Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Sanjiv Shah Lab: HFpEF and Cardiac Mechanics

Lab Members

Meet the Shah Lab team members.  We welcome requests for information about our work and collaboration opportunities.

Principal Investigator


Sanjiv Shah, MD
Stone Endowed Professor of Medicine
Director of Research, Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute
Director, Northwestern HFpEF Program
Division of Cardiology, Department of Medicine - Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
View Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine faculty profile

Bio: Dr. Shah is the Stone Endowed Professor of Medicine, Director of Research for the Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute and Director of the HFpEF Program at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. Dr. Shah’s research interests include understanding the physiology, mechanisms, epidemiology, and treatment of heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF). Dr. Shah started the first dedicated HFpEF clinical program at Northwestern University in 2007, and has been a leading enroller in HFpEF clinical trials since that time. Dr. Shah’s research interests also include the study of acquired and genetic risk factors for abnormal cardiac mechanics, and novel machine learning techniques for improved classification and therapeutic targeting for heart failure syndromes. Dr. Shah is currently the PI of 3 active NIH R01 grants and an AHA Strategically Focused Research Network project grant, and he is also the PI or on the executive/steering committee member for several ongoing international HF clinical trials. Dr. Shah has published over 250 peer-reviewed research publications, and he is an Associate Editor for JAMA Cardiology. 

Senior Lab Members


Laura Alagna, MIS
Senior Project Manager

Projects: HeartShare

Bio: Laura is the Senior Project Manager on the HeartShare Study. Prior to joining Dr. Shah’s lab in February 2022, Laura worked as a project manager in Northwestern’s Center for Food Allergy and Asthma Research (CFAAR). She has extensive experience in managing technology and data projects and has a background in data management and preservation. Laura attended Amherst College for her undergraduate studies and earned a Master’s in Information Sciences from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.
Hamorabi Mkrdichian

Hamorabi Mkrdichian, CCRC, CPhT
Clinical Operations Manager
Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute

Projects: Tafamidis Extension, Tafamidis ATTR-ACT

Bio: Hamorabi is a Chicago native and attended the University of Illinois at Chicago for his undergraduate studies in Biology. After his studies, he began work in the Investigational Pharmacy at Northwestern Memorial Hospital managing investigational product for various oncology, cardiology, transplant, and infection disease studies across Northwestern University. Soon after, he shifted into a clinical research coordinator role at the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center where he managed radiation oncology studies. He then stepped into a Project Manager role for the HFpEF program run by Dr. Sanjiv Shah.  Most recently, Hamorabi has transitioned to the Clinical Operations Manager in the Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute Clinical Trails Unit where he oversees the research staff and day to day operations of the group. Outside of Northwestern, Hamorabi can occasionally be found managing dance floors from the DJ booth at various establishments.

Lauren Nelson, MS, RDCS, FASE
Technical Director, Northwestern University Echocardiography Core Laboratory
Technical Director, T1 Center for Cardiovascular Developmental Therapeutics
Department of Medicine-Cardiology


Bio: Lauren grew up in Cape Girardeau, Missouri.  She attended the University of Missouri, where she obtained her Bachelor of Health Science degree, followed by a Master of Science degree with a focus in Diagnostic Medical Ultrasound.   She joined Dr. Shah’s lab as a research sonographer in 2010.  Lauren has served as the lead sonographer on several clinical trials and is also responsible for performing echo in rodents, dogs, and primates for a variety of heart failure studies.  In her capacity as technical director of the core laboratory, she has quantitated over 5,000 echos for projects relating to heart failure with preserved ejection fraction, scleroderma, and pulmonary hypertension.  She is also the resident expert on speckle tracking echocardiography, a high level echo analysis technique that is used to evaluate the deformation of atrial and ventricular tissue.  In 2015, Lauren became a Fellow of the American Society of Echocardiography.  She frequently presents on speckle tracking echocardiography and animal echocardiography and is also responsible for training new laboratory personnel in basic and advanced echocardiographic analysis techniques and cardiovascular anatomy and physiology.  Outside of the lab, Lauren enjoys reading, horseback riding, watching Mizzou football and basketball, and spending time with her young family and her dog, Charles Barkley.

Ryan Sisk

Bio: Ryan grew up in Northwest Indiana before venturing south to Purdue University for his Bachelor of Science degree in Biology.  After undergrad, he moved to Chicago and began working at Northwestern in 2011.  After working on a few projects focused on the genetics of polycystic ovary syndrome and completing a Masters of Science in Predictive Analytics, Ryan joined Dr. Shah’s lab in January 2019.  As lab manager, Ryan has a hand in various aspects of all non-clinical trial studies and always trying to learn more.  He enjoys reading, having his heart broken by Purdue sports, and enjoying baseball through statistical analysis.

Post-Doctoral Fellows


Pedro Giro, MD
Health System Clinician of Medicine (Hospital Medicine)


Adrienne Kline, MD, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow

Projects: Most recently Adrienne has developed an anonymization and compression tool for ultrasound data. She is also working on using generative models and reinforcement learning to improve the reliability of cardiac care surrounding ejection fraction estimations and diuresis management.

Bio: Adrienne Kline is a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Preventative Medicine at Northwestern University. She completed her Ph.D. in biomedical engineering (with imaging specialization in machine learning), an M.D. in medicine, preceded by a B.Sc. in electrical engineering. Her interests lie at the intersection of medicine and engineering, specifically in leveraging algorithmic decision-making support for translational applications to medicine. Her work has led to the development of novel methods for handling missing data, innovative metrics for evaluating the reliability of machine learning predictions, and information fusion of multimodal data streams.

Ai Yaku, MD, PhD
Post-Doctoral Fellow

Projects: Ai Yaku is exploring the immune profiles of cardiovascular disease in systemic sclerosis

Bio: Ai Yaku is a postdoctoral fellow in the Division of Cardiology, Department  of Medicine at Northwestern University. She is a rheumatologist in Japan. She completed her Ph.D. in rheumatology and clinical rheumatology at Kyoto University Graduate School. Her research interest in an association between inflammation and cardiovascular disease. She runs translational research focused on immune dysregulation in cardiovascular involvements of systemic sclerosis patients. 
Hidenori Yaku

Hidenori Yaku , MD, PhD
Post-Doctoral Fellow


Bio: Dr. Yaku is a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Medicine (Division of Cardiology). He is an interventional cardiologist and clinical trialist in Japan. Previously, he completed his Ph.D. at Kyoto University Graduate School. Dr. Yaku’s research interests include understanding the physiology, mechanisms, and treatment of heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF), including device therapy. 

Medical and PhD Students

Jeffrey Clark

Jeffrey Clark, BA
Medical Student

Projects: Proteomics in microvascular dysfunction

Bio: Jeff grew up in Delaware, Ohio, and studied chemistry at Northwestern University. He remained at Northwestern for medical school where he is currently in his fourth year. He is applying to residencies in internal medicine with a goal of pursuing a career as a clinician-investigator in cardiology with additional interests in critical care.

Daniel Mathew
Junior Research Assistant
Summer 2017, Summer 2018

Projects: CHS

Bio: Daniel joined Dr. Shah’s lab as a junior research assistant working on a CHS study for the summer of 2017. He returned for the summer of 2018 and plans to resume working with the lab soon.

Exercise Physiologist

Stephanie Ganz

Stephanie Ganz
Research Exercise Physiologist
Department of Medicine-Cardiology


Bio: Stephanie received her Bachelor’s degree in Athletic Training from North Central College. While there, she was an active member of the student lead athletic training organization and was awarded the most outstanding Athletic Training Student Award her senior year. She then went on to received her Master’s in Clinical Exercise Physiology from Benedictine University while practicing PRN as a Licensed Athletic Trainer. During her Master’s, she held an internship at Edwards Hospital in cardiac diagnostics and at Good Samaritan Hospital in cardiac rehabilitation. She went on to develop her experience working full time as an Athletic Trainer with a foot and ankle orthopaedic physician through which she was able to do initial evaluations, present them to the physician, provide important patient education, and scrub into surgeries after obtaining her Othopaedic Technologist Certification. Following her interest in cardiac research, Stephanie joined Dr. Shah’s lab in 2019. While at Northwestern, she has lead the cardiopulmonary exercise testing of research patients in various studies focused on heart failure. In her free time, Stephanie enjoys being active outdoors, spending time with family/friends, volunteering in her community, and is an avid Chicago sports fan. Go Cubs!

Nurse/Nurse Coordinator and PA


Susan Lehrer, BSN, RN
Nurse Clinician Program Coordinator – Cardiomyopathy

Bio: Sue was born in Winnetka, Illinois and attended the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign on an soccer scholarship, where she obtained a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Speech and Hearing Sciences. Her heart was always yearning to study nursing so shortly after graduation she enrolled in Chamberlain College of Nursing in Chicago earning her Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing graduating with honors. Sue began her nursing career working on the Hematology-Oncology Stem Cell Transplant  Unit at Northwestern Medicine where she continued to hone her nursing skills and served as a preceptor for new nurses. Sue then transitioned to a Clinical Research Coordinator position at Northwestern University working with patients with autoimmune diseases for participation in Stem Cell Transplant Clinical Trials –CAST (Cardiac Safe Transplant for Systemic Sclerosis) & ASSISTIIB (Autologous Stem Cell Systemic Sclerosis Immune Suppression Trial). Sue then transitioned back to Northwestern Medicine where she is now the Clinical Nurse Program Coordinator for Cardiomyopathy and focuses on new patient coordination, clinical protocols, clinical trials, program development, patient education, multi-disciplinary physician collaboration, and community outreach for both Cardiac Amyloidosis & Cardiac Sarcoidosis Programming.

Research Sonographers


Madeline Jankowski, BS, ACS, RDCS, FASE
Echocardiography Research Associate

Projects: REBALANCE, HeartShare

Bio: Madeline Jankowski is an advanced cardiac sonographer and research associate with Northwestern University. A Wisconsin native, Maddie is a Chicago transplant via Cleveland, OH, where she started her sonography career at the Cleveland Clinic. From 2015-2021, she served as a lead sonographer in the Northwestern Memorial hospital echo lab, transitioning into a researched focus role in 2021. In her clinical work, she specializes in adult patient’s undergoing stress echo and valvular research studies. In research, her interests include artificial intelligence and advanced echo technology, including strain and 3D analysis. She is the current chair of the Adult Echo Boards Exam committee with the sonographer credentialing body – Inteleos, and the sonographer co-chair of the 2023 American Society of Echocardiography Scientific Sessions in National Harbor.
Bonnie JKane

Bonnie J Kane, BS, RDCS, FASE
Research Sonographer
Department of Medicine-Cardiology


Bio: Bonnie was born on Long Island but has lived most of her life in the Chicago suburbs. She graduated from Quinnipiac College (now University) in Hamden, Connecticut in 1980 with a BS in Laboratory Animal Technology. Early in her career she briefly worked as a Veterinary Technologist at an animal hospital and then moved to Northwestern University where she has been for 35 years. The first 8 years she worked as a Veterinary Technologist/Surgical Coordinator for the Center for Experimental Animal Resources. In 1990, Bonnie joined a Cardiovascular Research laboratory where she performed cardiovascular ultrasound exams for clinical and animal research studies, and eventually became the laboratory manager in 2005. Over the past 12 years, she continues as a sonographer for large multi-site studies for echo, carotid IMT and brachial flow-mediated dilation (FMD) studies (MESA, CARDIA, the HIV-CVD Collaborative) in addition to numerous smaller studies. She recently has joined the Shah laboratory, performing ultrasound scans for various studies including MESA, MACS, KNOCK-OUT and AHA-GRFW. She continues to be the only sonographer here at Northwestern University certified to perform the brachial flow mediated dilation (FMD) scans. Bonnie is a registered Diagnostic Cardiac Sonographer with the ARDMS and is a Fellow with the American Society of Echocardiography. She has presented at Echo Northwestern and the American Society of Echocardiography Scientific Sessions.

Allie Running, MS, RDCS
Research Sonographer
Department of Medicine-Cardiology


Bio: Allie attended the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire where she received her Bachelor of Science degree, specialized in Kinesiology. She continued her education at Benedictine University where she received her Master of Science degree in Clinical Exercise Physiology. After working at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Cardiac Diagnostics (Nuclear and Echo labs) for 3.5 years, she went back to school for Echocardiography. This was her first position working as a registered diagnostic cardiac sonographer.

Juliet Ryan, BS, RDCS, FASE
Research Sonographer
Department of Medicine-Cardiology


Bio: Juliet grew up in the Southside of Chicago, Illinois, and attended Eastern Illinois University, where she obtained a bachelor’s degree in Administration/Therapeutic Recreation.  Later on, she studied exercise physiology courses at University Of Illinois at Chicago and echocardiography/electrocardiography at Medical Careers Institute where she began her career as a Cardiology Sonographer.  Juliet has worked at Northwestern Memorial Hospital Echo Lab for 15 years and has focused on research studies that eventually brought her to Dr. Shah’s Lab where she is in charge of administering echocardiograms and measurement/ strain analysis on multiple research studies. In addition to this, she enjoys sports, outdoor activities, music, spending time with family/friends and volunteering for military fundraisers.



Abigail Baldridge
Director of Statistics
Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute

Projects: HyperGEN, TopCAT, RELAX, Berne Amish

Bio: Abi grew up in St. Paul, Minnesota and completed her undergraduate degree in Biomedical Engineering at Purdue University. After graduating, she worked for several years as an engineer for a medical devices company before completing a master’s degree in Epidemiology and Biostatistics. Abi has since collaborated with Northwestern University investigators for over 10 years on a variety of studies, trials, and projects. She is currently completing her dissertation at Johns Hopkins, working towards a doctoral degree in public health (DRPH) with a focus on implementation science. Abi enjoys spending time with her daughter, volleyball, reading, and being outdoors.

Mo Hu

Bio: Before moving to Chicago with her family, Mo had worked at research institutes focusing on neuroscience and next generation genomic sequencing. She received her master’s in biology from Northeastern University and master’s in statistics in San Diego State University. Mo always has an extensive interest in healthcare fields, especially the analytical aspect. She joined Dr. Shah’s lab a statistical/bioinformatic analyst. Her current work involves applying both conventional statistics and novel machine learning methods in cardiology such as identifying risk factors and improving diagnosis. Outside work, Mo enjoys traveling, cooking and exploring the city of Chicago with her family.

Study Coordinators


Ali Ardehali
Clinical Research Coordinator

Projects: ENDEAVOR, CardioTTransform, REHAB, and TRENDS

Bio: Ali grew up in the southwest suburbs of Chicago before moving to Evanston for his undergraduate studies at Northwestern University. He majored in Environmental Science while participating in various research. Soon after graduation, Ali moved to Lincoln Park, and joined the Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute – Clinical Trials Unit as a Research Study Coordinator. In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with his family/friends, watching sports, and volunteering.
Kiersten Rasberry

Kiersten Rasberry
Clinical Research Coordinator

Projects: MYK-461-019 EMBARK

Bio: Kiersten is a native of Illinois and attended Princeton University earning a BA in Anthropology with a minor in Global Health and Health Policy. During her undergraduate studies, she completed clinical research in the field of Interventional Cardiology, as well as an ethnographic thesis on diabetes disparities on the South Side of Chicago. Upon graduating from Princeton, Kiersten began working at the Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute Clinical Trials Unit as a research coordinator of pharmaceutical studies. She works mainly on hypertrophic and dilated cardiomyopathy studies, with an additional emphasis on studies recruiting patients living with heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF).

Daniel Roshevsky, MS, CCRC
Clinical Research Project Manager-Heart Failure
Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute Clinical Trials Unit


Bio: Despite his lack of an accent, Dan grew up on Long Island, NY and attended Washington University in St Louis where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Biology.  He spent two of his undergraduate summers working with Dr. William R. Jacobs at his tuberculosis lab at Albert Einstein College of Medicine where he helped with knockout plasmid design and delivery.  Additionally, he spent a summer working with Dr. John Curci at the Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine to study the use of doxycycline after endoluminal aneurysm repair.  After graduating from undergraduate studies, Dan worked as an oncology clinical research coordinator at The University of Chicago before moving to Northwestern University’s Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center.  He has been with the Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute since 2012 where he works on a range of trials including those for vascular disease, heart failure, regenerative medicine, and electrophysiology.  In his spare time he is an avid biker rider and also enjoys strength training with friends.  He is also working towards completing his Masters of Science in Health Informatics through Northwestern’s School of Professional Studies.
Dominique Turner

Dominique Turner
Clinical Research Coordinator
Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute

Projects: CardioTTransform, ATTRIBUTE-CM, AG10-202, STEP-HFpEF, NN6019-4940

Bio: Dominique was raised in the south suburbs of Chicago and attended St. Louis University where she obtained her bachelor's degree in Biology. After her studies, she began working in Research Administration and Finance at Washington University in St. Louis before relocating back to Chicago in the summer of 2019. She then joined the Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute - Clinical Trials Unit as a Research Coordinator on the CARD Research Database. Wanting to have a more patient-facing role, she recently transitioned into Clinical Research and will be coordinating on some of Dr. Shah's Heart Failure Research Studies. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with her dog, Spencer, lifting weights at the gym, and watching football. 

Program Assistants


Brenda Guevara
Program Assistant

Savren Nelson

Savren Nelson
Program Coordinator

Projects: ATTR-CM Machine Learning

Bio: Savren is from Tuscaloosa, Alabama and attended the University of Alabama at Birmingham where she obtained her Bachelor of Science in Public Health with a minor in Psychology. Moving to Illinois after graduating in 2020, Savren joined the Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute - Clinical Trials Unit as Dr. Shah's Program Coordinator in early 2022. In her spare time, Savren enjoys hiking, backpacking, and reading.

Northwestern Faculty Collaborators


Faraz Ahmad, MD, MS
Assistant Professor of Medicine-Cardiology
View Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine faculty profile

Matthew Feinstein

Matthew Feinstein
Assistant Professor of Medicine Cardiology and Preventive Medicine - Epidemiology
View Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine faculty profile


Benjamin Freed, MD
Assistant Professor of Medicine-Cardiology
View Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine faculty profile


Sadiya Khan, MD, MSc
Assistant Professor of Medicine-Cardiology
View Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine faculty profile

Ravi B. Patel

Ravi B. Patel, MD
Clinical Cardiology and T32 Research Fellow
Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
View Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine faculty profile


Arjun Sinha, MD
Advanced Cardiovascular Research Fellowship


Jane Wilcox, MD, MSc
Assistant Professor of Medicine-Cardiology
Director Myocardial Recovery Program
View Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine faculty profile

Lab Alumnis

Katie(Small) Wochos

Katie (Small) Wochos, MA
Clinical Research Manager
2008 - 2011


Frank Aguilar


Megan Bach
Research Study Assistant


Mallory Beckemeyer, MHA
Program Coordinator
2017 - 2018


Jacob Burns
Medical Resident


Jeanette Cheng
Research Study Assistant
2015 - 2017


April Clarin
Registered Nurse (Heart Failure)


Jessica Corona-Cox
Clinical Research Coordinator
2014 - 2017


Debra Dixon, MD, MS
Sarnoff Cardiovascular Research Fellow
2014 - 2015


Stephen Dvorak
Research Study Assistant


Sheano Gold, CCRC
Clinical Research Coordinator

Daniel H.Katz

Daniel H. Katz, MD
Pre-Doctoral Research Fellow
2012 - 2014

Joseph Kern

Joseph Kern
Research Fellow


David Klein


Lara Marteau
Visiting Scholar
2018 - 2018

Eva E.Martinez

Eva E. Martinez
Pre-Doctoral Research Fellow
2011 - 2014


Leslie Martinez
Research Study Coordinator
Bluhm Cardiovascular Institut


Frank Medina
Research Study Coordinator


Ariana Memishi
Program Assistant


Suzanne Oskouie, MD
Medical Student Researcher
2014 - 2018


Jay Pandit
Assistant Professor of Medicine - Cardiology
View Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine faculty profile


Harnish Patel, MD
Research Fellow

Jay Patel

Jay Patel, MD
NRSA T32 Post-Doctoral Fellow


Neal Pohlman
Clinical Research Coordinator


Vinny Polsinelli
Pre-Doctoral Fellow
Sarnoff Cardiovascular Research Fellow


Shrungavi Ramanathan
Research Study Assistant


Haydee Ramirez
Research Study Coordinator
Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute


Larissa Reinkensmeyer
Research Study Coordinator
Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute
2017 - 2019


Leah Rethy
Visiting Scholar
Pre-Doctoral Research Fellow
Sarnoff Cardiovascular Research Fellow


Michaela Ritz
Clinical Research Coordinator
Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute


Cynthia Sanchez
Clinical Research Coordinator
Department of Medicine-Cardiology

SandraSanders-van Wijk

Sandra Sanders-van Wijk, MD, PhD
Post-doctoral Research Fellow
November 2018 - May 2019


Andrew Sauer


Senthil Selvaraj, MD, MA
Pre-Doctoral Research Fellow
2011 - 2012


Dan Silverman, MD
Post-Doctoral Fellow

Erik J.Simon

Erik J. Simon, MD
Medical Student
April 2015 - May 2018


Ramsey Wehbe, MD


Sarah Wieser
Research Study Coordinator
Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute