BGU Takes Step Toward Curing AFib
November 7, 2019
JEWISH PRESS — Researchers at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) have identified a previously unknown mechanism for atrial fibrillation (AFib), the most common cardiac arrhythmia that kills nearly 200,000 people each year, the first stage toward finding a cure.
Prof. Amos Katz, cardiologist, and dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences at BGU conducted genetic studies on three generations of a Jewish family of Iranian descent, recognizing that mutation in a gene (KCND2) pathologically encodes a crucial component of a potassium ion channel (Kv4.2) in the heart.
Molecular and genetic studies were conducted by Max Drabkin, an M.D.-Ph.D. student from BGU’s Joyce and Irving Goldman Medical School, mentored by BGU Prof. Ohad Birk, head of Soroka University Medical Center’s Genetics Institute
Based on these findings, the National Institute for Biotechnology in the Negev (NIBN) and the Faculty of Health Sciences are in the preliminary stages of developing an anti-arrhythmia medication.