About the Lab

The Windland Smith Rice Sudden Death Genomics Laboratory at Mayo Clinic is dedicated to the discovery of novel disease-causing genes and the elucidation of genotype-phenotype relationships.

Located in Rochester, Minnesota, the Sudden Death Genomics Laboratory, under the direction of principal investigator Michael J. Ackerman, M.D., Ph.D., studies cardiac channelopathies, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and postmortem genetic testing, and new treatments.

In particular, Dr. Ackerman's lab studies:

In conjunction with the Long QT Syndrome Clinic/Genetic Heart Rhythm Clinic, at Mayo Clinic, the Sudden Death Genomics Lab conducts clinical translational research efforts devoted to identifying people at greatest risk of sudden death.

In addition to gene discovery, the lab focuses on characterization, modeling and development of potential treatments of novel arrhythmia-associated genes and variants via whole-cell electrophysiology, and modeling of patient-specific induced pluripotent stem cell cardiomyocytes.

Dr. Ackerman's lab has a large clinical research program focused on understanding treatments and outcomes of these conditions, with several ongoing retrospective and prospective studies and clinical trials.

The Sudden Death Genomics Lab is affiliated with the Division of Cardiovascular Diseases Research. Dr. Ackerman's research team also collaborates with other scientists at Mayo Clinic and around the world.

About Dr. Ackerman

Dr. Ackerman holds the Windland Smith Rice Cardiovascular Genomics Research Professorship. Dr. Ackerman is a professor of medicine, pediatrics and pharmacology in the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science. He joined the staff of Mayo Clinic in July 2000 as a senior associate consultant and assistant professor in medicine and pediatrics.

Dr. Ackerman graduated summa cum laude in 1988 from Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, with a B.A. in mathematics. In 1995, he earned an M.D. and a Ph.D. from Mayo Clinic School of Medicine and Mayo Clinic Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences.

Dr. Ackerman completed a postdoctoral research fellowship in the laboratory of Stephen N. Thibodeau, Ph.D., with a Howard W. Siebens Molecular Medicine Award. Dr. Ackerman was in residency training in pediatrics and adolescent medicine and fellowship training in pediatric cardiology in the Mayo Clinic Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences from 1995 to 2000.

Dr. Ackerman received the Mayo Brothers Distinguished Fellowship Award in 1997 and the Donald C. Balfour Mayo Clinic Alumni Association Research Award from the Mayo Alumni Association in 2000. In 2007, Dr. Ackerman received the 25th distinguished Young Investigator Award from the Society for Pediatric Research. He was inducted into the American Society for Clinical Investigation in 2010.

Dr. Ackerman has received numerous Mayo Clinic research and teaching awards, including the Teacher of the Year award from Mayo Medical School in 2009, the Outstanding Investigator Award from the Department of Medicine in 2011, the Dean's Recognition Award from Mayo Medical School in 2013, and the Mayo Clinic Distinguished Clinician Award in 2015.