James Kneller M.D.
M.Sc, Ph.D., FHRS, CCDS
James Kneller is a clinical cardiac electrophysiologist. Dr. Kneller is certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) in clinical cardiac electrophysiology, cardiovascular disease, and internal medicine. He is a Fellow of the Heart Rhythm Society (FHRS) and recognized by the Heart Rhythm Society as a Certified Cardiac Device Specialist (CCDS). He provides comprehensive patient care, combining optimal medical management and invasive procedures using state-of-the-art equipment and techniques to treat electrophysiologic disorders. His procedural skills encompass both device implantation and management, and catheter ablation. His device procedures include pacemakers, implantable cardiac defibrillators (ICDs), subcutaneous ICDs (S-ICD), and cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) with both pacemaker (CRT-P) and defibrillator (CRT-D) systems. Dr. Kneller performs catheter ablation of supra-ventricular tachycardia (SVT), atrial flutter, atrial fibrillation (AF), ventricular tachycardia (VT), and premature ventricular contractions (PVCs).
Kneller first graduated magna cum laude with a BSc in Mechanical Engineering from Walla Walla University in 1995, and subsequently with a MSc in Bioengineering from the University of Pittsburgh in 1997. His master’s thesis was conducted with Dr. Harvey Borovetz, in association with the cardiac catheterization laboratory at Pitt. His original work in quantitative cardiac physiology represents some of the earliest work in the delivery of drug therapy from intracoronary stents. In 2004, Dr. Kneller graduated with honors from the MD, PhD program at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. His doctoral research was mentored by Dr. Stanley Nattel at the Montreal Heart Institute, and also by Dr. L. Joshua Leon, Dr. Marc Courtemanche, and Dr. Edward J. Vigmond. His dissertation was titled “Mechanisms of atrial fibrillation and antiarrhythmic drug therapy evaluated by mathematical modeling.” This work included two manuscripts published in Circulation Research, entitled: “Cholinergic atrial fibrillation in a computer model of a 2-dimensional sheet of canine atrial cells with realistic ionic properties” (Circ Res. 2002), followed by “Mechanisms of atrial fibrillation termination by pure sodium channel blockade in an ionically-realistic mathematical model” (Circ Res. 2005). In these studies, Kneller developed the first mathematical model of a sustained arrhythmia, and subsequently used the model to solve the mechanism of atrial fibrillation termination by class I antiarrhythmic drugs, which to date have been both the most successful, but also the most poorly understood class of atrial fibrillation (AF)-terminating drug in clinical practice. Presently he has authored over 20 peer-reviewed manuscripts as well as numerous abstracts, and his work has been cited over 1000 times.
Dr. Kneller completed Internal Medicine residency at the McGill University Health Center (2004-07), Cardiovascular Disease Fellowship at the Columbia University Medical Center in New York (2007-10), conducting research in arrhythmia imaging while supported by a Glorney Raisbeck Fellowship from the New York Academy of Medicine. Subsequently, he completed clinical electrophysiology fellowship at the UCLA Ronald Regan Medical Center in Los Angeles (2010-11) with Dr. Kalyanam Shivkumar, and at Virginia Commonwealth University Health System with Dr Kenneth A. Ellenbogen and Dr. Mark A. Wood (2011-12).
Since 2012, Dr. Kneller practiced as a clinical electrophysiologist, and served as Medical Director for Electrophysiology, at the Deaconess Hospital Rockwood Health System in Spokane Washington, and also performed procedures at the Sacred Heart Medical Center. Kneller conducted regular electrophysiology clinics in Tri-Cities, Washington, in the offices of Inland Cardiology. Given the tremendous need for EP services in the Tri-Cities, Dr. Kneller opened a new electrophysiology lab at the Kadlec Regional Medical Center in the Tri-Cities, recruiting senior technical staff from Spokane in this endeavor. At Kadlec, Dr. Kneller implanted the first-ever MRI-compatible single-chamber pacemaker (BIOTRONIK) in the United States, the first LINQ monitor (Medtronic, Inc.) in Washington State, the mini ICD in Eastern Washington (Boston Scientific Corp.), and the first S-ICD in the Tri-Cities (Boston Scientific Corp.).
Using the latest electroanatomic mapping technology (Biosense Webster, Carto v3), Dr. Kneller developed a novel approach to the ablation of atrial fibrillation (AF), based on pulmonary vein isolation (PVI) guided by the presence and distribution of complex fractionated atrial electrograms (CFAEs), which are unique in each patient. This approach offers a patient-specific approach to AF ablation, increasing the likelihood of neutralizing the arrhythmogenic substrate particular to each case, with goal to increase procedural success. Kneller described his technique in the July 2014 edition of EP Lab Digest, in an article entitled “New Electrophysiology Program in Tri-Cities Washington Offers Unique Approach to Ablation of Atrial Fibrillation.”
Dr. Kneller is also passionate about personal development, which he incorporates into patient care. Kneller strives to inspire a vision of restored health and optimal well-being in his patients. Kneller educates patients on the power of the Mind-Body connection, and encourages the use of tools to promote a healthy synergy throughout the body. Kneller also encourages adherence to a Mediterranean diet, appropriate exercise, and the use of nutritional supplements to improve cellular energetics and whole-body function. Resources for patients and colleagues are available through www.JamesKnellerMD.com, with numerous video presentations available on the HeartDrJim YOUTUBE channel.
Presently Dr. Kneller is a Consulting Editor for EP Lab Digest, and has written numerous articles per year on a wide variety of electrophysiology topics. Dr. Kneller receives consulting fees / honoraria from Biosense Webster, BIOTRONIK, Boston Scientific, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Daiichi Sankyo, Janssen, Medtronic, Pfizer, St. Jude Medical, ZOLL.