Cardiac Autonomic Control of Heart Disease

Heart disease causes scar formation in the heart and pathological changes in the cardiac autonomic nervous system, which predispose to abnormal heart rhythms, including atrial and ventricular arrhythmias, and heart failure. The Vaseghi lab focuses on identifying the mechanisms and triggers for this neural remodelling and finding ways to prevent arrhythmias and reduce progression of heart failure by exploring a variety of neuromodulatory approaches.





  • New paper called ‘Circulating norepinephrine leads to the release of neuropeptide Y from cardiac sympathetic nerve terminals via activation of beta-adrenergic receptors’ is now published in The Journal of Physiology!
  • 2 Abstracts accepted for Heart Rhythm Society Scientific Sessions 2024!
  • Abstract accepted for American society of Physiology Scientific Sessions 2024! 
  • Abstract accepted for American Heart Association Scientific Sessions 2024! 
  • New review on cardiac vagal afferent neurotransmission accepted for publication in Frontiers in Neuroscience! 
  • New review on autonomic control of ventricular function accepted for publication in Clinical
    Autonomic Research!

Tools and Techniques


  • In-vivo Neural Recording of Peripheral Autonomic Ganglia
  • Fast-Scanning Cyclic Voltammetryfor Neurotransmitter Measurements
  • Capacitive Immunoprobes for Neuropeptide Measurements
  • High-resolution In-vivo Cardiac Electrophysiological Recordings and Mapping
  • Optogenetics to Determine Role of Specific Neuronal Pathways
  • Viral Tracing, Tissue Clearing, Immuno-histochemistry, Western Blotting, ELISA to Understand Tissue Innervation and Protein Expression
  • Confocal and High-Resolution Microscopy
  • Single Cell RNA-Sequencing

About the PI


Dr. Vaseghi is a cardiologist, clinical cardiac electrophysiologist, and Director of Clinical and Translational Research at the UCLA Cardiac Arrhythmia Center. She obtained her MD from Stanford University and her PhD in Molecular, Cellular, and Integrative Physiology at UCLA. She is the principle investigator and co-investigator of several National Institute of Health funded studies evaluating the role of autonomic nervous system in heart rhythm disorders and the development and role of new neuromodulatory therapies as well as catheter ablation techniques to treat arrhythmias. She is the recipient of the NIH New Innovator Award. Her laboratory’s breadth of work ranges from small and large animal models to human mechanistic studies to study cardiac autonomic innervation.


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