School of Medicine


Showing 1-15 of 15 Results

  • Koji Kawago

    Koji Kawago

    Postdoctoral Scholar, Cardiothoracic Surgery

    Current Research and Scholarly InterestsWe propose a unique perfusion solution for Donation after Brain Death (DBD) and Donation After Cardiac Death (DCD) heart grafts.We will investigate the optimal timing and frequency of administration after retrieving the cardiac graft and achieve preclinical proof-of-concept of this perfusion solution for DBD and DCD cardiac graft using a heterotopic heart transplantation model.

  • Yujiro Kawai

    Yujiro Kawai

    Postdoctoral Scholar, Cardiothoracic Surgery

    Current Research and Scholarly InterestsCardiovascular surgery, Translational research, Regenerative research, Heart failure, Tissue engineering, Heart transplant, Spinal cord ischemia, iPS cell,

  • Yellappa Palagani

    Yellappa Palagani

    Postdoctoral Scholar, Cardiothoracic Surgery

    BioYellappa Palagani is currently a Postdoctoral Fellow in Cardiothoracic Surgery at Stanford University. In Dr Ma's lab, he is developing an MRI-compatible mock circulatory loop and cardiac phantoms to simulate common congenital heart defects. Prior to joining Stanford, he was a Postdoctoral Associate in Cardiac Surgery at Yale University from April 2021 to March 2023, where he worked on left ventricular assist devices and smart inductive stents. In August 2020, he received his Ph.D. in Electronics Engineering from Kyungpook National University, South Korea. During his Ph.D., he worked on wirelessly powered cardiac pacemakers and wearable cardiac arrhythmia indicators.

  • Shin Yajima

    Shin Yajima

    Postdoctoral Scholar, Cardiothoracic Surgery

    BioI am a board-certified cardiothoracic surgeon in Japan. Throughout my clinical experience and research, I realized that insufficient myocardial blood flow had little impact on myocardial functional recovery because percutaneous coronary intervention or coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) could approach and supply blood flow to the superficial large coronary arteries, but not to intramyocardial microvascular arteries, especially where microvasculature was scarce or absent. Moreover, myocardial ischemia-reperfusion (I/R) impaired cardiac functional recovery in ischemic hearts, including transplanted hearts. As a result, my research interests include myocardial microvascular dysfunction and myocardial I/R injury.
    During my Ph.D. studies in cardiovascular surgery, I focused on a prostacyclin analog that inhibits thromboxane A2 synthase and promotes angiogenesis and restores myocardial blood flow via proangiogenic and vasodilatory effects. Direct epicardial placement of a microform of this compound in a porcine ischemia cardiomyopathy model resulted in enhanced myocardial angiogenesis and recovery of myocardial function. Then, I developed nanoparticles (NPs) that contained this compound, which I applied to a rat ischemia myocardial reperfusion model with intravenous injection to demonstrate attenuated myocardial I/R injury with selective accumulation in the ischemic myocardium, better-preserved capillary networks, better-preserved myocardial blood flow, and a smaller infarct size. Using induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) and adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells, I have also worked on tissue engineering for myocardial regeneration. With direct implantation of cardiomyocyte sheets derived from human iPSCs onto ischemic myocardial tissue, we elucidated myocardial regeneration through thickened myocardial tissue, proangiogenic effects, improved cardiac performance, and reduced left ventricular remodeling in both small and large animals. These works have already been published (representative examples are provided below), and I have received a number of academic honors and research grants (ongoing research support; Japan Heart Foundation/Bayer Research Grant Abroad, 01/01/2022 - 12/31/2022).
    My career goal is to attain leadership in academic cardiovascular surgery. During my postdoctoral fellowship, I intend to create novel therapeutic methods to improve the outcomes of ischemic heart disease through engineering analysis and the development of innovative solutions. My mentor, Dr. Woo, is a distinguished mentor with a stellar reputation for training academic surgeons, and Stanford University provides extraordinary research resources. I feel extremely fortunate to have such an ideal environment in which to carry out this project and continue bioengineering's advancement of cardiothoracic surgery.

  • Cyril Zakka, MD

    Cyril Zakka, MD

    Postdoctoral Scholar, Cardiothoracic Surgery

    Current Research and Scholarly InterestsCyril Zakka's research is primarily focused on building unsupervised deep learning representation learners for use in a variety of medical tasks, such as medical imaging (e.g. cardiac MRIs and echocardiograms), and autonomous robotic surgical systems. He is particularly interested in developing algorithms that augment operating physicians' capabilities in order to improve on patient outcomes post-operatively.