Our Team

image of the lab group at our summer get together in 2021
iCaMP Team Summer Get Together 2021.

 

 

Dr. Jessica Fetterman

Jessica L. Fetterman, PhD

Assistant Professor of Medicine

@JLFetterman

My research program utilizes trans-disciplinary approaches to advance our understanding of the role and mechanisms of mitochondrial genetics in cardiovascular pathophysiology. To do so, we evaluate mitochondrial genetics and biology at the population level through genetic epidemiology and systems biology approaches, at the cardiovascular tissue level through rapid autopsy samples and biopsies, and through the creation of cardiovascular cells from human induced-pluripotent stem cells. We are creating a number of software packages aimed at enhancing our ability to delineate pathogenic and benign mitochondrial genetic variants and to enable the investigation of mitochondrial-nuclear genetic interactions. Our goal is to identify the mechanisms for how mitochondrial genetic variation contributes to the development of cardiovascular diseases. When not thinking about mitochondria, I enjoy biking on the Esplanade, cooking, and settling into a book with a cup of coffee.

View my lab’s page

 

Dr. Deepa Gopal

Deepa M. Gopal, MD, MS

Assistant Professor of Medicine

@dmgopalMO

My research program is focused on deep characterization of the obese-phenotype of heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF) and deepening our understanding of the intersection of HFpEF and mitochondrial dysfunction. I help lead the Boston University METabolic Heart Disease Study (BUMETS), an observational cohort comprised of young individuals with obesity without prevalent heart failure. We have been following and phenotyping these individuals for over 10 years using echocardiography and biomarkers to identify preclinical HFpEF in this high-risk population. In addition, I am Co-Director of the Invasive Physiology & Hemodynamic Laboratory (IPH-Lab) with my interventional colleague, Dr. Nir Ayalon. In the IPH-Lab, we perform invasive cardiopulmonary exercise testing (iCPET), a comprehensive testing modality where patients perform supine ergometry with a cardiometabolic cart to quantify gas exchange and exercise capacity while simultaneously paired with invasive hemodynamics via Swan-Ganz catheters. We perform this testing in individuals with unexplained shortness of breath and often unmask early, exercise-induced HFpEF, a precursor stage to overt HFpEF. Harnessing these two cohorts with a multimodality approach using novel echocardiographic techniques (i.e., left atrial deformation imaging), exercise testing, and blood biomarkers we hope to develop a screening strategy to non-invasively identify preclinical HFpEF to direct therapeutics to mitigate the development of incident HFpEF. Outside the lab, I enjoy playing tennis, serving as assistant sports equipment hauler for my two boys, and playing lead chef in the Gopal’s Test Kitchen.

View my lab’s page

image of Dr Jesse Moreira

 

Jesse D. Moreira, MS, PhD

Post-Doctoral Fellow

@JDM_Physiology

I am a postdoctoral fellow in the iCaMP program studying the contributions of mitochondrial genetic variation to heart failure and cardiomyopathy in pluripotent stem cell derived cardiomyocytes. I previously trained in the systems pathophysiology of cardiovascular disease, integrating neurohistology, in-vivo animal physiology and pharmacology, and functional genomics to delineate mechanisms of disease. I aspire to combine both my systems and cellular work to direct my own laboratory to find novel treatments for cardiovascular disease in underserved populations including LGBTQIA+ folx. Outside of the laboratory, I enjoy running, coaching and playing soccer, and getting a great cup of coffee! I’m a proud social justice advocate and I care a lot about supporting human rights.

View my personal website

image of Dr. Sonali Sachdeva

Sonali Sachdeva, MD

Post-Doctoral Fellow

@medster19

I graduated with my MD from Lady Hardinge Medical College in India school in 2019. My work involves using left atrial strain to predict changes in diastolic and/or systolic heart function and subsequent development of heart failure.

 

image of PhD student Yi Li

Yi Li, MS

PhD Candidate

I am a PhD student in biostatistics at Boston University. My research interests are statistical genetics and genomics. One of my projects is evaluating whether circulating metabolites mediate the association of cardiovascular risk factors with heart failure and atrial fibrillation. I also am studying the associations of mitochondrial DNA variation with ECG traits and atrial fibrillation.

 

image of bioinformatician Ariel Xue

Liying (Ariel) Xue, M.S

Bioinformatician

I graduated from Miami University with a bachelor’s degree in Biology in 2020, and recently  I graduated with a bioinformatics Master’s from Boston University. I am working on projects evaluating mitochondrial genetic variation across human tissues and while doing so, writing software tools to facilitate the evaluation of mitochondrial genetic variation with phenotypes of interest.

 

image of research coordinator Vanessa Silva

Vanessa Silva

Research Study Coordinator

I have a background in social sciences and my research interests lie in cardiovascular health, socio economic and racial impacts on health outcomes and one’s mental health. As a graduate student of social work, I hope to one day take the skills I have learned in medical research and patient services and apply them to research in social sciences. In addition to research, I enjoy gardening, running and organizing local community efforts.

 

image of lab technician Karan Smith

Karan Smith

Research Study Assistant

I am a Boston native who graduated from Boston University with a B.A. in Biology, specializing in Cell Biology, Molecular Biology, and Genetics.  My current project is focused on investigating the link between abnormalities in oxidative phosphorylation complex proteins and cardiovascular dysfunction. This will be achieved by evaluating complex protein function in lymphoblastoid cell lines from the Framingham Heart Study using mitochondrial enzymatic activity assays.

 

image of scientific illustrator Irene Chung

Irene Chung

Scientific Illustrator

I am a junior student at Boston University studying health science and journalism. Originally from Taipei, Taiwan, I love to explore the city with cafe-hopping and museum visits. I am passionate about the arts and am currently creating scientific graphics for the lab. For more information, welcome to visit my personal website at https://www.irenechung.com