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Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the world, with about 695,000 people in the United States dying every year. One of the major factors driving heart diseases such as atherosclerosis is how endothelial cells (cells that line blood vessels) react to mechanical cues in the body, termed the tissue mechanoresponse. The link between tissue mechanoresponses and heart disease progression remains unclear.

Schmidt AI in Science Postdoctoral Fellow, Dr. Shailaja Seetharaman, along with Prof. Margaret Gardel and graduate student, Sarah Root, are leveraging machine learning based approaches to develop more sophisticated generalizable models of tissue responses in health and disease. This approach will allow researchers to predict cell states and tissue adaptation to stresses. Having such complete models will provide valuable insight into the driving forces of heart disease, granting doctors a greater understanding on how to prevent the damage that can lead to heart disease.

Principal Investigators: Shailaja Seetharaman (UChicago), Margaret Gardel (UChicago)