Ralph Lazzara, MD, FACC

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Dr. Ralph Lazzara, is a graduate of Tulane University Medical School in New Orleans.  He completed his residency in Internal Medicine and a fellowship in Cardiology at Tulane Medical School and served a special fellowship in cardiac electrophysiology sponsored by the National Institutes of Health at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York.  He directed the cardiovascular research laboratories at the Ochsner Foundation Hospital in New Orleans until 1967.

After service in the military, he joined the faculty at the University of Miami in 1970 where he served as Director of the Cellular Electrophysiology Laboratories at Mount Sinai Hospital, the Director of the Coronary Care Unit at the Veterans Administration Hospital and the Chief of Cardiology at the Veterans Administration Medical Center.  In 1978, he became Chief of the Section of Cardiovascular Diseases in the Department of Medicine at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center.  In 1998, he became Scientific Director of the newly formed Cardiac Arrhythmia Research Institute, an organization of physicians, scientists, and engineers dedicated to finding cures for cardiac arrhythmias through research and teaching. Dr. Lazzara is the George Lynn Cross Professor of Research, Natalie O. Warren Professor of Medicine, Regent’s Professor of Medicine.

His research is in the field of cardiac electrophysiology and arrhythmias. In recent years, collaborative studies with several colleague investigators have focused on the ionic mechanisms of after-depolarizations that generate arrhythmias in the acquired and congenital long QT syndromes; the arrhythmogenic mechanisms induced by adrenergic stimulation; the electrophysiology of the AV node and its atrial input; clinical investigations related to radiofrequency catheter ablation of cardiac arrhythmias in man; development of catheter ablation methods for atrial fibrillation in experimental animal models; and development of new pharmacologic antiarrhythmic agents for treatment of cardiac arrhythmias.  The general themes of his research are the clarification of mechanisms of various kinds of cardiac arrhythmias and the development of new therapeutic modalities, primarily in the field of pharmacotherapy and radiofrequency catheter ablation for cardiac arrhythmias.