Developing cardiac electrophysiology models for drug safety studies

Year of award: 2018


  • Dr Gary Mirams

    University of Nottingham

Project summary

The heartbeat is co-ordinated by proteins that bind together in cell membranes and allow electrically-charged ions to pass through them – structures known as ion channels. When new drugs are developed they can interfere with the heart’s rhythm because they interact with ion channels. This unwanted side effect can be fatal in some cases. 

We research why and how certain drugs cause these problems by interacting with ion channels in different ways. We use mathematical models for electrical activity of heart cells to integrate data from safety tests and predict overall risk. We are designing new experimental approaches to get more information to build our models more accurately and in less time, with the aim of making better predictions from experiments that are easier to perform.    

Our main aim is to accurately assess the safety for each new drug before it is given to patients.