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.

Current Members

  • Dr. Susana Cavallero, Ph.D
    Assistant Project Scientist, Department of Medicine

    Ph.D, Cardiovascular Pathophysiology, University of Buenos Aires, Argentina
    B.S-M.S, Biochemistry, University of Buenos Aires, Argentina
    PharmD, University of Buenos Aires, Argentina
    Research Topic: Vascular development and regeneration

  • Dr. Angela Lai, Ph.D
    Post-Doctoral Researcher

    Ph.D, Biomedical Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University
    B.S., Biomedical Engineering, Boston University
    Research Topic: Multi-scale thrombosis/hemostasis and Microfluidics

  • Dr. Ana Blazquez Medela, Ph.D
    Assistant Project Scientist

    Ph.D in Physiology, University of Salamanca, Spain
    MS in Biochemistry, University of Salamanca, Spain
    MS in Biology, University of Salamanca, Spain

  • Dr. Arthur Ko, Ph.D
    Research Assitant

    Ph.D, Molecular Biology, UCLA
    B.C.S., Computer Science, University of Waterloo
    Research Topic: Genetics and genomics

  • Ryan O’Donnell
    Research Associate

    B.S, Chemistry, Towson University, Baltimore, MD
    M.S, Biology, American University, Washington, DC
    M.S, Education, Pace University, New York, NY
    Research Topic: Cardiomyopathy in zebrafish and rodents

  • Dr. Kyung In Baek, PhD
    Post-Doctoral Scholar

    B.S., Bioengineering, University of Utah
    Research Topic: Vascular Repair

  • Parinaz Abiri
    MD/PhD Candidate

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

  • Chih-Chiang Chang
    PhD Candidate in Bioengineering

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

  • Dr. Qinyu Cui, Ph.D
    Post-Doctoral Researcher

    Ph.D, Eletrical engineering, University of Michigan
    Research Topic: Wearable and flexiable sensors

  • Dr. Sandro Satta, Ph.D
    Post-Doctoral Researcher

    Ph.D in Life Sciences, Manchester Metropolitan University, United Kingdom
    M.S., Molecular Biology, Summa cum Laude, University of Sassari, Italy
    B.S., Biotechnology, University of Sassari, Italy
    Research Topic: Shear stress and vascular protection

  • Cynthia Chen
    PhD Student in Bioengineering

    B.S, in Bioengineering, UCLA

  • Zhaoqiang Wang
    PhD Student in Bioengineering

    B.E, Optoelectronic Information, Huazhong Univ of Science and Technology, Wuhan, China

  • Mehrdad Roustaei
    PhD Student in Bioengineering

    B.S, Mechanical Engineering, Amirkabir University of Technology,Iran
    M.S, Mechanical Engineering,Sharif University of Technology,Iran

  • Varun Gudapati
    Medical student in DGSOM, UCLA

    B.S, Biongineering, Duke

  • Hamed Bourenane, MD, MS
    Master student in Bioengineering

    3rd year cardiology resident in Rennes, France

  • Scott T. Meyer, BS
    Medical student in DSOM, ULCA

    B.S, Biongineering, Stanford

  • Alexander Shon Chen
    David Geffen School of Medicine, UCLA

    Graduate School of Business, Stanford University
    Yale University, BS, Computer Science

Past Members

  • Dr. Yicheng Ding, PhD
    Assistant Professor

    Ph.D., Biomedical Engineering, Peking University, China
    B.S., Precision Instrument, Tsinghua University, China
    Research Topic: Multi-scale Optical Imaging

  • Dr. Rene Parkard, MD, Ph.D
    Assistant Professor at UCLA Medical School

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

  • Jeff Hsu
    PhD Candidate in Molecular, Celluler & Integrative Physiology, UCLA

    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

  • Dr. Rongsong Li, PhD
    Project Scientist and Adjunct Professors
    Professor at Shenzhen Technology University

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

  • Juhyun Lee
    Graduate Students and Post-doctorals
    Assistant Professor at UT Arlinton

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

  • Dr. Nelson Jen, PhD
    Graduate Students and Post-doctorals
    Research Director in Biotech

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

  • Dr. Tyler Beebe, PhD
    Graduate Students and Post-doctorals
    Biosense Webster, Johnson & Johnson

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

  • Dr. Jianguo Ma, PhD
    Graduate Students and Post-doctorals
    Associate Professor

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

  • Dr. Peng Fei, Ph.D
    Graduate Students and Post-doctorals

    School of Optical and Electrical Information
    Huazhong University of Science & Technology (HUST), Wuhan, China

  • Dr. Hung Cao, Ph.D
    Graduate Students and Post-doctorals
    Assistant Professor

    Electrical Engineering, University of Washington

  • 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

  • Junjie Chen
    PhD Student in Bioengineering

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

  • Dr. Yunpeng Zhang, Ph.D
    Post-Doctoral Researcher

    Ph.D, Physiology and Pathophysiology, Peking University, China
    B.S, Physiology and Pathophysiology, Peking University, China
    Research Topic: Single mRNA sequencing

Undergrad Students

Visiting Scholars

  • Yi Qian
    Visiting Scholar

    Department of Cardiology, School of Medicine, Zhejiang University

  • Hongli Li, MD
    Visiting Scholar

    Chief Physician, Division of Cardiology, Shaghai General Hospital

  • Yunfei Deng, Ph.D
    Visting Scolar

    Department of Cardiology, School of Medicine, Shanghai Jiaotong University


  • 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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