Personal profile

Research interests

My research focus is on cardiovascular mechanics, which is the study of how the heart and blood vessels respond to mechanical forces. Human growth, development, aging and disease alter these mechanical forces and often lead to a negative feedback cycle that exacerbates the loads on the heart and causes cardiac hypertrophy and eventual cardiac failure and death. I specifically focus on diseases that alter the amount of extracellular matrix (ECM) material in the wall of the blood vessels. Altering the amount of ECM proteins affects the wall composition, which changes the mechanical properties and consequently the mechanical loads on the heart and vessels. The major ECM proteins in the large, elastic arteries are collagen and elastin. Elastin provides reversible extensibility during the cardiac cycle, while collagen provides strength at high pressures. I study how changes in elastin amounts and/or organization alter the structure and mechanical function of blood vessels. I have access to mouse models with genetic mutations that alter the amount or organization of elastin in the vessels. I use structural and mechanical data from these mice in mathematical models that predict the effects of varying elastin amounts or organization and interventions such as changing the blood flow or blood pressure.


I understand that each trainee is different from each other and from me. These differences drive innovation, creativity, and challenges. I will make every effort to get to know each trainee’s whole, authentic self and tailor my mentoring approach accordingly, when possible. I recognize that not all mentee-mentor pairs are ideally suited, hence I will be honest and upfront with you about the non-negotiable aspects of my mentorship. I will be explicit about the commitments that I expect mentees to make to me and that I will make to them. We will review and sign an agreement that will be revisited yearly. I will work tirelessly for your success while you are in the laboratory, and beyond. Additional details can be found at my lab website:

Available to Mentor:

  • PhD/MSTP Students


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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