Meet The LabUCLA - Cardiovascular Engineering Research Laboratory

Tzung K Hsiai

Maud Cady Guthman Endowed Chair, Professor of Medicine and Bioengineering

  • Dr. Tzung K. Hsiai

    Dr. Hsiai's research focuses on advanced imaging sensors to elucidate mechanotransduction underlying tissue injury and repair. Dr. Hsiai received his undergraduate education from Columbia University and his medical training from the University of Chicago. He completed his internship, residency and NIH-funded cardiovascular fellowship at UCLA School of Engineering and Medicine under the mentorship of Professor Chih-Ming Ho (Mechanical Engineering & Aerospace Engineering, Member of National Academy of Engineering). Dr. Hsiai was recruited to the University of Southern California Schools of Engineering and Medicine with an Early Career Endowed Chair. In 2014, he was recruited back to UCLA to promote team science, which led to the LA PRISMS Center (U54 EB022002) connecting UCLA Bioinformatics and Microbiome Research with USC’s Environmental Health Sciences Center. Dr. Hsiai directs the UCLA Cardiovascular Engineering and Light-Sheet Imaging Laboratory, which has established a track record of converging engineering with medicine through NIH-funded team science projects with partner institutions, Caltech (R01HL118650), Stanford (HL129727), USC (HL118650), and UC San Diego (HD069305).

    Since joining UCLA in 2014, Dr. Hsiai has mentored numerous trainees at all levels and developed a peer-mentor system to match engineering trainees with physician-scientists . Trainees from his group have become leaders in academia (recipients of NSF CAREER, NIH R01’s and AHA SDG and CDA awards) and industry (Vice President, Edwards Lifesciences). His junior trainees have embarked on MD/PhD Programs at Caltech, Stanford, and Yale, while senior trainees have been recruited for tenure track positions, including Assistant Professor at University of Washington, Professor at the University of Science & Technology in China, Associate Professor at USC, Assistant Professor at UCLA, and Assistant Professor at UT Arlington/Southwestern. In collaboration with NHLBI Deputy Director, Michelle Bennett, Dr. Hsiai's team has promoted trainees to organize workshops on “Effective Collaboration & Diversity in Scientific Teams.”

    As evidence of flexibility and adaptability to new research opportunities, Dr. Hsiai's research team has established expertise in multi-scale imaging; his team has developed 3-D electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) to identify vulnerable plaque in vivo (in mice, rabbit, and swine models); and his group has collaborated with experts in vascular mechanobiology (UCSD), zebrafish biology (Duke), cardiac regeneration (Stanford), advanced imaging and sensing (Caltech), and Computational Fluid Dynamics (Stanford). One of his group's most creative projects has been integration of 4-D light-sheet imaging with zebrafish genetics to elucidate biomechanical forces underlying mechanotransduction and cardiac trabeculation (HL129727). As further evidence of thier flexibility and teamwork, they have collaborated with UCLA and USC environmental and nanoscience experts as well as the UCLA Microbiome Center to study the role of the microbiota-gut-vascular axis and exposure to ultrafine particles in atherosclerosis (ES029395).

    Dr. Hsiai has served as the Chair of the American Physiological Society Joint Meeting with Biomedical Engineering Society, Chair of NIH 3-D printing study section, and member of AHA Scientific Planning Committee. He was elected to the American Society for Clinical Investigation, Member of National Institutes of Health Bioengineering, Biotechnology, and Surgical Science Study Section, Fellow of American College of Cardiology, Fellow of American Heart Association, College Fellow of American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE), and the recipient of an American Heart Association John J. Simpson Outstanding Research Achievement Award, USC School of Engineering Junior Faculty Research Award, Excellence in Teaching Award from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and Greater Los Angeles VA Cardiology Fellowship Program, and UCLA SEAS Distinguished Young Alumnus Award.

    The vision of Dr. Hsiai's cardiovascular engineering training program is 3-fold: 1) to inspire excellence in team science, 2) to empower trainees and up-and-coming faculty, and 3) to enrich community engagement. His group's mission is to bridge advances in multi-institutional and team science with education, discovery, community services, and patient care.

Senior Scientists

  • Dr. Rongsong Li, PhD
    Adjunct Associate Professor

    Ph.D., Biochemistry, Tuft University
    M.S., Biochemistry, Shanghai Institute of Biochemisty
    Chinese Academic of Science B.S., Biochemistry, Wuhan University, China

  • Dr. Jianguo Ma, PhD
    Project Scientist

    Ph.D., Mechanical Engineering, North Carolina State University
    M.S., Acoustics, Shandong University, China
    B.S., Physics, Shandong University, China

  • Dr. Yicheng Ding, PhD
    Project Scientist

    Ph.D., Biomedical Engineering, Peking University, China
    B.S., Precision Instrument, Tsinghua University, China

  • Dr. Rene Parkard, MD
    Project Scientist

    Ph.D., Cellular, Molecular and Integrative Physiology, UCLA
    M.D., University of Geneva, Switzerland
    B.S., College Voltaire Geneve, Switzerland

  • Dr. Tyler Beebe, PhD
    Project Scientist

    Ph.D., Bioengineering, UCLA
    M.S., Biomedical Engineering, University of Southern California
    B.S., Biomedical Engineering, University of Southern California

  • Dr. Nelson Jen, PhD
    Project Scientist

    Ph.D., Bioengineering, UCLA
    M.S., Biomedical Engineering, University of Southern California
    B.S., Biomedical Engineering, UC Irvine

Grad Students

  • Parinaz Abiri
    MD/PhD student

    MD/PhD Student in Bioengineering at UCLA
    B.S. in Biomedical Engineering from UC Irvine
    Summa Cum Laude, David Geffen UCLA MSTP Scholarship Recipient

  • Juhyun Lee
    PhD candidate

    M.S., Biomedical Engineering, University of Southern California
    B.S., Bioengineering, University of Utah
    American Heart Association Predoctoral Fellowship Awardee

  • Kyung In Baek
    PhD candidate

    PhD Candiate in Bioengineering
    B.S., Bioengineering, University of Utah

  • Roy Chen
    Master candidate

    B.S. in Bioengineering, UCLA 2016

  • Amir Kaboodrangifaem

    B.S. in Bioengineering, UCLA 2015
    M.S. in Bioengineering, UCLA 2016

  • Bill Zhou, MSIII
    Medical Student

    B.S. in Bological Science, USC

  • Steve Zhou, MSII
    Medical Student

    B.S. Biomedical Engineering, USC 2014
    MD Candidate, David Geffen School of Medicine 2019
    USC Trustee Full Tuition Merit Scholar
    W.V.T Rusch Engineering Honors
    "Biomechanical Evaluation of Three Fixation Methods for Distal Fibula Fractures.” Currently under review.
    UCLA Mobile Clinic Project Medical Coordinator
    UCLA Geffenotes A Cappella President

  • Chih-Chiang Chang
    PhD student

    B.S.: Electrical Engineering, National Taiwan University
    M.S.: Biomedical Engineering, University of Pennsylvania

  • Jeff Hsu
    PhD student

    PhD Student in Molecular, Celluler & Integrative Physiology, UCLA
    UCLA School of Medicine Specialty Training And Advanced Research (STAR) fellow
    M.D, UCLA
    M.S, Mechanical Engineering, MIT
    B.S, Mechanical Engineering, MIT
    Research Topic: Cardiac valve formation


Visiting Scholars


  • UCLA Atherosclerosis Research Unit
    Mohammad Navab
    Srinivasa Reddy
    Alan Fogelman

  • UCLA Cardiovascular Research Laboratory
    Thao P. Nguyen
    James N. Weiss

  • UCLA Valvular and vascular Calcification
    Linda L. Demer
    Yin Titut
    Kristina Bostrom

  • UCLA Clinical Nutrition
    Zhaoping Li

  • California Institute of Technology
    Y. C. Tai (MEMS)
    Hyuck Choo (Optics)
    Nal-Chang Yeh (Physics)

  • Stanford University
    Alison L. Marsden (Institute for Computational and Mathematical Engineering)

  • University of Southern California
    J C. C. Kuo (Electrical Engineering & Computer Science)
    Kirk Shung , Qifa Zhou
    (NIH Ultrasonic Transducer Resource Center)

  • University of California, San Diego
    Neil Chi (Developmental Biology)
    Yury Miller (Cardiology)

  • Medtronic
    Fei Yu, PhD, Senior Engineer
    Rebecca Gottlieb, PhD, Senior Director, Advanced Research
    Walter Baxter, PhD, Principal Scientist

  • Edwards Lifesciences
    Lisong Ai, PhD
    Ming Wu(Senior Vice President for Research at Edwards Lifesciences)

  • Mayo Clinic
    Xiaolei Xu, PhD
    Director, Zebrafish Genetics Laboratory

  • Johnson & Johnson
    Rajesh Pendekanti, PhD
    Director, R&D @ Biosense Webster

  • Amgen
    Linda Narhi, PhD
    Scientific Executive Director, Process Development; Amgen, Inc.

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