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Exploring the amazing heart: devil in detail, heaven in integration: Professor Peter Kohl

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Scientifically viewed, the heart is a chemically powered, electrically controlled, mechanical pump, but the way in which it performs is nothing short of amazing. Heart structure and function are tightly interrelated in ways that we are still discovering. Cardiac muscle hosts a multitude of complex regulatory mechanisms that allow the heart to perform even after transplantation into another body and multiple feedback mechanisms provide the heart with an astonishing ability to adapt to the body’s constantly changing demand in blood circulation. This happens during every heartbeat and roughly a million times during every ten-day period of our life.

Given the importance of cardiac activity, it is surprising how many aspects of the heart are still poorly understood. This lecture will show that linking scientific observations of structure and function from sub-cellular scales to the whole body is essential in driving fundamental research and clinical application.


Peter Kohl holds the Chair in Cardiac Biophysics and Systems Biology at Imperial’s National Heart and Lung Institute. He also is a visiting professor at the Department for Computer Science at the University of Oxford.

Peter studied Medicine and Biophysics at the Moscow Pirogov Institute and after post-graduate training and research at the Berlin Charité he joined the Cardiac Electrophysiology Chair of Professor Denis Noble at the University of Oxford. In 1998, Peter set up the Oxford Cardiac Mechano-Electric Feedback lab, initially as a Royal Society Research Fellow and subsequently as a Senior Fellow of the British Heart Foundation.

Peter’s team enjoys a strong international reputation in cardiac mechano-electrical interaction studies as a result of their ability to cross traditional boundaries between fields (engineering, biophysics, biology, computing) and levels (ion channel to whole organ) of investigation. Peter directs a portfolio of externally-funded research (supported by ERC, BHF, BBSRC, EPSRC and EC), and he has been a driver of international collaborations such as the Network of Excellence for the EU Virtual Physiological Human Initiative. He serves on a number of editorial boards, as a reviewer for international journals and funding bodies and is the coordinating editor of the primary textbook on Cardiac Mechano-Electric Coupling and Arrhythmias.

Please email Ruth O’Donnell (r.odonnell@imperial.ac.uk) to register for your free place at this talk.


August 21, 2013
5:30 pm - 6:30 pm


Lecture Theatre G16, Sir Alexander Fleming Building
South Kensington Campus, Exhibition Road, London, SW7 2AZ United Kingdom
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Imperial Faculty of Medicine

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