Alexander (Sasha) Panfilov is a guest professor in cardiac biophysics and a leading expert in the development and use of mathematical models for cardiac arrhythmia research.
Sasha Panfilov is also a full professor in biophysics at the Department of Physics and Astronomy of Ghent University (Belgium), and a Honorary professor of mathematics at Dundee University (UK). He research interest mainly focuses on theoretical studies of wave propagation in excitable media, which has resulted in an extensive track record of grants, publications and lectures regarding this subject.
In early 2017, Sasha has been appointed as a guest professor to further consolidate our collaboration, especially with regard to development and use of mathematical models for cardiac arrhythmia research, including the ERC-supported Bio-ICD project.
He graduated in 1979 from the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology as a theoretical physicist (with highest degree honour), and started to work on application of methods of mathematics and theoretical physics for biological and biomedical problems. In 1983, he received his doctoral degree from the Institute of Biological Physics, Pushchino, Russian Academy of Sciences and continued to working for this Institute till 1990. Then after spending 2 years at the Department of Mathematics, of University of Utah, Salt Lake City USA, he moved to the Netherlands in 1992 to work at the Department of Theoretical Biology, Utrecht University. In 2003-2004 he worked as a professor at the Department of Mathematics, University of Dundee, after which he returned to the Netherlands, where he stayed till 2011. Since 2011 he is a full professor at the Department of Physics and Astronomy Gent University, Belgium.
His main results in the field of electrical wave propagation include I) the findings of dynamical properties of 3D spiral waves (filament tension, filament twist etc), II) one of the first studies of the phenomenon of spiral break-up, which is now considered as one of the major mechanisms of ventricular fibrillation, III) studies of effects of anisotropy and heterogeneity of myocardium on the onset of cardiac arrhythmias, IV) development of the first anatomically based electrophysiological models of dog and of human heart, which we apply for detailed studies of mechanisms of cardiac arrhythmias and development of new effective methods of fighting against sudden cardiac death.