Penn EP Translational Center of Excellence

This major new initiative was announced January 2018 and will harness our faculty’s nationally renowned electrophysiology expertise and provide new resources and pathways to tackle the cardiac arrhythmias that remain the leading cause of sudden cardiac death across the nation. ​Though emerging therapies in the form of catheter-based ablation and novel devices have begun to revolutionize the treatment of arrhythmias, we are well-positioned to serve as an incubator for more rapid progress in the field. Crucially, the team will also focus on rapidly moving translational discoveries into clinical care to improve outcome of our patients with ventricular tachycardia and atrial fibrillation. 

This program builds on a twenty-year track record of clinical innovation and growth in the care of patients with cardiac arrhythmias at Penn, which brings both leadership expertise and a deep bench of clinical research achievements. Our group has published over 400 scientific articles describing pioneering efforts that have set standards of care for both AF and VT ablation therapy world-wide.

The newly created EP-TCE will:

  • Create and catalyze “bench to bedside” investigation in cardiac electrophysiology
  • Build new collaborations with basic scientists in the Penn Cardiovascular Institute and across our campus to increase the understanding of the mechanistic origins of ventricular tachycardia (VT) and atrial fibrillation (AF)
  • Create novel, precision medicine-based diagnostic and therapeutic techniques and technology to improve the care of patients with VT and AF
  • Develop and test innovative approaches to arrhythmia care through randomized clinical trials
  • Grow and harness the Penn VT and AF ablation outcomes registries to establish standards of care for the field, and to identify groups of patients who would benefit from specialized precision medicine approaches
  • Establish a VT Center that maps a new model of multi-disciplinary care for the growing population of patients referred to Penn, and continue global educational efforts related to VT ablation and treatment

The cornerstone of the TCE initiative will be the creation of the Translational EP Laboratory, under the direction of Dr. Cory Tschabrunn. Dr. Tschabrunn, who worked with Dr. Mark Josephson at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, is recognized for work in establishing infarct models of VT and characterizing the details of the complex arrhythmia anatomic substrate and circuit characteristics. The Translational EP Laboratory will focus on increasing collaborations with radiology, bioengineering, cardiac surgery programs, and industry partners to foster innovation in technology and treatment techniques, and will synergize with Penn’s HealthTech Initiative. Crucially, the team will also focus on rapidly moving translational discoveries into clinical care to improve outcome of our patients with VT and AF.

The EP TCE is led by Francis Marchlinski, the Richard T. and Angela Clark President’s Distinguished Professor of Medicine and Director of Cardiac Electrophysiology for Penn Medicine, with Associate Directors David Callans, Cory Tschabrunn, Jeffrey Arkles, Fermin Garcia, Pasquale Santangeli and Gregory Supple. The University of Pennsylvania Health System and Perlman School of Medicine are providing a three-year investment to support the development and initial efforts to achieve the EP-TCE’s missions.