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Mentor: Dr. Elena Aikawa

Iqbal obtained her PhD (Cardiovascular Physiology, 2019) at the University of Toronto in the laboratories of Dr. Clifford Librach and Dr. Ren-Ke Li, where she was recognized as the top 5 percent of PhD students in Canada. Farwah is a cell biologist and is keen on understanding how certain cell types alter their phenotypes and signaling pathways during tissue regeneration. She characterized novel sources of regenerative therapeutic cell types for promoting vascularization in the ischemic myocardium following myocardial infarction. Her worked showed that allogeneic mesenchymal stromal cells-derived from the umbilical cord together with autologous endothelial progenitor cells promote both vasculogenesis and angiogenesis at 3 months post-injection, where improvements in cardiac function were observed and maintained long-term. Her research work established collaborations between multi-institutions, initiating preclinical studies in porcine models of cardiac ischemic injury.

Farwah joined the Center for Excellence in Vascular Biology, Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School as a postdoctoral research fellow under the supervision of Dr. Elena Aikawa in 2019. She is working to identify the role of unique protein biomarkers in driving calcific aortic valve disease. Currently, Farwah is studying how unique cell subpopulations-derived from patient aortic valve samples, regulate fibrosis and calcification during aortic valve disease. She is also interested in identifying the role of extracellular vesicles in valve calcification.

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