The lab: Guasch group

Lab's research themes:

Our group is focused on identifying the mechanisms of the deleterious effects of physical activity and, particularly, cardiac arrhythmias through a Translational approach.

The main research lines of our group may be summarized in two different topics:

- Study of the mechanisms of cardiac arrhythmias in high-level athletes: Heavily trained athletes have been found to be at a higher risk of atrial fibrillation and right ventricular arrhythmias than their sedentary counterparts. We focus our research in the identification of the exercise characteristics and mechanisms that promote a pro-arrhythmogenic remodelling, aiming at eventually identifying clinically usable markers. We have also assessed the extra-cardiac consequences of very high-intensity physical activity.

- Characterization of the pathophysiology of cardiac arrhythmias. We are also interested in uncovering the mechanisms of the deleterious atrial arrhythmogenic cardiac remodelling occurring in the absence of overt cardiac conditions (lone atrial fibrillation), but also in other settings such as heart failure. These may serve to improve our diagnostic and therapeutic approach.

Merits of the lab:

Our group has pioneered the description and study of the deleterious cardiovascular consequences of physical activity, publishing papers that had a great scientific and social impact.

Why do we want medical doctors?

Our group has a strong translational research focus. Indeed, the group leader is a Cardiologist specialized in electrophysiology who holds a part-time research contract. Moreover, our group is currently hosting a physician who is pursuing a PhD in experimental research.

Country: Spain
Supervisor: Eduard Guasch

The position

What’s the main purpose of our research?

The objective of the current project is to study the mechanisms involved in strenuous exercise-induced atrial myocardial fibrosis.

How we will do it?

We will develop, validate and delve into a new method to uncover cardiac remodeling under different “training intensities” by recapitulating in vitro the hemodynamic and biochemical environment, and their consequences.

Why is this important?

The remodelling induced by exercise has never been accurately replicated ex vivo / in vitro and, thereby, confirmation in humans of specific mechanisms leading to myocardial fibrosis in trained individuals remains challenging. Assessing the consequences of physical activity directly on the human myocardium remains an unmet need and calls for novel systems.

Who is a good fit for the project?

Prior knowledge or experience in cardiology, cardiovascular physiology or research in the cardiovascular field will be positively considered. Moreover, experience in wet lab and animal handling (including its certification) is desirable in order to accelerate the beginning of the project.


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