BioE PhD Student Receives 2024 AHA Predoctoral Fellowship

BioE PhD candidate Ana Vargas, who works in the labs of both MIE Associate Professor Rouzbeh Amini and BioE Associate Professor Chiara Bellini, was selected by the American Heart Association to receive a Predoctoral Fellowship for her project “Pregnancy Induced Mechanobiological Remodeling in Maternal Vasculature in Health and Disease.”


The American Heart Association awarded Ana Vargas, PhD candidate in bioengineering, a Predoctoral Fellowship for her project, “Pregnancy induced mechanobiological remodeling in maternal vasculature in health and disease.” Vargas works in labs run by Rouzbeh Amini, associate professor of mechanical engineering, and Chiara Bellini, associate professor and associate chair for bioengineering graduate studies. She is exploring issues around the transformation of a pregnant woman’s body.

Non-Scientiic Summary
During a routine pregnancy, a
mother needs more fifty percent more blood. The blood travels through vessels like cars that run through highways. When more blood needs to pass, the vessels need to become bigger. However, bigger blood vessels need to be stronger to allow the additional amount of blood to pass. The strength of blood vessels is critical. Cardiovascular diseases are present in four out of every 100 pregnant women. The main cause of death among pregnant women is cardiovascular problems. The goal of my project is to study blood vessels during pregnancy. Due to ethical aspects of human research, I will be using mice to study these vessels. I would like to find potential harmful changes during pregnancy.  Aligned with the AHA mission, my project will help me be a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives of both mothers and growing babies.

Related Faculty: Rouzbeh Amini, Chiara Bellini

Related Departments:Bioengineering