Jonathon Lu MD, PhD

I am currently an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Columbia University Medical Center. My clinical specialty is Cardiac Electrophysiology.

I attended Brown University for undergraduate and Vanderbilt University for Medical and Graduate School. I subsequently trained in Internal Medicine and Cardiology at University of California, San Diego, and Clinical Electrophysiology training University of California, San Francisco.

I have extensive experience in the management of complex rhythm disorders of the heart. My research focuses on integrating cellular physiology and ion channel biophysics with their role in disease states. Over the last two decades, our knowledge of cardiac arrhythmias has expanded rapidly due to the discovery of ion channels and "channelopathies" as the basis of inherited arrhythmias such as Andersen-Tawil, Long QT, Short QT, CPVT, and Brugada syndromes.

Isolated channels and mouse models are not fully adequate and a renewable, human cardiomyocyte cellular model of inherited arrhythmias is needed to decipher the ion channels and molecular pathways that interact to produce observed clinical phenotypes. Our strategy for developing human cellular models of inherited arrhythmia is to utilize the recently pioneered induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cell technology that enables reprogramming of terminally differentiated somatic cells, such as fibroblasts, to regain stem cell properties. Patient-specific iPS cells can be subsequently directed to differentiate into cardiomyocytes in vitro. We hypothesize that iPS cell derived cardiomyocytes will reflect the ion channel as well as the molecular and cellular environment of patient's native heart cells.

We are actively recruiting patients and families with genetically defined Andersen-Tawil syndromes and other inherited arrhythmias for skin biopsies in order to derive stem cell lines. This strategy will allow us, for the first time, to examine the functional consequences of a defective ion channel in the context of disease- and patient- relevant cells. My current funding for research include: NIH KL2 grant NYSTEM Idea grant Paul Marks Scholar Gender-Specific Medicine Scholar