Greek Scientist Discovers Drug for Arrhythmia


One more Greek scientist excels abroad drawing world-wide attention with her achievements. Asimaki, who  made an amazing discovery for a new drug against arrhythmia, belongs to the research team of Harvard University and the Beth Israel Deaconess Center of Boston.

The Greek pathologist was the head of the two research teams that made this breakthrough discovery that can help those suffering from life-threatening arrhythmias in the future.

Asimaki and her colleagues, who also made a significant publication in the prestigious international medical journal “Science Translational Medicine,” discovered a drug that directly aims to the generation mechanism of arrhythmia, even though it is still unclear what exactly this mechanism is.

The originality of the invention lies in the fact that the researchers based their discovery on the study of a fish (the so-called zebra-fish) rather than an animal, which they genetically modified to display a rather rare hereditary disease, the arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy (ARVC). People with this disease exhibit arrhythmia, malfunction of the heart as a blood pump and damage to the heart muscle tissue.

Moreover, the research showed that complex cardiological experiments can be done on fish, something that will be further developed in the future.

Asimaki has been focusing her research on cardiomyopathies and arrhythmias for years. In 2009 she became widely known with the discovery and the related publication in the medical journal “New England Journal of Medicine,” for a non-invasive diagnostical procedure for the arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy.

The interest of the Greek researcher for this particular disease began at a young age, since she herself has been diagnosed with severe cardiological problems and was hospitalized for a long time. After that, she studied at the University College of London and the Medical School of Harvard University, where she remains until today.
(By Dimitra Paganopoulou)


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