About Us

In August 2016, Niels Voigt joined the Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology as Professor of Molecular Pharmacology. Since its inception, his research group has expanded by more than 20 members and its central focus is to investigate the pathophysiology of cardiac arrhythmias.

Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common cardiac arrhythmia and is associated with increased morbidity and mortality, particularly due to embolic stroke and heart failure. Current approaches to restore normal sinus rhythm (antiarrhythmic drugs, AF ablation) have major limitations including dissatisfying efficacy and risk of life-threatening proarrhythmic events. Therefore, we aim to unravel novel molecular mechanisms contributing to AF initiation and maintenance. In particular, we employ modern experimental techniques including cellular electrophysiology and calcium imaging to investigate atrial myocytes and tissue samples from patients undergoing open heart surgery. In addition, we utilize advanced techniques in the generation of atrial engineered heart tissue (aEHM) and modern gene editing approaches (CRISPR/Cas9) in order to develop new experimental models of AF. These approaches will provide the molecular basis for novel and patient-tailored therapeutic strategies for AF.

Principal InvestigatorProf. Dr. med. Niels Voigt, FESC, FAHA
Prof. Dr. med. Niels Voigt, FESC, FAHA

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Members Voigt Group

Office

Maren Dilaj

 Maren Dilaj

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  • Heart Research Building

Postdoctoral Researcher

Funsho Fakuade, PhD

 Funsho Fakuade, PhD

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Postdoctoral Researcher

Fleur Mason, PhD

 Fleur Mason, PhD

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PhD Student

Yannic Döring

 Yannic Döring

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PhD Student

Aiste Liutkute

 Aiste Liutkute

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PhD Student

Julius Ryan Pronto

 Julius Ryan Pronto

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PhD Student

Tony Rubio

 Tony Rubio

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PhD Student

Will Seibertz

 Will Seibertz

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MD Student

Lena Bartelt

 Lena Bartelt

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  • Heart Research Building

MD Student

Paulina Brandes

 Paulina Brandes
  • Heart Research Building

MD Student

Catriona Butchart

 Catriona Butchart

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  • Heart Research Building

MD Student

Judith Gronwald

 Judith Gronwald

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MD Student

Dominik Hubricht

 Dominik Hubricht

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  • Heart Research Building

MD Student

Luisa Marie Hüsgen

 Luisa Marie Hüsgen

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MD Student

Philipp Jung

 Philipp Jung

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MD Student

Marie Klopp

 Marie Klopp

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MD Student

Valentina Kuhn

 Valentina Kuhn

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  • Heart Research Building

MD Student

Fiona Popp

 Fiona Popp

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  • Heart Research Building

MD Student

Melanie Ritter

 Melanie Ritter

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MD Student

Richard Solano

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  • Heart Research Building

MD Student

Izzatullo Sobitov

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MD Student

Vanessa Steckmeister

 Vanessa Steckmeister

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MD Student

Lea Stelzer

 Lea Stelzer

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  • Heart Research Building

MD Student

Robin Springer

 Robin Springer

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  • Heart Research Building

Technical Assistant

Stefanie Kestel

 Stefanie Kestel

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  • Heart Research Building

Technical Assistant

Ines Müller

 Ines Müller

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Alumni

  • Rebekka Dülk, MD

Videos

Watch our videos in the media center on molecular pharmacology

Selected Publications

Five most important

  • Fakuade FE, Steckmeister V, Seibertz F, Gronwald J, Kestel S, Menzel J, Pronto JRD, Taha K, Haghighi F, Kensah G, Pearman CM, Wiedmann F, Teske AJ, Schmidt C, Dibb KM, El-Essawi A, Danner BC, Baraki H, Schwappach B, Kutschka I, Mason FE, Voigt N. (2020) Altered atrial cytosolic calcium handling contributes to the development of postoperative atrial fibrillation. Cardiovasc Res, doi: 10.1093/cvr/cvaa162. Cardiovasc Res, 117(7):1790-801. [PubMed]
  • Voigt N, Heijman J, Wang Q, Chiang DY, Li N, Karck M, Wehrens XHT, Nattel S, Dobrev D. (2014) Cellular and molecular mechanisms of atrial arrhythmogenesis in patients with paroxysmal atrial fibrillation. Circulation, 129 (2): 145-56. [PubMed]
  • Voigt N, Li N, Wang Q, Wang W, Trafford AW, Abu-Taha I, Sun Q, Wieland T, Nattel S, Ravens U, Wehrens XHT, Dobrev D. (2012) Enhanced sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca2+ leak and increased Na+-Ca2+ exchanger function underlie delayed afterdepolarizations in patients with chronic atrial fibrillation. Circulation, 125 (17): 2059-70. (Highlighted in Circulation’s “Most Read Articles in Arrhythmia and Electrophysiology”, Circulation 2013, 127: e509-19) [PubMed]
  • Grandi E*, Pandit SV*, Voigt N*, Workman AJ, Dobrev D, Jalife J, Bers DM. (2011) Human atrial action potential and Ca2+ model: sinus rhythm and chronic atrial fibrillation. Circ Res, 109 (9): 1055-66. *Equal contribuation. [PubMed]
  • Makary S*, Voigt N*, Maguy A*, Wakili R, Nishida K, Harada M, Dobrev D, Nattel S. (2011) Differential protein kinase C isoform regulation and increased constitutive activity of acetylcholine-regulated potassium channels in atrial remodeling. Circ Res, 109 (9): 1031-43. *Equal contribuation. [PubMed]

Book Chapters

  • Nattel S, Heijman J, Voigt N, Wehrens XHT, Dobrev D (2017) The molecular pathophys-iology of atrial fibrillation. Cardiac Electrophysiology: From Cell to Bedside. Zipes D, Jalife J, Stevenson W (eds), 7th edition, Elsevier, pp. 396-408 ISBN: 978-0-3234-4733-1
  • Dobrev D, Voigt N, Nattel S (2013) Cholinergic and constitutive regulation of atrial potassium channels. Cardiac Electrophysiology: From Cell to Bedside. Zipes D, Jalife J (eds), 6th edition, Elsevier, pp. 383-91. ISBN: 978-1-4556-2856-5
  • Nattel S, Voigt N, Dobrev D (2013) Molecular pathophysiology of atrial fibrillation. Cardiac Electrophysiology: From Cell to Bedside. Zipes D, Jalife J (eds), 6th edition, Elsevier, pp. 449-58. ISBN: 978-1-4556-2856-5


For a complete list of publications, please access Scopus or PubMed.

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