Dr. Nassir Marrouche and his research team from the University of Utah School of Medicine will receive the Eric N. Prystowsky Fellow Clinical Research award during the Heart Rhythm Society's annual scientific sessions in San Francisco this week.

They won the award for their abstract on experimental studies showing how magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) angiograms can be effectively used during atrial fibrillation procedures.

Atrial fibrillation is a heart rhythm disorder that is the country's most common heart malfunction.

AF is often treated with radiofrequency ablation, in which electrical signals that cause the disordered rhythm are mapped, localized and destroyed. Marrouche has been investigating use of MRI in patient screening, procedure planning, as real-time imaging in a procedure and to look at post-procedural complications.

He previously proved MRI can be a precise, pre-procedure diagnostic tool to show AF's progression and location. In October, the U. program became the first ever to ablate using a catheter custom-made to be compatible with MRI.