headshot of Sharon George

Sharon George

Assistant Professor
Website Bioengineering Department


Dr Sharon Ann George earned her Bachelor of Engineering degree in Biomedical Engineering from Anna University, Chennai. She then pursued her Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering at Virginia Tech where her dissertation work focused on the role of a novel form of electrical coupling between cardiac cells, called ephaptic coupling. Her work identified that modulating ionic composition of extracellular nanodomains along the intercalated disc could modulate electric potentials in these spaces and allows each cardiomyocyte to depolarize its neighbor.

Dr George then did her postdoctoral training at the George Washington University where she began her research in the field of cardio-oncology. Her postdoctoral work identified the role of stress signaling molecules that are involved in the development of cardiotoxic effects of cancer chemotherapeutics. Interestingly, her work also identified that p38 MAPK, a stress signaling molecule, has sex-specific and isoform-specific effects on the heart.

Dr George then began her role as an Assistant Professor (Research track) at Northwestern University in the Department of Biomedical Engineering where she continued her work in cardio-oncology and focused on the role of exercise and preserving metabolism to protect the heart during cancer chemotherapy.

In 2024, Dr George joined Pitt as an Assistant Professor (Tenure track) and she continues her work on identifying metabolic targets for cardioprotection during chemotherapy while focusing on sex dimorphism in this phenomenon.


Paul E Torgersen Research Excellence Award.

B.E., Anna University, 2011

Ph.D., Virginia Tech - Wake Forest University, 2016

George, S.A., Trampel, K.A., Brunner, K., & Efimov, I.R. (2024). Moderate Endurance Exercise Increases Arrhythmia Susceptibility and Modulates Cardiac Structure and Function in a Sexually Dimorphic Manner. J Am Heart Assoc, 13(9), e033317.Ovid Technologies (Wolters Kluwer Health). doi: 10.1161/JAHA.123.033317.

Chen, Z., Lin, Z., Obaid, S.N., Rytkin, E., George, S.A., Bach, C., Madrid, M., Liu, M., LaPiano, J., Fehr, A., Shi, X., Quirion, N., Russo, B., Knight, H., Aduwari, A., Efimov, I.R., & Lu, L. (2023). Soft, bioresorbable, transparent microelectrode arrays for multimodal spatiotemporal mapping and modulation of cardiac physiology. Sci Adv, 9(27), eadi0757.American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). doi: 10.1126/sciadv.adi0757.

George, S.A., Brennan-McLean, J.A., Trampel, K.A., Rytkin, E., Faye, N.R., Knollmann, B.C., & Efimov, I.R. (2023). Ryanodine receptor inhibition with acute dantrolene treatment reduces arrhythmia susceptibility in human hearts. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol, 325(4), H720-H728.American Physiological Society. doi: 10.1152/ajpheart.00103.2023.

George, S.A., Kiss, A., Trampel, K.A., Obaid, S.N., Tang, L., Efimov, I.R., & Efimova, T. (2023). Anthracycline cardiotoxicity is exacerbated by global p38β genetic ablation in a sexually dimorphic manner but unaltered by cardiomyocyte-specific p38α loss. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol, 325(5), H983-H997.American Physiological Society. doi: 10.1152/ajpheart.00458.2023.

George, S.A., Lin, Z., & Efimov, I.R. (2022). Simultaneous triple-parametric optical mapping of transmembrane potential, intracellular calcium and NADH for cardiac physiology assessment. Commun Biol, 5(1), 319.Springer Science and Business Media LLC. doi: 10.1038/s42003-022-03279-y.

Warhol, A., George, S.A., Obaid, S.N., Efimova, T., & Efimov, I.R. (2021). Differential cardiotoxic electrocardiographic response to doxorubicin treatment in conscious versus anesthetized mice. Physiol Rep, 9(15), e14987.Wiley. doi: 10.14814/phy2.14987.

Miller, J.M., Meki, M.H., Ou, Q., George, S.A., Gams, A., Abouleisa, R.R.E., Tang, X.L., Ahern, B.M., Giridharan, G.A., El-Baz, A., Hill, B.G., Satin, J., Conklin, D.J., Moslehi, J., Bolli, R., Ribeiro, A.J.S., Efimov, I.R., & Mohamed, T.M.A. (2020). Heart slice culture system reliably demonstrates clinical drug-related cardiotoxicity. Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology, 406, 115213.Elsevier BV. doi: 10.1016/j.taap.2020.115213.

Efimov, I.R., & George, S. (2018). Authors’ Reply: Unravelling the Mysteries Of The Human AV Node. Arrhythmia & Electrophysiology Review, 7(1), 64.Radcliffe Group Ltd. doi: 10.15420/aer.2018.7.1.l1.r1.

George, S.A., Faye, N.R., Murillo-Berlioz, A., Lee, K.B., Trachiotis, G.D., & Efimov, I.R. (2017). At the Atrioventricular Crossroads: Dual Pathway Electrophysiology in the Atrioventricular Node and its underlying Heterogeneities. Arrhythmia & Electrophysiology Review, 6(4), 179.Radcliffe Group Ltd. doi: 10.15420/aer.2017.30.1.

Greer-Short, A., George, S.A., Poelzing, S., & Weinberg, S.H. (2017). Revealing the Concealed Nature of Long-QT Type 3 Syndrome. Circulation: Arrhythmia and Electrophysiology, 10(2).Ovid Technologies (Wolters Kluwer Health). doi: 10.1161/circep.116.004400.

George, S.A., & Poelzing, S. (2016). Cardiac conduction in isolated hearts of genetically modified mice – Connexin43 and salts. Progress in Biophysics and Molecular Biology, 120(1-3), 189-198.Elsevier BV. doi: 10.1016/j.pbiomolbio.2015.11.004.

George, S.A., Bonakdar, M., Zeitz, M., Davalos, R.V., Smyth, J.W., & Poelzing, S. (2016). Extracellular sodium dependence of the conduction velocity-calcium relationship: evidence of ephaptic self-attenuation. American Journal of Physiology-Heart and Circulatory Physiology, 310(9), H1129-H1139.American Physiological Society. doi: 10.1152/ajpheart.00857.2015.

George, S.A., Sciuto, K.J., Lin, J., Salama, M.E., Keener, J.P., Gourdie, R.G., & Poelzing, S. (2015). Extracellular sodium and potassium levels modulate cardiac conduction in mice heterozygous null for the Connexin43 gene. Pflügers Archiv - European Journal of Physiology, 467(11), 2287-2297.Springer Science and Business Media LLC. doi: 10.1007/s00424-015-1698-0.

Cathey, B., Obaid, S., Zolotarev, A.M., Pryamonosov, R.A., Syunyaev, R.A., George, S.A., & Efimov, I.R. Open-Source Multiparametric Optocardiography. Scientific Reports, 9(1).Springer Science and Business Media LLC. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-36809-y.

Entz, M., George, S.A., Zeitz, M.J., Raisch, T., Smyth, J.W., & Poelzing, S. Heart Rate and Extracellular Sodium and Potassium Modulation of Gap Junction Mediated Conduction in Guinea Pigs. Frontiers in Physiology, 7.Frontiers Media SA. doi: 10.3389/fphys.2016.00016.

George, S.A., Brennan, J.A., & Efimov, I.R. Preclinical Cardiac Electrophysiology Assessment by Dual Voltage and Calcium Optical Mapping of Human Organotypic Cardiac Slices. Journal of Visualized Experiments, (160).MyJove Corporation. doi: 10.3791/60781.

George, S.A., Calhoun, P.J., Gourdie, R.G., Smyth, J.W., & Poelzing, S. TNFα Modulates Cardiac Conduction by Altering Electrical Coupling between Myocytes. Frontiers in Physiology, 8.Frontiers Media SA. doi: 10.3389/fphys.2017.00334.

George, S.A., Kiss, A., Obaid, S.N., Venegas, A., Talapatra, T., Wei, C., Efimova, T., & Efimov, I.R. p38δ genetic ablation protects female mice from anthracycline cardiotoxicity. Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. doi: 10.1101/2020.03.02.973347.

George, S.A., Lin, Z., & Efimov, I.R. Simultaneous Triple-Parametric Optical Mapping of Transmembrane Potential, Intracellular Calcium and NADH for Cardiac Physiology Assessment. Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. doi: 10.1101/2021.09.09.459667.

George, S.A., Trampel, K.A., Brunner, K., & Efimov, I.R. Moderate Endurance Exercise Increases Arrhythmia Susceptibility and modulates Cardiac Structure and Function in a Sexually Dimorphic manner. Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. doi: 10.1101/2023.08.21.554195.