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Natalia A. Trayanova, Ph.D.

AIMBE College of Fellows Class of 2003
For describing fundamental electrical cardiac behaviors using advanced computational methods and for significant contributions to biomedical engineering education.

Personalized Virtual Heart Can Predict the Risk of Sudden Cardiac Death

Via Johns Hopkins | May 10, 2016

When electrical waves in the heart run amok, the results can be deadly. Current treatment for the condition, called arrhythmia, includes implanting a small defibrillator which senses the onset of arrhythmia and jolts the heart back to a normal rhythm. But a thorny question remains: How should doctors decide which patients truly need an invasive, costly electrical implant that is not without health risks of its own?

To address this question, an interdisciplinary Johns Hopkins University team has developed a non-invasive, 3-D virtual heart assessment tool to help doctors determine whether a particular patient faces the highest risk of a life-threatening arrhythmia and would benefit most from a defibrillator implant. In a proof-of-concept study published today in the online journal Nature Communications, the team reported that its new digital approach yielded more accurate predictions than the imprecise blood pumping measurement now used by most physicians.

"Our virtual heart test significantly outperformed several existing clinical metrics in predicting future arrhythmic events," says Natalia Trayanova, professor of biomedical engineering. "This non-invasive and personalized virtual heart-risk assessment could help prevent sudden cardiac deaths and allow patients who are not at risk to avoid unnecessary defibrillator implantations."

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Big New Home For Big Data: $30m Computing Center Nears Opening

Via Johns Hopkins | July 6, 2015

Natalia Trayanova, a Johns Hopkins professor of biomedical engineering, leads a team that creates complex simulations of the heart, using everything from MRIs to the latest information on heart-specific proteins. Her team currently uses computing centers at Johns Hopkins’ Homewood campus and often must wait for enough processors to become available. If Trayanova’s team needs 10, and only nine are available, they have to wait. Now, with thousands of processors in a central location, idle computers can be used by any researchers who need them. Members of Trayanova’s team are already participating in beta-testing of the new computing center’s equipment.

Even before it officially opens, 80 percent of MARCC’s computing power is already allocated. But with enough land for four more identical centers on the lot at Bayview, there’s plenty of room to grow if the demand and funding materialize, MARCC administrators say.

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