DARREN ANTHONY HOOKS
PHD (AUCK) 2002, MB CHB (AUCK) 2005,
DIP CARDIAC EP 2012, (CARDIAC ELECTROPHYSIOLOGY INSTITUTE OF AUSTRALIA),
I developed an interest in cardiac electrophysiology during the 2nd year of medical school in Auckland, and following completion of my 3rd year (BHB), decided to take a year out to do a Masters in Physiology. Having been captured by the independence of thought that research provided, the Masters turned into a PhD, and it ended up being 4 years of full-time research in electrophysiology before I returned to 4th year of medical school. My PhD work focused on a novel way of recording electrical activity at multiple sites through the left ventricular wall using a fibre optic probe and voltage sensitive dye. I also did some computer modelling of defibrillation, trying to understand in what circumstances electrical shock might fail to "reset" fibrillating myocardium.
During my PhD years, the Bioengineering Institute was developed at Auckland University, and I have an ongoing association with this institute.
Having taken the decision to return to clinical medicine, I always seemed destined to a career in clinical electrophysiology. I completed my general cardiology training in Auckland in 2012, and then moved to Christchurch for a year as Electrophysiology Fellow under the expert tuition of Drs Ian Crozier and Iain Melton, from whom I learnt most of my clinical approach to arrhythmia. I then spent a year in clinical EP in Bordeaux, the centre in which pulmonary vein isolation for treatment of atrial fibrillation was developed in the late 1990's.
In Wellington since 2015, I manage patients with all types of arrhythmia. I perform ablation for SVT, AF, and VT, and implant pacemakers, defibrillators, and resynchronisation devices. My research interests continue to be at the interface of clinical cardiology and engineering, with ongoing work developing an automated controller of radiofrequency ablation, for use when ablating close to the AV node.