International Scholars

Akhil Baby

International Visiting Scholar (January 2023 – December 2025)
Graduate Student, Madurai Kamaraj University, India

Akhil Baby is pursuing his Ph.D. degree in Biotechnology at the School of Biotechnology, Madurai Kamaraj University, India, under the mentorship of Prof. Sankar Natesan. He earned his Undergraduate Degree in Botany and Biotechnology in 2016 from St. Berchmans College, Changanassery, Kerala, and his Master’s Degree in Biotechnology in 2018 from Madurai Kamaraj University, Tamilnadu, India. He joined Dr. Natesan’s Laboratory as a graduate student in 2018, funded by the Junior Research Fellowship Program of the Department of Biotechnology, Government of India. His Ph.D. studies focus on the role and regulation of the InsP3 ligand-gated calcium channels in cardiac hypertrophy and heart failure. The past years of pre-doctoral training have provided him with experience in cardiovascular research techniques such as cardiomyocyte isolation and culture, osmotic pump implantation in rodents, and general molecular biology techniques. He has joined Dr. Sadayappan’s lab at University of Cincinnati College of Medicine to work on projects to determine the biology underlying the pathogenesis of MYBPC3 gene variants in left ventricular hypertrophy and heart failure. In addition, he will perform research studies on InsP3 ligand-gated calcium channels in cardiac hypertrophy for a Ph.D. degree to be conferred by Madurai Kamaraj University. During his stay, he will receive advanced training and be exposed to cutting-edge research in cardiovascular biology, apply for an AHA predoctoral fellowship, and participate in national conferences.

Sholeh Bazafshan Kondori, MD

Visiting Scholar (Jan 2018 – Dec 2020)

Sholeh received her medical degree from Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences at Tehran, Iran, in April 2010. After four years of clinical practice in the primary care setting, she moved to the United States to pursue her career at Wright State University, Dayton, OH, where she received her Master of Science degree in Aerospace Medicine in July 2017. She joined the Sadayappan lab as a visiting scholar in Jan 2018 to train and do basic and clinical research on familial hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and muscular dystrophy. On a personal note, she is passionate about writing (poetry & short stories), theatre, traditional and classical music, history and sports.

Annkathrin zur Heiden

Medical Student, Germany
Visiting Scholar (Aug-Sep, 2017)

Ms. Heiden is a medical student at Johann Wolfgang Goethe Universität in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. She started working on her thesis in the Franz-Groedel Institut Bad Nauheim one year ago where Dr. Sadayappan did DAAD fellowship and a brief postdoctoral training. Since then, she has been working on monocytes and their subsets during NSTEMIs. Receiving the DAAD PROMOS scholarship from her University in Germany, she is proud to be an intern in the Sadayappan lab. During her stay in Cincinnati, she will receive training, perform experiments and become more experienced doing research. Specifically, she will be focusing on the effects of cMyBP-C release on cardiomyocytes in vitro.

Christoph Lipps, PhD

Postdoctoral Fellow (Troidl Lab)
mit der Justus-Liebig- Universität Gießen gGmbH
Visiting Scholar (2017)

Dr. Lipps studied Biosystems Engineering at the Otto-von- Guericke-University Magdeburg, Germany, and received his Ph.D. in Molecular Biotechnology from the Medical School Hannover, Germany, in 2014. His studies at Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research, Germany, focused on the generation of immortalized cell lines (especially hepatocytes) for the development of model systems for inflammation and immunity. Since 2015 he is working as a Project Leader in the Experimental Cardiology Group at the Justus-Liebig- University Giessen, Germany. Working on projects about inflammation in cardiovascular diseases he could demonstrate that the N-terminal fragment of cMyBP-C induces pro-inflammatory responses in vitro (Lipps et al., 2016, JMCC). Dr. Lipps has been visiting Dr. Sadayappan’s Lab for a month in May 2017 to investigate the release of cMyBP-C and its fragments under hypoxic conditions and continues his research in a second stay in July-September 2017 to investigate the inflammatory role of cMyBP-C in various mouse models. His research studies are partially supported by “Freunde und Förderer der Kerckhoff-Klinik e. V., Germany, and Boehringer Ingelheim Fonds, Germany.

Bibrita Bhar

Master’s Student, Madurai Kamaraj University, India
Khorana Program Scholar (May 2017-July 2017)

Bibrita Bhar is pursuing M.Sc. degree in Biotechnology from Madurai Kamaraj University, India. She completed her B. Sc. in Life Sciences from Presidency University, Kolkata, India. Her short term summer project is on the study of cellular mechanism of cardiac muscle function. This is a great opportunity for her to work in a well-equipped laboratory at the University of Cincinnati where cutting edge research is being performed. She will gain practical skills that will make her more efficient to start her own career as an independent researcher.

Ms. Bhar was supported by Khorana Program for Scholars 2017 (

Nandhini Sadagopan

Master’s Student, Vellore Institute of Technology, India
International Research Scholar (Jun 2015-May 2016)

Nandhini Sadagopan, a graduate student from the Vellore Institute of Technology in India, was research intern in the Sadayappan Lab. She received a fellowship from Loyola University Chicago, Stritch School of Medicine, to establish in vitro assays to determine the interaction between cMyBP-C, myosin and actin under baseline and ß-adrenergic stimulation. Upon completion of this year-long project, she will return to India to complete her master’s degree.

Sangeetha O Kandoi

Graduate Student, Indian Institute of Technology, Chennai, India
International Research Scholar (Sep 2015-Aug 2017)

Sangeetha is an external PhD candidate from Indian Institute of Technology, Chennai while concurrently working as a Research Associate at the R&D wing of LifeCell International Private Limited, Chennai (India). Over the past decade, Sangeetha has developed rich hands-on experience on diverse subjects such as handling of mesenchymal stem cells from various human sources, hematopoietic stem cells from human umbilical cord blood and preparation of a dendritic cell vaccine for cancer immunotherapy. Her current work in the Sadayappan lab focuses on bench side science exploring the pathophysiological consequences of MYBPC3 gene mutations in vitro.

Mendy Huisman

Medical Student, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Visiting scholar (December 2012 - May 2013)

Mendy received a visiting scholarship from the Sadayappan lab for 6 months to receive training and perform research projects for her medical school thesis: the pathogenic mechanism underlying the development of familial hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. During her stay, Mendy received broad experience in the role of sarcomeric protein mutations in the development of cardiac pump dysfunction in human cardiomyopathy.

Kady S. Karioredjo

Pharmacy Student, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Visiting scholar (May 2012 - October 2012)

During her Bachelor’s final project at the VU Amsterdam, Kady tested the toxicity of different drugs on yeast cell culture cloned with different human genes. She also interned at the VU Medical Center Amsterdam where she studied the influence of adipose tissue on inflammation, which causes diabetes. Her short-term pharmacology study in the Sadayappan lab focused on cardiac myosin binding protein- C as an intracellular substrate for calpains and its degradation during ischemia-reperfusion as a potential contributor to cardiac contractile dysfunction in isolated working hearts.

For queries and opportunities, Please Contact :

Sakthivel Sadayappan, Ph.D., MBA
Professor of Internal Medicine
Dr. James F. Heady Endowed Chair in Medicine
Vice Chair of Basic Research, Internal Medicine
Associate Director of Basic Research, Division of Cardiovascular Health and Disease
Director, Heart Research, Heart, Lung and Vascular Institute
University of Cincinnati College of Medicine
Cardiovascular Center, Rm 4935
MLC 0542
231 Albert Sabin Way
Cincinnati, OH 45267-0575, USA
Phone : +1 513-558-7498
Email :

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