Natalia Trayanova Receives 2013 NIH Director’s Pioneer Award

September 30, 2013
Natalia Trayanova, professor of biomedical engineering

Natalia Trayanova, professor of biomedical engineering

Natalia A. Trayanova, the  Murray B. Sachs Professor of Biomedical Engineering, is one of two Johns Hopkins faculty members chosen to receive prestigious National Institutes of Health grants for biomedical research projects that face challenges but could lead to major health care payoffs.

Traynova will receive one of NIH’s 12 NIH Director’s Pioneer Awards for 2013 for her proposal and vision for a “virtual electrophysiology lab” to develop personalized treatment plans for patients with various heart ailments. Pioneer Awards go to researchers who propose highly innovative projects that have the potential to produce an unusually high impact on a broad area of biomedical or behavioral research.

“Natalia employs knowledge of the heart from the molecular, cellular, tissue and organ level scales to build exceptionally accurate models of the heart and ischemic disease,” says Elliot McVeigh, Director of the Department of Biomedical Engineering. “These models can have a profound impact on directing therapy for patients with heart disease.”

Trayanova’s award will provide up to $2.5 million in direct support over five years for the development and implementation of a patient-specific heart modeling system that will assist in the delivery of more personalized diagnoses and treatment to patients with dangerous heart rhythm and pumping ailments.

The other Johns Hopkins Researcher, Hans Tomas Bjornsson, an assistant professor of genetics and pediatrics in the School of Medicine, will receive one of 15 Early Independence Awards for 2013. The Johns Hopkins researchers are among 78 grant recipients announced today under the High Risk-High Reward Program supported by the National Institutes of Health Common Fund.

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