1985 Bachelor of Science (Medical) – Distinction (University of Sydney)
1988 Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery – Honors (I) (University of Sydney)
1994 Doctor of Philosophy (University of Cambridge)
Research Interests: Biophysics and pharmacology of cardiac ion channels. Genotype-Phenotype relationships in inherited arrhythmia syndromes. In silico modeling of inherited arrhythmia syndromes. Structural basis of drug binding to hERG K+ channels.
Professor Jamie Vandenberg completed his medical degree at the University of Sydney (1988) and his PhD in the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Cambridge (1994). He undertook postdoctoral studies in cardiac electrophysiology at the University of Oxford then moved to the University of Cambridge where he established an independent group looking at the molecular basis of cardiac arrhythmias. In 2002, he relocated to the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute, where he is currently Co-Deputy Director and Head of the Mark Cowley Lidwill Research Program in Cardiac Electrophysiology. He is a National Health and Medical Research Council Principal Research Fellow, and in 2015 was elected to the Fellowship of the Heart rhythm Society (USA) and the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences. His research has focused on the molecular basis of cardiac electrical activity and understanding the genesis of cardiac arrhythmias and sudden cardiac death.
Current Research Grants
NHMRC Principal Research Fellowship (2017-2021) Vandenberg JI $838,875
NHMRC Program Grant (2015-2019). Finding new evidence based therapies for treating heart disease and stimulating Regeneration. RP Harvey, RM Graham, PS Macdonald, D Fatkin, SL Dunwoodie, JI Vandenberg $10,600,000
NHMRC Project Grant (2018-2020). The structural basis for promiscuity of drug binding to hERG K+ channels. JI Vandenberg, AG Stewart TW Allen, E Perozo $713,035
1992 International Society of Heart Research Young Investigator Travel Award
1992 American Heart Association Melvyn L. Marcus Young Investigator Award in Integrated Physiology (finalist)
1994 Gedge Prize (for best research undertaken by a student in Physiological Sciences) at University of Cambridge
2014 National Lecturer (Australian Physiological Society)
2015 Sir Bob Robertson Award (Australian Society for Biophysics)
2015 Elected Fellow of the Heart Rhythm Society, USA
2015 Elected Fellow, Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences
2018 Elected Fellow, International Society of Heart Research
Scholarships and Fellowships
1984 AMSA-AMA B.Sc.(Med.) Scholarship
1990-91 Sir Robert Menzies Memorial Scholarship in Medicine
1990-92 Overseas Research Scholar Award - Department of Education, UK
1992-93 Sydney University Medical Foundation Sir Zelman Cowan Traveling Research Fellowship
1993-95 Zeneca Junior Research Fellowship, Pembroke College, Oxford, UK
1996-01 British Heart Foundation Basic Science Award
1996-01 British Heart Foundation Basic Science Award (resigned December 2001)
2002-06 NHMRC RD Wright Career Development Award in Biomedical Science
2007-11 NHMRC Senior Research Fellowship Level A
2012-16 NHMRC Senior Research Fellowship Level B with SEO (translation)
2017-21 NHMRC Principal Research Fellowship with SEO (translation)
Jamie Vandenberg’s work focuses on the molecular basis of inherited and drug-induced arrhythmia syndromes. He has made major contributions to understanding of the molecular and structural basis of ion channel gatingandmechanisms underlyingdrug binding to hERG K+channels, the cause of the vast majority of cases of drug-induced arrhythmias. He has also made significant contributions to understanding the molecular basis of inherited arrhythmia syndromescaused by ion channel mutations. His work exemplifies how the combination of a deep understanding of basic biology combined with the study of clinically relevant problems can have significant translational benefits both in terms of the management of families with inherited heart rhythm disorders and in the industrial setting in terms of development of better assays to assess the pro-arrhythmic risk of drugs in the preclinical setting.
Molecular and structural basis of ion channel gating
Jamie was the intellectual driving force behind the discovery of the “Japanese Puzzle Box” model of inactivation gating in hERG K+ channels. His work characterising the kinetics of hERG K+ channel gating has also become accepted as the gold standard for the field and has been adopted by the Food and Drug Administration as the reference data set for establishing in silicomodels of hERG K+ channel gating.
In addition to providing strong evidence for the state-dependence of drug binding to hERG K+ channels, in 2014 he reported the first direct measurements of the kinetics of binding and unbinding of drugs to hERG K+ channels. This work provides the groundwork for the development of molecularly accurate in silico models of hERG drug binding that can be used to predict the pro-arrhythmic risk of drugs from preclinical screening assays.
Molecular basis of inherited arrhythmia syndromes
Together with Andrew Grace and Bill Colledge we developed the first animal model of Brugada Syndrome. By adapting a clinical premature stimulation protocol we also demonstrated that the arrhythmia mechanism in the mouse was the same as that in humans. More recently, Jamie has had a very productive collaboration with Diane Fatkin’s molecular genetics group. Together, we demonstrated how gene-environment interactions contributed to the genesis of familial atrial fibrillation, developed novel computational tools to explain the epistatic effects of potassium channel variation on cardiac repolarization and atrial fibrillation risk and identified a gene-guided therapy for a family with an inherited dilated cardiomyopathy.
Together with Adam Hill, Jamie has used computational modeling to complement their ion channel gating work for >10 years. Significant breakthroughs in recent years include the development of whole heart models based on graphical processor unit technology, which has enabled breakthrough discoveries in establishing causally cohesive links from genotype to whole organ phenotypes. His laboratory has also applied partial least square methods to permit the analysis of large populations of “genetically different” individuals to understand the variable penetrance of dominant molecular defects.
1. Molecular basis of gating in hERG K+ channels
2. Genoptype-phenotype relationships in inherited arrhythmia syndromes
3. Development of ECG biomarkers for risk of sudden cardiac arrest
4. Structural basis of hERG K+ channel function
My Research Supervision
Matt PERRY: Cardiac disease modelling using induced pluripotent stem cells
Andy NG: Genotype-phenotype relationships in Long QT syndrome
Carus LAU: Structural analysis of hERG K+ channels
Jordan THORPE: Modeling heart disease using cardiac organoids
Nicholas KERR: Induced pluripotent stem cell models of Brugada Syndrome
Whitney Liang: Investigating the role of cellular heterogeneity in cardiac electrical signalling
Emily Hurley: Modeling Atrial arrhythmias using induced pluripotent stem cells
Connie Jiang: Genotype-phenotype relationships in Long QT syndrome
Wei Han: Structural analysis of hERG K+ channels
School of Medical Sciences, Cardiovascular Physiology, Yr3: Cardiac Arrhythmias
Medicine Yr3: Anti-arrhythmic drugs