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Lab Members

Michael Richards

Michael RichardsMichael Richards, Ph.D.
Principal Investigator

office: MC 2-6321
(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.


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 Schwarz

Karl SchwarzKarl Quentin Schwarz, M.D.
Principal Investigator

office: MC G-0379
(585) 275-8218
Research Focus: Echocardiography


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 sonographers and 7 nurses, and they perform over 14,000 procedures a year at the Medical Center and throughout the western upstate NY region using a mobile echocardiography 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.

Michael StonerMichael Stoner

Michael C. Stoner, M.D.
Principal Investigator

Research Focus: Clinical research focuses on cost efficacy and value-reimbursement framework development for cardiovascular care. He also studies techniques to prevent complications following aortic repair and carotid artery surgery.


Dr. Stoner specializes in complex open and endovascular (catheter-based) vascular surgery and is a nationally recognized expert in comparative effectiveness research, and is the Chief of Vascular Surgery at UR Medicine.  He most recently served as Chief of Vascular Surgery at East Carolina University’s Department of Cardiovascular Science and East Caroline Heart Institute.  A native of Syracuse, Dr. Stoner was also named Co-Director of UR Medicine’s Heart and Vascular Serviceline.  His surgical interests center on comprehensive arterial vascular disease, including the medical, catheter-based and traditional surgical treatment for all aspects of atherosclerosis.  Dr. Stoner is a national leader in studying how medical treatments impact patients with vascular disease and outcomes from surgery.  He is able to use this knowledge and interest to provide customized patient-centered treatment plans for all aspects of vascular disease.  Dr. Stoner’s clinical research focuses on cost efficacy and value-reimbursement framework development for cardiovascular care.  He also studies techniques to prevent complications following aortic repair and carotid artery surgery. 

Doran MixDoran Mix

Medical Student, University of Rochester Medical Center

Research Focus: Elastographic-based imaging of AAA. Fenestrated endograft.


Doran Mix graduated from the Rochester Institute of Technology with his BSE degree in computer engineering and subsequently worked in the medical device industry. While in the medical device field his passion for medicine grew and he subsequently attended medical school at the University Of Rochester School Of Medicine and Dentistry where he was Alpha Omega Alpha and graduated with distinction in medical research. As a medical student he conducted extensive research in the application of biomedical engineering to the field of vascular surgery. His research included the completion of a year-long CTSI TL1 Pre-doctoral Training Program and the foundation of the CVEL. Doran's work has resulted in multiple national presentations, publications, and a patent. Dr. Mix is currently a resident in vascular surgery at the University of Rochester and has taught as an adjunct professor at Rochester Institute of Technology.