Ion Channels and Channelopathies

The main focus of the Abriel laboratory is to investigate mechanisms underlying human diseases caused by dysfunction of ion channels, so-called channelopathies. In particular, one of the main objectives is to elucidate novel molecular and cellular mechanisms of cardiac arrhythmias causing sudden death. To this end, on the one hand, our group investigates ion channel mutations found in patients and families presenting with genetic forms of lethal arrhythmias such as the congenital long QT syndrome, Brugada syndrome and cardiac conduction disturbances. On the other hand, we are studying new types of regulation of cardiac ion channels relevant to arrhythmogenic mechanisms.

Research Abriel

Fig. 1: Schematic presentation of the cardiac action potential and the three main ion channels that we are currently studying in the laboratory. The channel Nav1.5 mediates the rapid depolarization of the membrane, whereas the hERG and KCNQ1 channels are involved in the repolarization of the cardiac cell.


  • sodium channel
  • potassium channel
  • hERG channel
  • cardiac electrophysiology
  • congenital long QT syndrome
  • Brugada syndrome
  • cardiac conduction defects


Prof. Hugues Abriel, MD PhD
Institute of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine
Group leader of  Ion Channel Research


University of Bern
Department for BioMedical Research
MEM G806
Murtenstrasse 35
3008 Bern
Phone: +41 31 632 09 28
Fax: +41 31 632 09 46