The American Heart Association (AHA) has awarded UC Irvine postdoctoral scholar Ahmad Falahatpisheh with a two-year ($82,000) scholarship. Falahatpisheh, an expert in computational modeling of the heart, works with Dr. Arash Kheradvar, associate professor of biomedical engineering, in the Edwards Lifesciences Center for Advanced Cardiovascular Technology.
Falahatpisheh’s research involves using advanced post-processing methods related to magnetic resonance imaging to study the hearts of patients born with a complex congenital heart defect called Tetralogy of Fallot (TOF). TOF involves four anatomical abnormalities in the heart that mainly affects the right-side of the heart, and although it is surgically repaired during infancy, it may eventually lead to right-sided heart failure. Falahatpisheh will study the flow inside the hearts of patients who have the defect and have had surgical repair, and compare with the normal hearts in volunteers.
“Our hypothesis is that the abnormal flow patterns through the right ventricle in patients who have had surgery contributes to its failure,” says Falahatpisheh. The long-term biomedical significance of this study is to associate clinical and computational parameters to aid and optimize surgery in patients with repaired TOF.
This work is a continuation of the funded projects in the Kheradvar Research Group lab, which focuses on cardiovascular engineering with an emphasis on new cardiac imaging technologies, cardiac mechanics and novel heart valve technologies. This is the second AHA award for Falahatpisheh, who also received a pre-doctoral AHA fellowship related to congenital heart defects in 2012.