Dr. Philippe Comtois
Atrial fibrillation, an excessively fast quivering of the heart’s upper chambers which is caused by an abnormal heart rhythm, causes blood to pool and clot. A piece of clot could break off and make its way to the arteries entering the brain, where it could choke off blood flow and cause a stroke. It is crucial to pin down the causes of fibrillation.
Dr. Philippe Comtois is investigating the complex electrical activity that regulates heartbeat, so we can better understand this process. He is looking at the role of scar tissue, which forms when heart cells die off, in this process. This tissue does not conduct the electrical signals that are essential to control heartbeat, but the extent and distribution of scarring in the heart could be a key factor in arrhythmia.
Using a special dye which is sensitive to electrical voltages, Dr. Comtois will measure how these signals are conducted within a beating heart. He will also use a mathematical model to assess the effects of scarring. In this way, he expects to provide new insights, pointing the way to therapeutic strategies.
Dr. Comtois’ work as a postdoctoral fellow at McGill University is supervised by Dr. Stanley Nattel. The Heart and Stroke Foundation is pleased to contribute to the success of Dr. Comtois and his cutting-edge research.
Supported by Pfizer Canada