The group works to continuously improve research methods and knowledge as well as to foster expertise in electrophysiology outcomes research and clinical trials.


The group works to continuously improve research methods and knowledge as well as to foster expertise in electrophysiology outcomes research and clinical trials.

Specific research goals include:

  • Gaining a better understanding of the fundamental electrophysiologic mechanisms involved in the initiation, maintenance, and termination of supraventricular and ventricular tachycardia
  • Investigating new treatment approaches to patients with tachyarrhythmias, including drugs, electrical devices, catheter ablation, and surgery
  • Examining the outcomes of patients with different rhythm disorders and the effect of various therapeutic approaches on their outcomes
  • Designing and performing new clinical trials addressing the effectiveness of antiarrhythmic medications, devices, and ablative procedures
  • Identifying tests that effectively stratify patients for risk of sudden cardiac death and to develop clinically useful predictive models based on these tests
  • Evaluating the effectiveness, cost-effectiveness, and health policy implications of screening and therapeutic interventions for sudden cardiac death prevention, and using these evaluations to develop clinical guidelines for implementation of these interventions
  • Evaluating patients with familial arrhythmias or a family history of sudden death

Examples of research projects include:

  • Leadership of a number of trials of device therapy with pacemakers, implantable cardioverter defibrillators, and heart failure devices
  • Clinical investigation of pharmacologic agents for the control and suppression of arrhythmias
  • Outcomes research in patients with atrial and ventricular arrhythmias
  • Risk stratification for sudden cardiac death
  • Procedure-based database to capture all patients undergoing procedures at Duke University Medical Center
  • The use and development of new mapping techniques for arrhythmia ablation
  • Genomics research examining gene expression differences in patients treated with biventricular pacemakers


To facilitate the development and implementation of new therapeutic modalities and modification of current diagnostic and therapeutic approaches, close collaboration is maintained with a number of groups, including:

These collaborations allow the integration of very basic "bench" research to be available to the practicing clinician.

Selected Publications

  • Arps K, Li B, Allen JC, Alenezi F, Frazier-Mills C, Al-Khatib SM, Jackson KP, Jackson LR, Thomas KL, Piccini JP. Association of leadless pacing with ventricular and valvular function. J Cardiovasc Electrophysiol. 2023 Nov;34(11):2233–2242.
  • Arps K, Doss J, Geiger K, Flores-Rosario K, DeVore AD, Karra R, Kim HW, Piccini JP, Pokorney SD, Sun AY. Incidence and Predictors of Relapse After Weaning Immune Suppressive Therapy in Cardiac Sarcoidosis. Am J Cardiol. 2023 Oct 1;204:249–256.
  • Pokorney, S. D., Zepel, L., Greiner, M. A., Fowler, V. G., Black-Maier, E., Lewis, R. K., … Piccini, J. P. (2023). Lead Extraction and Mortality Among Patients With Cardiac Implanted Electronic Device Infection. JAMA Cardiol, 8(12), 1165–1173.
  • Brahier MS, Friedman DJ, Bahnson TD, Piccini JP. Repeat Catheter Ablation for Atrial Fibrillation. Heart Rhythm. 2023 Dec 13:S1547-5271(23)02999-5. 
  • Amin K, Bethel G, Jackson LR, Essien UR, Sloan CE. Eliminating Health Disparities in Atrial Fibrillation, Heart Failure, and Dyslipidemia: A Path Toward Achieving Pharmacoequity. Curr Atheroscler Rep. 2023 Dec;25(12):1113–1127.
  • Loring Z, Clare RM, Hofmann P, Chiswell K, Vemulapalli S, Piccini J. Natural history of echocardiographic changes in atrial fibrillation: A case-controlled study of longitudinal remodeling. Heart Rhythm. 2024 Jan;21(1):6–15.
  • Campbell KB, Eickman SD, Truong T, Black-Maier E, Barnett AS, Wang A, Green CL, Daubert JP, Lewis RK, Atwater BD, Al-Khatib SM, Bahnson TD, Thomas KL, Jackson KP, Jackson LR, Pokorney S, Frazier-Mills C, Piccini JP. Colchicine for the Prevention of Recurrent Arrhythmia After Catheter Ablation of Atrial Fibrillation: Results of a Single-Center, Retrospective Study. Am J Cardiovasc Drugs. 2023 Nov;23(6):709–719.
  • Arps K, Barnett AS, Koontz JI, Pokorney SD, Jackson KP, Bahnson TD, Piccini JP, Sun AY. Use of Ripple mapping to enhance localization and ablation of outflow tract premature ventricular contractions. J Cardiovasc Electrophysiol. 2023 Jul;34(7):1552–1560.
  • Friedman DJ, Qin L, Freeman JV, Singh JP, Curtis JP, Piccini JP, Al-Khatib SM, Jackson KP. Left ventricular lead implantation failure in an unselected nationwide cohort. Heart Rhythm. 2023 Oct;20(10):1420–1428.
  • Sampognaro JR, Karatela M, Lewis RK, Black-Maier E, Pokorney SD, Hegland DD, Piccini JP. Efficacy and Safety of Adjunctive and Primary Use of the TightRail Mechanical Cutting Sheath for Lead Extraction. Circ Arrhythm Electrophysiol. 2023 Jun;16(6):e011603.
  • Dalgaard F, Fudim M, Al-Khatib SM, Friedman DJ, Abraham WT, Cleland JGF, Curtis AB, Gold MR, Kutyifa V, Linde C, Young J, Ali-Ahmed F, Tang A, Olivas-Martinez A, Inoue LYT, Sanders GD. Cardiac resynchronization therapy in patients with a prior history of atrial fibrillation: Insights from four major clinical trials. J Cardiovasc Electrophysiol. 2023 Sep;34(9):1914–1924.
  • Kisling AJ, Symons JG, Daubert JP. Catheter ablation of atrial fibrillation: anticipating and avoiding complications. Expert Rev Med Devices. 2023;20(11):929–941.
  • Zeitler EP, Li Y, Silverstein AP, Russo AM, Poole JE, Daniels MR, Al-Khalidi HR, Lee KL, Bahnson TD, Anstrom KJ, Packer DL, Mark DB, CABANA Investigators. Effects of Ablation Versus Drug Therapy on Quality of Life by Sex in Atrial Fibrillation: Results From the CABANA Trial. J Am Heart Assoc. 2023 Feb 7;12(3):e027871.
  • Asad ZUA, Imran S, Parmar M, Bajwa A, Truong D, Agarwal S, Ghani A, Clifton S, Reese J, Khan MS, Munir MB, DeSimone CV, Sivaram C, Jackman WM, Po S, Stavrakis S, Al-Khatib SM. Antero-lateral vs. antero-posterior electrode position for cardioversion of atrial fibrillation: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. J Interv Card Electrophysiol. 2023 Dec;66(9):1989–2001.


Sana Al-Khatib, MD
Tristram Bahnson, MD
James Daubert, MD
Camille Frazier-Mills, MD    
Daniel Friedman, MD
Augustus Grant, MD, ChB, PhD
Donald Hegland, MD
Kevin Jackson, MD
Larry Jackson, MD
Jason Koontz, MD
Robert Lewis, MD, PhD, MBA
Zak Loring, MD
Jonathan Piccini, MD, MHS
Sean Pokorney, MD, MBA
Albert Sun, MD
Kevin Thomas, MD

Contact Information

Office: 7521 North Pavilion Building, Durham, NC, 27715 
Campus mail: DUMC Box 3850, Durham, NC, 27715 
Phone: 919-668-8649