Our Research

The problem:

Sudden cardiac death (SCD) is the leading cause of premature deaths (age <65) in North America.

• Ventricular arrhythmia SCD causes half of cardiac deaths.

• Atrial fibrillation (AF), the most common sustained heart rhythm disorder, is associated with signifcant morbidity, particularly stroke, and significant impairment in quality of life.

• Cardiac conduction disease resulting in symptomatic bradycardia is the most common indication for a pacemaker.

• Syncope (fainting) due to abnormal nervous system regulation of blood pressure and/or heart rate occurs at least once in the lifetime of half of Canadians.

What are we doing in this area? 

The Libin Cardiovascular Institute of Alberta has assembled a world class team of scientists who are significantly impacting the burden of syncope, sudden death and atrial fbrillation. Their research has established novel care pathways for the management and follow-up of such patients. Their contributions are recognized through leadership in multiple national and international guidelines and consensus documents.

Supporting our arrhythmia scientists and enhancing research capacity

Our strategic objectives:

To discover mechanisms of arrhythmias and syncope, we are:

• Developing novel genetically engineered animal models.

• Developing clinically relevant animal models of AF and sinoatrial node disease.

• Using state-of-the-art cardiac imaging and monitoring tools to advance our research.

• Using human tissue to study mechanisms of AF.


To discover new therapies for arrhythmias and syncope, we are:

• Developing novel pharmacologic and non- pharmacologic therapies and interventions for prevention and treatment of SCD, AF, and syncope.

• Repurposing pharmacologic therapies in novel ways to treat orthostatic hypotension and postural tachycardia syndrome


To detect risk markers for premature sudden cardiac death and atrial fibrillation development, progression, and response to therapy, we are:

• Leveraging our strengths in ECG signal processing, cardiac imaging, biomarkers, genomics and computational modeling. To deliver individualized, precision-guided therapies for prevention of sudden cardiac death, atrial fibrillation and syncope, we are:

• Using our strengths in translational, clinical and population health sciences to study therapy tailored to individualized risk profiles.


To develop enhanced patient engagement and shared decision making tools, we are:

• Researching the efficacy and cost of using real time data and decision support tools while actively engaging patients, their families and caregivers.