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T. Alexander Quinn

Associate Professor, Department of Physiology and Biophysics, School of Biomedical Engineering

My lab focuses on the intrinsic regulation of cardiac function and the effects of mechano-electric interactions on heart rhythm. The goals of my research program are to: (i) define organ-, tissue-, cell-, and subcellular-level mechanisms responsible for (patho-)physiological responses; (ii) discover their relevance for heart rhythm in health and disease; and (iii) use this knowledge to develop novel targeted anti-arrhythmic therapies.

Our Group

We are exploring a variety of research topics within the fields of cardiovascular physiology and disease. We employ an innovative multi-scale, multi-species approach (in whole animals to isolated tissue and cell preparations, including rabbit, mouse, and zebrafish), combining engineering-based experimental methods with computational modeling to gain insight into normal cardiac function and pathologies at various levels of functional and structural complexity.

Selected Publications

MacDonald EA, Stoyek, MR, Rose RA, Quinn TA. Intrinsic regulation of sinoatrial node function and the zebrafish as a model of stretch effects on pacemaking. Prog Biophys Mol Biol. 2017; 130:198-211.
Quinn TA, Jin H, Lee P, Kohl P. Mechanically-induced ectopy via stretch-activated cation-nonselective channels is caused by local tissue deformation and results in ventricular fibrillation if triggered on the repolarization wave-edge (Commotio cordis). Circ Arrhythm Electrophysiol. 2017; 10:e004777.
Quinn TA*, Camelliti P*, Rog-Zielinska EA*, Siedlecka U, Poggioli, T, O’Toole ET, Knöpfel T, Kohl P. Electrotonic coupling of excitable and nonexcitable cells in the heart revealed by optogenetics. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2016; 113:14852-7.
Gemmell P, Burrage K, Rodriguez B, Quinn TA. Rabbit-specific computational modelling of cardiac cell electrophysiology: using populations of models to explore variability in the response to ischemia. Prog Biophys Mol Biol. 2016; 121:169-84. 
Quinn TA. The importance of non-uniformities in mechano-electric coupling for ventricular arrhythmias. J Interv Card Electrophysiol. 2014; 39:25-35.