Dr. Iacobellis and Dr. Goldberger are enrolling 120 people with atrial fibrillation and another 120 people without the disorder to study the role of epicardial adipose tissue in the development of atrial fibrillation. This grant was funded by the National Institutes of Health for value of $3 million.
Gianluca Iacobellis, M.D., Ph.D., a leading expert in epicardial adipose tissue, professor of medicine in the Division of Endocrinology at the Miller School and distinguished member of Miami Scientific Italian Community and, Jeffrey Goldberger, M.D., a cardiac electrophysiologist and professor of medicine in the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, are leading a $3 million R01 NIH Grant entitled Trans-omic analysis of Epicardial Adipose Tissue in Atrial Fibrillation.
Prof Iacobellis pioneered the research on epicardial adipose tissue, a new risk factor for leading causes of mortality and morbidity, such as coronary artery disease and atrial fibrillation.
In this study, they will look at novel mechanisms causing atrial fibrillation according to different epicardial fat levels shown on imaging and other parameters. The “Trans-omic Analysis of Epicardial Adipose Tissue in Atrial Fibrillation,” is a unique and very comprehensive study because it includes proteomics, genomics, and metabolomics”
This NIH grant will also evaluate the role of ethnicity. “We know that epicardial tissue is different among different ethnic and racial groups and that can also at least partially explain the different degree of cardiovascular risk related to each of these groups” Prof. Iacobellis said. “In addition to be a risk factor, epicardial fat is also a therapeutic target, that responds and changes to the effects of new medications” . This important aspect is under current evaluation in another ongoing NIH funded study, called LEAF, also led by Drs. Iacobellis and Goldberger.
These studies can change the paradigm of the mechanisms and treatment of the atrial fibrillation, the most common arrhythmia.
The first phase of the Trans-omic study is expected to last 18 months to two years. About one third of participants have been enrolled to date. Researchers continue to recruit participants with persistent or paroxysmal atrial fibrillation, particularly Black and White adults.
Source: University of Miami