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Science AMA Series: I’m Natalia Trayanova, a professor of biomedical engineering and medicine at Johns Hopkins University. I create virtual hearts to diagnose and treat patients with heart rhythm disorders. AMA!
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Corresponding Author:hopkinsmedicine_ama@thewinnower.com

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Hi Reddit, my name is Natalia Trayanova, and I’m a professor of biomedical engineering and medicine at Johns Hopkins University. My lab uses predictive computer simulations to generate personalized virtual hearts of patients that have life-threatening arrhythmias. These first-of-their-kind virtual hearts are already being used in the clinic to assess patient risk of sudden cardiac death and to guide personalized anti-arrhythmia interventions. Simulation-driven engineering has put rockets in space, and airplanes in the sky. We trust engineering advances with our lives, however, when it comes to our own health, things are quite different. Computer simulations are rarely used in medicine. Our vision is to change this – we aim to bring computer simulations to the clinic, to make precise decisions for treatments for heart disease. We believe implementing an engineering data-driven simulation approach will increase the efficacy of diagnostic and clinical procedures for heart rhythm disorders and democratize the delivery of cardiac healthcare. You can learn more about our virtual heart approach in a recent TEDx talk [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wSDMPxGGy3A], and in this video describing our pioneering approach [https://youtu.be/bX62KNOfdBs]. We hope our virtual hearts will become a routine tool in the clinic, improving patient outcomes, which would be an unprecedented merging of computational simulation and clinical medicine. It has been extraordinarily fulfilling to have transcended my role as scientist and engineer, to be working directly with physicians helping patients. This is an unexpected and an exhilarating place to be. I look forward to having you #AskMeAnything on April 2nd, 1 PM ET.