Congratulations to Dr. Wenbin Liang for the 2019 CIHR Early Career Investigator Award!
Dr. Wenbin Liang, Assistant Professor with the Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, was recently awarded the prestigious CIHR Early Career Investigator Award. Dr. Liang’s application received a score of 4.67/5.0 and was ranked #2 in the Committee.
The Award ($345,000 over 3 years) will support Dr. Liang’s research on “novel mechanisms of ventricular tachyarrhythmias”.
Irregular heartbeats (or cardiac arrhythmias) are common in patients who have survived a heart attack, and are a common cause of sudden deaths in these patients. Currently the majority of these sudden deaths cannot be prevented because we do not know exactly how irregular heartbeats happen after a heart attack. With this Award, Dr. Liang will study the novel mechanisms underlying irregular heartbeats after a heart attack , which would allow the development of new and more effective therapies. His group has demonstrated - for the first time - that the expression of a transcription factor is increased in the muscle cells of the heart chambers (responsible for pumping blood) after a heart attack. The team will test the idea that inhibition of this transcription factor in the chamber muscle cells will prevent irregular heartbeats in heart attack survivors. The results are anticipated to inform new therapies to improve quality of life and reduce premature deaths.