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Scientific Advisory Board

Robert Strongin, Ph.D. Scientific Advisory Board Chair, Founder, Organic Chemist is a Professor in the Chemistry Department at Portland State University, where he has been since 2007. He has a broad background in both synthetic and physical organic chemistry, and is experienced as a medicinal chemist at SmithKline Beecham (now GlaxoSmithKline). He has published in the areas of novel therapeutics for ovarian cancer, facile synthetic methods for molecular probes and new palladium-catalyzed coupling reactions. His research efforts with Elex Biotech has led to the synthesis of a large number of drugs that affect the function of the ryanodine receptors from cardiac and skeletal muscle sarcoplasmic reticulum. Rob received his Bachelors degree from Temple University and his Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania.

Xander Wehrens, MD, Ph.D.  Scientific Advisory Board, Founder, Professor in the Department of Medicine, Division of Cardiology Director, Cardiovascular Research Institute and the Juanita P. Quigley Endowed Chair in Cardiology at Baylor College of Medicine where he has been since 2005.  His research focuses on the role of sarcoplasmic reticulum calcium release in cardiac arrhythmias and heart failure. His lab has developed various animal models to study the effects of defects in the RyR2 Ca2+ release channel in atrial fibrillation, ventricular arrhythmias in heart failure, and the development of contractile dysfunction in heart failure. He uses a multidisciplinary approach to study gene mutations and defects at the whole animal level, at the single myocyte level, and at the single channel level. Xander received his M.D./Ph.D. from Maastricht University, the Netherlands and did a Postdoctoral fellowship at Columbia University, New York.

Guy Salama, Ph.D.  Scientific Advisory Board, Founder, Professor, Cardiology, Department of Cell Biology, University of Pittsburgh, where he has been since 1980. A central goal of his laboratory is to elucidate the mechanisms responsible for the initiation and termination of cardiac arrhythmias. To achieve these goals, he has developed the use of voltage-sensitive dyes and high temporal and spatial resolution optical techniques to map patterns of action potential (AP) propagation and repolarization. Animal models for cardiac arrhythmias include: acute ischemia in the guinea pig heart and rabbit models of the long QT syndrome (LQTS). This laboratory has been at the forefront of the investigation of the role of sulfhydryl oxidation-reduction as a mechanisms to regulate Ca2+ release from the sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR). Guy received his Bachelor’s degree from City College of New York, and did his Ph.D. and Postdoctoral work at the University of Pennsylvania.

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