Meet Our Researchers
Steven Lubitz is a cardiologist at Massachusetts General Hospital who specializes in arrhythmias.
Atrial fibrillation (AFib), an irregular and often rapid heart rate, affects more than 5 million people in the U.S.; if left untreated, it can triple the risk of stroke. Steven will develop a machine-learning approach to track and analyze genomic data for AFib—both known variants associated with AFib and new variants identified through our research. Our aim is to improve our ability to detect this form of heart arrhythmia.
One reason AFib is hard to diagnose is because it only crops up episodically, so patients don’t regularly experience symptoms. My team is exploring a fundamental question: if we collect and study the genomic data on AFib patients, will we gain insights that can help doctors diagnose the condition, even if patients aren’t turning up with classic symptoms?
My team will use its BroadIgnite award to investigate this question. Teaming up with the Broad’s Data Sciences Platform, we will develop a machine-learning approach to track and analyze genomic data for AFib. The data, when coupled with other medical information gathered from patients, could lead to insights about the factors that increase or decrease the likelihood of AFib and stroke—and identify patients at the highest risk for both.