Steven Poelzing, Ph.D.
Co-Director, Translational Biology, Medicine and Health graduate program
Associate Professor, Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute
Associate Professor, Virginia Tech-Wake Forest University School of Biomedical Engineering and Sciences
Associate Professor of Internal Medicine, Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine
Sudden cardiac death is a significant cause of mortality in the United States and around the world. There is an increasing awareness that sudden cardiac death is linked to genetic mutations in cardiac proteins, or changes in those same proteins during diseases such as heart failure, ischemia, or diabetes.
One cardiac gap junction protein of interest, Connexin43, or Cx43, allows the spread of electrical activity between cardiac myocytes for the purpose of coordinating uniform and synchronized contraction. Conventional theory suggests that reducing Cx43 expression should slow the spread of electrical activity—conduction—in the heart and increase risk of arrhythmias leading to sudden death. The experimental relationships between conduction slowing, sudden cardiac death, and loss of Cx43 is not straightforward, however, and conflicting laboratory findings have led to a lack of experimental agreement on the degree of conduction slowing expected from a quantifiable reduction of Cx43.
Steven Poelzing hypothesizes that the spread of electrical activity between cardiac myocytes is not only mediated through connexins, but also through electric fields between myocytes. His laboratory has demonstrated that the hydration state of the heart can mask or unmask conduction slowing in the presence of reduced Cx43 expression. Poelzing’s group uses high-resolution optical mapping, isolated cellular electrophysiological measurements, and immunohistochemistry to determine the mechanisms of non-gap junction–mediated conduction and its dependence on Cx43 and the gap junction. In particular, Poelzing is seeking to determine how pathological insults such as cardiac inflammation and edema modulate the risk of sudden death in the young and how age changes this relationship.
For a more complete listing of Steven Poelzing's publications, visit PubMed.
Education and Training
- MetroHealth Medical Center: Postdoctoral fellowship
- Case Western Reserve University: PhD, Biomedical Engineering
- Case Western Reserve University: MSE, Biomedical Engineering
- Wright State University: BS, Biomedical Engineering
- University of Utah
Research Associate Professor, Bioengineering
- NASA Glenn Research Center
- Case Western Reserve University
- Wright State University
National Science Foundation Research Fellow
Awards and Honors
- Fellow, Heart Rhythm Society, 2015
- Fellow, American Heart Association, 2014
- Editorial Board, Frontiers in Cardiac Electrophysiology editorial board, 2010-Present
- Top Instructors in Engineering, University of Utah, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011
- Michael Bilitch Fellowship in Cardiac Pacing and Electrophysiology, Heart Rhythm Society, 2004
- Rammelkamp Research Days, 1st Place Oral Presentation Presentation, MetroHealth Med. Center, 2004
- National Institutes of Health National Research Award, Case Western Reserve University, 1997-1999
- Veeraraghavan R, Lin J, Keener JP, Gourdie RG, Poelzing S. (2016). Potassium Channels in the Cx43 Gap Junction Perinexus Modulate Ephaptic Coupling: An Experimental and Modeling Study. Pflugers Archiv.
- Veeraraghavan R, Lin J, Hoeker GS, Keener JP*, Gourdie RG*, Poelzing S*. (2015). Sodium channels in the Cx43 gap junction perinexus may constitute a cardiac ephapse: an experimental and modeling study. Pflugers Archive - European Journal of Physiology.
- Greer-Short A, Poelzing S. (2015). Temporal response of ectopic activity in guinea pig ventricular myocardium in response to isoproterenol and acetylcholine. Frontiers in Physiology 6.
- Varano AC, Rahimi A, Dukes MJ, Poelzing S, McDonald SM, Kelly DF. (2015). Visualizing virus particle mobility in liquid at the nanoscale. Chemical Communications 2, 1-6.
- Radwański PB, Brunello L, Veeraraghavan R, Ho H, Lou Q, Makara MA, Belevych AE, Anghelescu M, Priori SG, Volpe P, Hund TJ, Janssen PM, Mohler PJ, Bridge JH, Poelzing S, Györke S. (2014). Neuronal Na+ Channel Blockade Suppresses Arrhythmogenic Diastolic Ca2+ Release. Cardiovascular Research.
- Veeraraghavan R, Larsen AP, Torres N, Grunnet M, Poelzing S. (2012). Potassium channel activators differentially modulate the effect of sodium channel blockade on cardiac conduction. Acta Physiologica.
- Larsen AP, Sciuto KJ, Moreno AP, Poelzing S. (2012). The voltage sensitive dye di-4-ANEPPS slows conduction velocity in isolated guinea pig hearts. Heart Rhythm Journal 9(9), 1493-500.
- Rigby JR, Poelzing S. (2011). A novel frequency analysis method for assessing K(ir)2.1 and Na (v)1.5 currents. Ann Biomed Eng 40(4), 946-54.
- Veeraraghavan R, Salama ME, Poelzing S. (2011). Interstitial volume modulates the conduction velocity- gap junction relationship. Am J Physiolo Heart Circ Physiol.
- Radwanski P, Poelzing S. (2011). NCX is an important determinant for premature ventricular activity in a drug induced model of Andersen-Tawil syndrome. Cardiovasc Res 92(1), 57-66.