Dr. Natalia Trayanova is the inaugural Murray B. Sachs Endowed Professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering and a professor in the Department of Medicine at Johns Hopkins University. She is also faculty of the Institute for Computational Medicine and director of the Computational Cardiology Laboratory. Trayanova is known for her groundbreaking work in computational cardiology, for which she received the NIH Director’s Pioneer Award in 2013. Also the inaugural William R. Brody Faculty Scholar at Johns Hopkins University, Trayanova is a Fellow of the International Academy of Medical and Biological Engineering, Heart Rhythm Society, American Heart Association, Biomedical Engineering Society, and the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering.
The basic science research in Trayanova’s Computational Cardiology Laboratory focuses on understanding the pathological electrophysiological and electromechanical behavior of the heart, with emphasis on the mechanisms for cardiac arrhythmogenesis and pump dysfunction. Importantly, Trayanova’s work also has a strong translational component, which centers on improving the diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular disease. Using a personalized MRI-based simulation approach, Trayanova is developing new methods for the risk stratification of sudden cardiac death and improving the accuracy and success of atrial and ventricular ablation therapies. Through her cardiac models, which simulate the electrical, mechanical, and physiological properties of individual patients’ hearts, Trayanova is pioneering advances in personalized medicine for patients with cardiovascular disease. Her first-of-their-kind virtual hearts are already being used in the clinic to assess patient risk and guide anti-arrhythmia interventions. Research in Trayanova’s laboratory is supported by grants from NIH, NSF, and the American Heart Association, and has resulted in more than 250 peer-reviewed publications in journals such as Nature Communications (featured article), Journal of Clinical Investigation, PNAS (featured article), and Science Translational Medicine.
Trayanova is actively involved in the commercialization of her technologies, with more than a dozen awarded or pending patents and additional research support from TEDCO’s MII Innovation Commercialization Program. She is the founder and chief scientific officer of Cardiosolv Ablation Technologies, a startup company that develops computational strategies to improve the treatment of ventricular tachycardia, a life-threatening arrhythmia.
Trayanova has received numerous honors and recognitions, including the Discovery Innovation Award from Johns Hopkins University, the Outstanding Researcher and Excellence in Research and Scholarship Awards from Tulane University, and the Fulbright Distinguished Research Award. She has also received awards for excellence in teaching. In addition to serving as chair of the Gordon Research Conference on Cardiac Arrhythmia Mechanisms, Trayanova has presented both nationally and internationally, with more than 250 invited talks, keynotes, and plenary lectures. Her work has received widespread media coverage, including a TEDx Talk in 2017; interviews by the BBC, NPR, and the Economist; and numerous features in outlets such as Scientific American, NBC News, the Baltimore Sun, the Huffington Post, Science Daily, HealthTech Insider, Futurity, and Engadget.
Among her professional activities, Trayanova is associate editor or editorial board member of a number of journals, including Heart Rhythm, Circulation: Arrhythmias and Electrophysiology, Journal of Interventional Cardiology, and Frontiers in Computational Physiology and Medicine. Trayanova has served as a member of the NIH ESTA and MABS study sections, among others. She currently serves on the FDA CIPA Steering Committee and the American Heart Association Research Funding Subcommittee. As an advocate for the federal funding of scientific research, Trayanova was one of four NIH-funded researchers selected to participate in a 2017 Capitol Hill briefing organized by United for Medical Research and House Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Mike Simpson.