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The William Harvey Research Institute - Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry

Electrogenomics Group

The “Electrogenomics” group was established in 2015 by Professors Munroe, Lambiase and Tinker. This is a collaboration between the William Harvey Research Centre at QMUL and UCL’s Institute of Cardiovascular Science. We joined forces in a broad scale attempt to unravel the electrical and genetic causes of cardiovascular mortality. 

The team includes world-leading experts in cardiac electrophysiology (Prof. Andy Tinker, QMUL and Prof. Pier Lambiase UCL), genetics (Prof. Patricia Munroe, QMUL) and biomedical engineering (Dr. Michele Orini, UCL), with talented research fellows and PhD students with bioengineering, clinical and genetics training.

Research activities

The current activities of the team are centred on studying complex phenotypes of cardiac electrophysiology and response to heart rate dynamics. Building on recent publications by the group,  further studies are underway to improve our understanding of the mechanisms linking genetics, functional biology, electrophysiology and cardiovascular disease, and the integration of these biomarkers to optimise risk prediction of cardiac events.

Funding

Medical Research Council (MR/N025083/1 and MR/R017468/1), People Programme (Marie Curie Actions) of the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007/2013) under REA grant agreement 608765, the UCL/UCLH Biomedicine NIHR and the NIHR Cardiovascular Biomedical Research Centre at Barts and QMUL.

Current Publications (from 2017 – date)

Original articles

Young WJ, Warren HR, Mook-Kanamori DO, Ramírez J, van Duijvenboden S, Orini M, Tinker A, van Heemst D, Lambiase PD, Jukema JW, Munroe PB, Noordam R. Genetically-Determined Serum Calcium levels and Markers of Ventricular Repolarisation: A Mendelian Randomization Study in the UK Biobank. Circulation: Genomic and Precision Medicine 2021. (In Press). 

Mensah-Kane J, Schmidt A, Hingorani A, Finan C, Chen Y, van Duijvenboden S, ... Ramírez J. (2021). No Clinically Relevant Effect of Heart Rate Increase and Heart Rate Recovery During Exercise on Cardiovascular Disease: A Mendelian Randomization Analysis. Frontiers in Genetics, doi: 10.3389/fgene.2021.569323

Young WJ, van Duijvenboden S, Ramírez J, Jones A, Tinker A, Munroe P, ... Orini M. (2021). A Method to Minimise the Impact of ECG Marker Inaccuracies on the Spatial QRS-T angle: Evaluation on 1,512 Manually Annotated ECGs. Biomedical Signal Processing and Control, doi: 10.1016/j.bspc.2020.102305

Ramírez J, van Duijvenboden S, Young WJ, Orini M, Lambiase PD, Munroe PB, ... Tinker A. (2020). Common Genetic Variants Modulate the Electrocardiographic Tpeak-to-Tend Interval. American journal of human genetics, 106(6), pp. 764-778. doi: 10.1016/j.ajhg.2020.04.009

van Duijvenboden S, Ramírez J, Young W, Mifsud B, Orini M, Tinker A, ... Lambiase P. (2020). Genetic Basis and Prognostic Value of Exercise QT Dynamics. Circulation: Genomic and Precision Medicine, (4), doi: 10.1161/circgen.119.002774

Weng LC, Hall AW, Choi SH, Jurgens SJ, Haessler J, Bihlmeyer NA, ... Lubitz SA. (2020). Genetic Determinants of Electrocardiographic P-Wave Duration and Relation to Atrial Fibrillation. Circulation. Genomic and precision medicine, 13(5), pp. 387-395. doi: 10.1161/CIRCGEN.119.002874

Ntalla I, Weng LC, Cartwright JH, Hall AW, Sveinbjornsson G, Tucker NR, ... Munroe PB. (2020). Multi-ancestry GWAS of the electrocardiographic PR interval identifies 202 loci underlying cardiac conduction. Nature communications, 11(1), pp. 2542. doi: 10.1038/s41467-020-15706-x

Munroe PB, Ramírez J, van Duijvenboden S. (2019). Resting Heart Rate and Type 2 Diabetes: A Complex Relationship in Need of Greater Understanding. Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 74(17), pp. 2175-2177. doi: 10.1016/j.jacc.2019.08.1030

Ramírez J, van Duijvenboden S, Aung N, Laguna P, Pueyo E, Tinker A, ... Munroe PB. (2019). Cardiovascular Predictive Value and Genetic Basis of Ventricular Repolarization Dynamics. Circulation. Arrhythmia and electrophysiology, 12(10), pp. e007549. doi: 10.1161/CIRCEP.119.007549

Munroe PB, Tinker A. (2018). Heritability of resting heart rate and association with mortality in middle-aged and elderly twins. Heart (British Cardiac Society), 104(1), pp. 6-7. doi: 10.1136/heartjnl-2017-311657

Prins BP, Mead TJ, Brody JA, Sveinbjornsson G, Ntalla I, Bihlmeyer NA, ... Jamshidi Y. (2018). Exome-chip meta-analysis identifies novel loci associated with cardiac conduction, including ADAMTS6. Genome biology, 19(1), pp. 87. doi: 10.1186/s13059-018-1457-6

Ramírez J, Duijvenboden SV, Ntalla I, Mifsud B, Warren HR, Tzanis E, ... Munroe PB. (2018). Thirty loci identified for heart rate response to exercise and recovery implicate autonomic nervous system. Nature communications, 9(1), pp. 1947. doi: 10.1038/s41467-018-04148-1

Tinker A. (2017). The mechanisms of ventricular arrhythmia in Chagas disease. International journal of cardiology, 240, pp. 372-373. doi: 10.1016/j.ijcard.2017.03.094

van den Berg ME, Warren HR, Cabrera CP, Verweij N, Mifsud B, Haessler J, ... Munroe PB. (2017). Discovery of novel heart rate-associated loci using the Exome Chip. Human molecular genetics, 26(12), pp. 2346-2363. doi: 10.1093/hmg/ddx113

Orini M, Tinker A, Munroe PB, Lambiase PD. (2017). Long-term intra-individual reproducibility of heart rate dynamics during exercise and recovery in the UK Biobank cohort. PloS one, 12(9), pp. e0183732. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0183732

Abstracts/conference proceedings

Jafarkhanloo Rezaei M, Woodward J., Ramírez J., Munroe P. B. (2020). Data augmentation for heart arrhythmia classification. IEEE International Conference on Tools with Artificial Intelligence (ICTAI).

Ramirez J, van Duijvenboden S, Tinker A, Lambiase PD, Munroe PB, Orini M. (2020). Sex Differences in the Morphology of RR-Matched T-waves. Computing in Cardiology. Computing in Cardiology 2020.

Ramirez J, van Duijvenboden S, Young WJ, Tinker A, Lambiase PD, Munroe PB, ... Orini M. (2020). Interaction Between ECG and Genetic Markers of Coronary Artery Disease. Computing in Cardiology 2020.

Young WJ, Ramírez J, van Duijvenboden S, Tinker A, Lambiase P, Munroe P, ... Orini M. (2020). Will Genetic Data Significantly Change Cardiovascular Risk Prediction in Daily Practice? Computing in Cardiology 2020.

van Duijvenboden S, Ramírez J, Young WJ, Tinker A, Munroe PB, Lambiase P, ... Orini M. (2020). Evaluating the Impact of Physiological Variability in Genome-Wide Association Studies of Resting Heart Rate. Computing in Cardiology 2020.

Young WJ, Srinivasan N, Tinker A, Munroe PB, Lambiase P, Orini M. (2020). Comparison of the spatial QRS-T angle With Intra-cardiac Markers of Depolarisation and Repolarisation. Computing in Cardiology 2020.

Ramírez J, van Duijvenboden S, Laguna P, Pueyo E, Tinker A, Lambiase P, ... Orini M. (2018). Assessing a Warping Methodology for the Identification of Increased Cardiovascular Risk Based on the HR Profile Morphology. doi: 10.22489/CinC.2018.039

Research prizes

Winner of the Best of the Best Clinical Science Abstract at “British Cardiovascular Society annual conference” in Manchester, UK, 2019. This was a prize awarded for winning the Best of the Best Clinical Science Abstract for Cardiac Rhythm Management at the British Cardiovascular Society Annual Conference for the abstract "Cardiac Repolarization During Exercise Reveals Independent Prognostic information For Cardiovascular Risk Prediction". S. van Duijvenboden, J. Ramírez, ,M. Orini et al. It included a £250 prize.    

Runner Up- Best of the Best Clinical Science Abstract at “British Cardiovascular Society annual conference” in Manchester, UK, 2019. This prize was for the runner up of the Best of the Best Clinical Science Abstract -The cardiovascular predictive value and genetic basis of T-wave morphology.  J. Ramírez, S. van Duijvenboden, P. Laguna, A. Tinker, P. Lambiase, M. Orini, P. Munroe

ESC-CinC Clinical Needs Translational Award, 2018. This international award was received by J. Ramírez, S. van Duijvenboden, P. Laguna, A Tinker, P Lambiase, P Munroe and M Orini for their work entitled "Cardiovascular Risk Based on the HR Profile Morphology" at the Computing in Cardiology Meeting in 2018. Maastricht, The Netherlands. The prize included a cheque (US$500,  €500) and a commemorative diploma for communication.

Runner up for the Best Poster Award at the “A to Z of Sudden Cardiac Death Conference” in London, UK, 2018. This was a Runner up prize awarded at the “A to Z of Sudden Cardiac Death Conference” for the abstract "Sixteen loci identified for T-wave morphology changes in response to exercise and recovery from UK Biobank implicate genes governing ventricular repolarization". J. Ramírez, S. van Duijvenboden, M. Orini et al. It included a £200 prize.

Public engagement

News on QMUL website - Discovery of New Genes Modulating the Tpe Interval: an Electrocardiographic risk marker for Sudden Cardiac Death, 2020

Publicity for our recent study discovering 38 new gene regions that influence the Tpe interval, an electrocardiographic marker associated with susceptibility to malignant ventricular arrhythmias and sudden cardiac death.  Feedback has included interest from students wishing to study with us.

Press release - QMUL and UCL joint study identifies genes linked to impaired capacity to modulate heart rate during and after exercise, 2018

This press release describes results from the first analysis investigating the genetic basis of how heart rate responds during and following exercise. 

Press releaseScientists discover more than 200 genetic factors causing heart arrhythmias

Let’s Talk Hearts - supported by NIHR Barts Biomedical Research Centre. It is open to all providing a forum to learn about heart conditions and latest research. Dr Ramirez described work from both her fellowship and the Electrogenomics group, showcasing the research we do. The session provoked lots of interest, questions and discussion with the local community.   

http://www.letstalkhearts.info 

Special sessionRole of Statistical Genetics in Assessing Cardiovascular Risk. Challenges and Potential in Computing in Cardiology, 2020

This was a special session at the Computing in Cardiology conference in September 2020. The format was hybrid - participants online and in Rimini. Members of the group organised, chaired and presented at the session. The purpose was to introduce genetics to this meeting, highlighting our work and to encourage new collaborations.

 

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