Ali Keshavaz

Ali Keshavaz, a Ph.D. candidate at Texas Tech University Health Science Center, has received IFER funding from 2018-2019 for his project, “A micropattern-engraved two-compartment tissue-chip as a non-animal model for studying right ventricular hypertrophy induced by pulmonary arterial hypertension.” Ali’s project aims to model a heart condition which is induced by a disease of the lung vasculature called pulmonary arterial hypertension. In this condition, blood vessels in the lungs become narrower, making it more challenging for the heart to move blood to the lungs, which can lead to irreversible enlargement of the heart and patient death. This project seeks to better understand the molecular mechanism behind this disorder by modeling it in a tissue chip which supports the growth of heart cells and lung blood vessel cells. Ali will study the communication between these cell types, examine the effect of sex hormones on the condition as well as the effect of potential therapies. This research has the potential to significantly reduce the number of animals used in pulmonary arterial hypertension research and related areas of study.