2019 Undergraduate Summer Research Program Participant

Home Department: Bioengineering
Mentor: Joseph Woo, Cardiothoracic Surgery

Coronary artery disease is the leading cause of death in America for both men and women, and while major strides have been taken for its treatment, ischemic cardiomyopathy eventually leads to heart failure in many patients. A novel research area is photosynthetic cyanobacteria, which have been shown to oxygenate the heart to treat ischemia and hypoxia, but their potential remains untapped in areas other than oxygen delivery. For Maria’s Stanford Bio-X summer project, she will be transforming the cyanobacteria Synechococcus elongatus to activate myocardial repair pathways, thus aiding the healing process of the heart and making the treatment more effective.