BME Seminar: Steven Poelzing (Virginia Tech Carillon Research Institute) – “Buffers and Biomedical Reproducibility: Lessons from the Heart”

December 6, 2018
10:10 am - 11:10 am
Whitaker Hall 218 (Danforth Campus)

“Buffers and Biomedical Reproducibility: Lessons from the Heart”

Abstract: Biomedical reproducibility is a continuous existential crisis for science and society. Yet, science is often catalyzed by discrepant findings between laboratories that feed into controversies and bring into focus important scientific questions. This demonstrates that biomedical irreproducibility can be harnessed and channeled to move a field forward if we take the time to explore the controversies rather than simply add more data to defend one side or the other of a scientific narrative. Our laboratory became involved in one of these controversies related to whether or not a 50% loss of the gap junction protein thought to be responsible for electrical communication in the heart would actually slow the speed of electrical propagation in the heart. Sufficient basic science evidence from well-respected groups supports both the theory that 50% reduced gap junctional coupling slows cardiac conduction or has little to no effect on conduction. This seminar will narrate the path by which we came to understand that relatively small, and what some might consider insignificant changes in whole-heart buffer solutions may be one underlying cause of the controversy. Our findings also suggest that a previously underappreciated parallel pathway of electrical communication exists in the heart.

Host: Jon Silva (WashU Biomedical Engineering)

Department of Biomedical Engineering (BME) seminars

For inquiries contact Karen Teasdale.


Please know that there have been changes to parking on the Danforth Campus due to the east end construction.

Metrolink or biking to the Danforth campus are the easiest options.

If you choose to drive, the closest parking is in Millbrook garage off of Forest Park Parkway and Throop Drive.  It will take approx. 15 minutes to walk to our building.