Director, Centre for Cardiovascular Innovation

  • Cardiac Electrophysiologist at RJH Victoria, Associate Prof UVic, Clinical Assistant Prof UBC
  • NIHR, Wellcome Trust, Academy of Medical Sciences funding previously
  • HRS Young investigator award winner 2017 for invention and preclinical investigation of a hypoxia-activated anti-arrhythmic drug
  • Research interests:

–Takotsubo Cardiomyopathy

–AF – novel ablative technologies

–Novel anti-arrhythmic drugs

–Preclinical models e.g. rat MI

–Ischemic ventricular arrhythmias

–Statistics – hierarchical data analysis, metaregression

–Intracellular Ca2+ biology – sparks and waves

–Inventions re EP mapping and approaches to pacing lead implantation

Dr Sikkel in a Cardiologist with Sub-Specialization in Clinical Electrophysiology and Cardiac Device Implantation.

Clinical Subspecialization

Dr Sikkel specializes in the management of cardiac arrhythmias including pharmacological and ablative therapy of atrial and ventricular arrhythmias. He also has expertise in the implantation of cardiac devices including pacemakers, ICDs and cardiac resynchronization devices. He is currently practising at the Royal Jubilee Hospital in Victoria, Canada with an honorary Clinical Lecturer role at Imperial College London where he continues to participate in cardiac electrophysiology research.

Qualifications and Training

Markus Sikkel graduated from Imperial College School of Medicine in 2004 with a distinction in clinical practice and prizes in medicine, surgery, pharmacology, ophthalmology and public health. He attained 1st class honours in his intercalated BSc in Pharmacology and Toxicology.

His postgraduate medical training included comprehensive surgical and medical training with full MRCS qualifications achieved in 2006 and MRCP in 2008. He began cardiology-specific specialty registrar training in 2009 as an NIHR Academic Clinical Fellow. This allowed him to attain a Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Training Fellowship which he took up within the myocardial function section at Imperial College. He also completed an international electrophysiology fellowship in Victoria, Canada. He qualified as a consultant cardiologist in 2017.

Research Interests

As part of the Wellcome fellowship he completed a PhD on the role of calcium leak from the sarcoplasmic reticulum in promoting ventricular arrhythmias. In addition he investigated novel mechanisms by which some drugs exert their anti-arrhythmic effects and assessed how the structure of myocytes in cardiac failure relates to arrhythmia in this condition using novel imaging techniques. During the course of this research he was awarded several prizes for presentations related to his work (see link to CV) including the NHLI Thesis prize for best PhD Thesis.

Markus completed his clinical academic training as a Walport Clinical Lecturer and Devices and Electrophysiology Fellow at Imperial College London in 2017.

He is in the process of designing and investigating novel pharmacological therapies for acute ischaemic ventricular arrhythmias. He is also investigating the role of high density electroanatomical mapping in improving ablative therapies and investigating new ways to treat AF including ganglionated plexus ablation.

He attained the Heart Rhythm Society Young Investigator Award 2017 in Chicago for his work on the development of a novel hypoxia activated antiarrhythmic drug.

Key Publications in 2019:

CCI is an inclusive centre with multidisciplinary membership for all cardiovascular investigators in BC