias. In 2007, due to the high demand for information and resources on atrial fibrillation, Trudie launched the AF Association

Trudie has provided a unique partnership between healthcare professionals, politicians, policy makers, patients and caregivers and allied professionals. Trudie was recognized for her Services to Healthcare when being made a Member of the British Empire (MBE) in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list in 2009.