Deciphering the Genomic Topology of Atrial Fibrillation

European Coordinator:
  • Vincent CHRISTOFFELS, Academic Medical Center (AMC), Amsterdam, Netherlands
North American Coordinator:
  • Patrick ELLINOR, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Paulus KIRCHOF, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, United Kingdom
Wouter de LAAT, Hubrecht Institute, Utrecht, Netherlands
James MARTIN, Baylor College of Medicine, Texas Heart Institute, Houston, Texas, USA
Ivan MOSKOWITZ, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA


Atrial fibrillation (AF) affects over 3 million individuals in the US and 4.5 million individuals in Europe. Currently, both medical and interventional therapies for AF are only partially effective, and are associated with substantial morbidity.   Although recent genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified over a dozen genetic loci associated with AF, we have only a limited understanding of mechanisms through which these genetic variants lead to AF. By combining deep insights into GWAS-signals, knowledge of the 3D topology of the human genome, and expertise in the translation of genetic changes, the members of this network will address the major question in AF genetics: how do the genetic mutations affect the electrical rhythm of the heart?   Filling the gap of our understanding of the molecular pathways underlying the arrhythmia should ultimately provide new diagnostic tools and therapeutic strategies to reduce the unacceptable burden of stroke, death, and hospitalizations associated with this common arrhythmia.