Principal Investigators

Ankur Chandra, M.D., RPVI University of Rochester work Box 652 Rochester NY p (585) 273-2596 f (585) 424-1008
Michael Richards, Ph.D. University of Rochester work 601 Elmwood Ave Rochester NY 14642 office: MC 2-6321 p (585) 273-1745
Karl Quentin Schwarz, M.D. University of Rochester work Box 679-E 601 Elmwood Ave Rochester NY 14642 office: MC G-0379 p (585) 275-8218

Personnel

Ankur Chandra, M.D., RPVI University of Rochester
Principal Investigator
work Box 652 Rochester NY p (585) 273-2596 f (585) 424-1008 Research Focus: Vascular disease with an emphasis on minimally invasive treatment of lower extremity atherosclerosis

Bio

Dr. Chandra is a P.I, and one of the founding members of the Cardiovascular Engineering Lab. He is an Assistant Professor of Surgery and Biomedical Engineering at University of Rochester, and the lead investigator on several major projects within CVEL. Dr. Chandra earned his undergraduate BME and medical degrees from Case Western Reserve University's School of Engineering and School of Medicine in Cleveland, Ohio. He later completed his internship and residency in general surgery, as well as a postdoctoral research fellowship, at the University of California, San Diego Medical Center. Prior to joining URMC, Dr. Chandra was a vascular surgery fellow at the UCLA School of Medicine, Division of Vascular Surgery, in Los Angeles, California. He is currently a Certified Registered Physician in Vascular Interpretation and is licensed to practice medicine in the states of California and New York.

Dr. Chandra’s interest in device design and engineering began during his undergraduate degree at Case Western during which he specialized in prosthetics with a minor in mechanical engineering. His focus is to generate a new paradigm of device development in an era of increasing health care cost constraints and limited commercial resources. He hopes that these efforts will directly improve patient care through increased efficiency of clinician-engineer communications, more targeted and effective devices, and shifting device R&D from profit-based to need-based development.

In addition to being a National Merit Scholar and the recipient of numerous awards such as the Howard Hughes Memorial Institute Research Fellowship Award, Dr. Chandra has authored a wide variety of publications. He has served on various committees and has presented at meetings throughout the United States and Canada. Dr. Chandra is also a member of professional organizations including the American College of Surgeons, American Medical Association, Society for Vascular Surgery, American Heart Association, Society of Clinical Vascular Surgery and Peripheral Vascular Surgery Society.

His professional interests include the treatment of all aspects of vascular disease with an emphasis on minimally invasive treatment of lower extremity atherosclerosis and open/hybrid treatment of aortic aneurysms and cerebrovascular disease. His research focus is in vascular bioengineering, specifically novel imaging modalities to study vascular tissue properties and tissue-device interactions in the aortic arch.

Michael Richards, Ph.D. University of Rochester
Principal Investigator
work 601 Elmwood Ave Rochester NY 14642 office: MC 2-6321 p (585) 273-1745 Research Focus: The study of the linear and non-linear mechanical behavior of normal and diseased vascular tissue using diagnostic ultrasound imaging and elastographic-based image processing algorithms.

Bio

Michael Richards is a Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Surgery, Division of Vascular Surgery at the University of Rochester Medical Center. He received his Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from Boston University in 2007. The primary focus of his graduate work was the three-dimensional modeling of the mechanics of soft tissues, specifically breast tissue and breast cancer. This work utilized both ultrasound and X-ray images to measure tissue motion for use in solving the elastic inverse problem.

Following completion of his degree, he was a Post-Doctoral Fellow in the Department of Radiology at the University of Michigan, where he continued his work with breast tissue modeling in addition to beginning his work with cardiovascular mechanics. He then moved to the Parametric Imaging Research Laboratory at the University of Rochester, where he studied the use of IVUS elastography for the diagnosis of vulnerable atherosclerotic plaques.

He is currently a Co-PI in the Cardiovascular Engineering Laboratory (CVEL) at the University of Rochester Medical Center. His work is focused on the optimization of tissue motion or strain estimation algorithms using non-invasive ultrasound imaging as it is applied to problems in cardiovascular mechanics. He is also continuing his work in applying mechanical modeling to study cardiovascular mechanics, both by studying finite element simulations of these problems and by solving the elastic inverse problem. His primary application is the study of abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAA).

Karl Quentin Schwarz, M.D. University of Rochester
Principal Investigator
work Box 679-E 601 Elmwood Ave Rochester NY 14642 office: MC G-0379 p (585) 275-8218 Research Focus: Echocardiography

Bio

Dr. Schwarz is a Professor of Medicine at the University of Rochester Medical Center where he has been the director of the Echocardiography Laboratory since 1992. Dr. Schwarz also holds a position as a Research Professor in Electrical and Biomedical Engineering at the Rochester Institute of Technology.

Dr. Schwarz received his undergraduate degree in 1979 at Bowdoin College in Physics. Dr. Schwarz studied medicine at the University of Rochester, where he completed medical school, residency and cardiology fellowship. During his training years, he developed an interest in studying ways of improving the quality and efficiency of treating cardiovascular disease. Dr. Schwarz then joined the faculty at the University of Rochester Medical Center, where he is now Professor of Medicine.

Dr. Schwarz' primary day to day focus remains improving the care of patients through excellence in cardiac imaging. To this end, he has instituted a program to increase quantification and accuracy of echocardiographic imaging studies. Dr. Schwarz calls this program Echo 2.0, and it includes quantifying right and left ventricular anatomy and systolic/diastolic function using all available means, and using innovative new measurements to fully characterize valvular anatomy/function and overall cardiovascular physiology. These efforts have already lead to a reduction in the need for invasive procedures and improved patient outcome.

Dr. Schwarz has been the Director of the Echocardiography Lab at the University of Rochester Medical Center since 1992. The Echocardiography Lab is staffed by 14 so-nographers and 7 nurses, and they perform over 14,000 procedures a year at the Medi-cal Center and throughout the western upstate NY region using a mobile echocardio-graphy service. Dr. Schwarz has performed and interpreted over 72,000 echocardio-grams, including 10,000 transesophageal studies. He currently attends on about a quarter of all echocardiograms performed at the University of Rochester. Dr. Schwarz is responsible for training 15 cardiovascular fellows a year in echocardiography.

Photo of Akshay Rao
Akshay Rao University of Rochester
Visiting Student in Residence (Rochester Institute of Technology)
work Rochester NY
Photo of Geni Gianotti
Geni Gianotti University of Rochester
Biomedical Engineering student at Rochester Institute of Technology
work Rochester NY Research Focus: Echo Contrast Fragility project, improving the limited quality of cardiac ultrasound imaging

Bio

Geni Gianotti is a third year Biomedical Engineering student at Rochester Institute of Technology. During Summer 2012, before entering the third year of her undergraduate degree, Ms. Gianotti worked as a co-op student in the Cardiovascular Engineering lab under Dr. Karl Schwarz. Ms. Gianotti began in the lab on May 29, 2012, and ended her co-op on August 10, 2012. She worked on the Contrast Fragility project with Dr. Schwarz where her main focus was the Echo Contrast Fragility project. Ms. Gianotti’s research focused on improving the limited quality of cardiac ultrasound imaging. Her main duties in this project involved using 2D imaging to decipher the effectiveness of using echo contrast agents composed of gas filled micro-bubbles. These are fragile agents, and Ms. Gianotti worked with a 2D imaging Vividi machine, and a generic flow system consisting of: a pump, flow meter, ultrasound exposure chamber, imaging chamber, laser, Canon EOS camera, a reservoir, PWD (Pulsed Wave Doppler), and a resistor, to determine the time taken to destroy a bolus of echo contrast with different ultrasound exposure intensities.

Ms. Giannoti conducted her experiments at RIT in the Laser lab of Dr. Steven Day. The processing and analysis of her data was carried out at the University of Rochester Medical Center. Following exceptional work with this project, Ms. Gianotti is considering a longer partnership with the lab, continuing throughout her school year.

Photo of Doran Mix
Doran Mix University of Rochester
Medical Student, University of Rochester Medical Center
work Rochester NY Research Focus: Fenestrated endograft, the image processing algorithm and laser controller for the study of ultrasound contrast

Bio

Doran Mix is currently in his fourth year of medical education at the University of Rochester Medical Center. Before beginning his medical training, Mr. Mix received his Bachelor of Science with honors in Computer Engineering from Rochester Institute of Technology. In 2008 he finished his Post-Baccalaureate Program at Bryn Mawr College.

Prior to beginning his final year of medical school, Mr. Mix took a year out from his education to work in the Cardiovascular Engineering Laboratory under an NIH TL1 grant from the Clinical and Translational Science Institute in Rochester, NY.

From July 2011, to July 2012, Mr. Mix made a huge contribution to the development of the lab and its many projects. Throughout the year, Mr. Mix presented the lab’s work at many highly regarded conferences, including several AHA: Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology Annual Meetings. He was also the recipient of several awards, including the Marvin J. Hoffman Translational Science Award (August 2012), the NIH/NCRR TL1 Training Award (P.I. Ankur Chandra, July 2011-July 2012), and the Society for Vascular Surgery Travel Scholarship (June 2012).

Mr. Mix is the Co-inventor on a provisional patent for fenestrated endograft along with Dr. David Gillespie. Additionally, among the many other achievements he accomplished during his research year, Mr. Mix’s work validated and supported several projects. He also designed the image processing algorithm and laser controller for the study of ultrasound contrast.

Mr. Mix intends to pursue a career in Vascular Surgery and continues to work closely with the lab and its Primary Investigators.

Photo of Mallory Wingate
Mallory Wingate University of Rochester
Biomedical Engineering student at Rochester Institute of Technology
work Rochester NY Research Focus: Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm project, creating a 3D image from a CT scan using image segmentation

Bio

Mallory Wingate is a second year Biomedical Engineering student at Rochester Institute of Technology. Prior to entering the second year of her undergraduate degree, Ms. Wingate worked in the Cardiovascular Engineering lab as a Research Assistant during her 2012 Summer vacation. Between May and August 2012, Ms. Wingate worked closely with Dr. Ankur Chandra and Medical student Doran Mix, on the Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm project. Ms. Wingate’s main duties and focuses in this project included creating a 3D image from a CT scan using image segmentation, printing a 3D model of this image, and then using this to create molds. The molds were then used to create a patient-specific model of an aorta, containing an aneurysm made from hydrogel, a material which mimics the properties of human vessels very closely. Ms Wingate was then able to attach the models to a hemodynamic simulator and pulsate them, using physiologic pressure.

The models are used to see when, and where, rupture occurs. Ms. Wngate also recorded the stress and strain data from the aneurysm using ultrasound. These models are able to provide data about stress and rupture patterns in vessels before and after repair.

Recent Publications