Mimi Guo receives American Heart Association Fellowship

Jingxuan (Mimi) Guo, a doctoral student in mechanical engineering & materials science in the McKelvey School of Engineering, has received a two-year, $63,040 predoctoral fellowship from the American Heart Association to investigate how mechanical factors influence the development of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), the most frequent cause of sudden death in young patients and the most common genetically inherited heart disease.

Not all patients who carry HCM genes develop the disease, making it challenging to develop drugs to treat the disease. Guo, who works in the lab of Nate Huebsch, assistant professor of biomedical engineering, will use human-induced pluripotent stem cell technology to engineer miniature heart muscle from cardiomyocytes that carry HCM mutations and biomaterials technology to mimic changes in heart muscle stiffness caused by changes in blood pressure. She will study how these mechanical changes influence development of disease in the HCM tissues and how mechanical changes affect the way tissues respond to calcium-channel blocking drugs that have been used to treat HCM patients.