Research Faculty


Affiliated Faculty


Research Fellows

Angelo Takigami, MD

Hometown: São Paulo, Brazil
Graduate Education: University of São Paulo, Brazil, MD
Current Projects & Research: Angelo studied Congenital Heart Defects Imaging at Yale University. Currently, he works with Dr. Brian Ghoshhajra on the emerging field of Myocardial Stress Perfusion Cardiac Computed Tomography.

Jana Taron, MD

Hometown: Tuebingen, Germany
Graduate Education: Johannes Guttenberg University Mainz, Germany, MD
Current Projects & Research: Jana's subspecialty interests are cardiovascular imaging with CT and MRI with a focus on high-risk cohorts.

Amna Zafar, MD

Hometown: Toronto, Canada
Undergraduate Education: University of Toronto, HBS
Graduate Education: Wayne State University School of Medicine, MD
Current Projects & Research: Amna works on several cardio-oncology projects: defining the incidence, outcomes and risk factors for 5-Fluoruracil associated coronary vasospasm and Immune Checkpoint Inhibitor(ICI) use and adverse cardiovascular events.

Vineet Kalathur Raghu, PhD

Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA
Undergraduate Education: University of Pittsburgh, BS in Computer Science and Mathematical Biology
Graduate Education: University of Pittsburgh, PhD in Computer Science
Current Projects & Research: Vineet’s research interests are in developing machine learning models to predict patient prognosis. He is currently building models to 1) identify high risk smokers for lung cancer screening, 2) assess biological age from chest radiographs, and 3) predict mortality following cardiac surgery. He is also interested in building computational tools to improve model building and interpretability.

Raza Alvi, MD

Hometown: Quincy, MA
Undergraduate Education: York College of the City, University Of New York, BS in Biology
Graduate Education: Ross University School of Medicine, MD
Current Projects & Research: Raza studies cardiovascular complications among persons living with HIV and heart failure and cardiac toxicities and cardiovascular outcomes among patients taking immunotherapy.

Vikas Thondapu, MD, PhD

Hometown: Merced, California
Undergraduate Education: Duke University, BS in Biology, BA in Linguistics
Graduate Education: Drexel University College of Medicine, MD, Melbourne University; PhD, Biomedical Engineering
Current Projects & Research: Vikas’ research interests include coronary atherosclerosis, computational fluid dynamics, non-Newtonian blood rheology, optical coherence tomography, and coronary computed tomography.

Zsofia Drobni, MD

Hometown: Budapest, Hungary
Graduate Education: Semmelweis University, Budapest, Hungary, MD
Current Projects & Research: Zsofia’s main research focuses are cardiac-oncology and cardiac imaging in cancer patients.

Karen Rodriguez, MD

Hometown: Denver, CO
Undergraduate Education: University of Colorado, BA
Graduate Education: University of Michigan Medical School, MD
Current Projects & Research: Karen’s clinical interests are thoracic and cardiovascular imaging. She is involved in a large multicenter trial, PROMISE, using advanced cross-sectional imaging techniques to non-invasively quantify coronary artery plaque.

Hadil Zureigat, MD

Hometown: Amman, Jordan
Graduate Education: University of Jordan, MD
Current Projects & Research: Through leveraging advanced imaging modalities and employing the Biobank, Hadil’s goal is to explore the interplay between genetics and environment and how that ultimately translates into shaping cardiovascular mortality/morbidity risk in different populations, including those with HIV. Additionally, she would like to answer fundamental questions pertaining to the role stress plays in mediating cardiovascular disease and the extent to which this can be influenced by both environmental factors and preventive measures.


Research Staff

Yuji Liao, M.EC – Grants Administrator

Hometown: Zigong, China
Graduate Education: University of Munich, Diplom VwL (Bachelor +Master of Economics)
Current Projects & Research: Yuji works on grants and contracts administration.

Bingxue Kris Zhai, MS - Clinical Research Program/Project Manager

Hometown: Harbin, China
Undergraduate Education: Georgia State University
Graduate Education: Boston University School of Medicine, MS
Current Projects & Research: Kris organizes clinical trials sponsored by private industry and NIH. Her primary research interest is exploring the application of advanced imaging techniques as an endpoint of accessing plaque change related cardiovascular events.

Tamara Babenko, BS - Clinical Research Program/Project Manager

Hometown: St. Petersburg, Russia
Undergraduate Education: University of Washington, BS in Biology (Physiology)
Current Projects & Research: Tamara manages the PROMISE and UGANDA trials and helps with program administration and HR issues.

Zexi Allen Jin, BS - Clinical Research Coordinator I

Hometown: Qingdao, China
Undergraduate Education: University of Michigan, BS in Biomedical Engineering
Current Projects & Research: Allen works on the REPRIEVE trial. He also takes interests in projects covering fluid dynamics and machine learning.

Namrata Upadhyay, BS - Clinical Research Coordinator I

Hometown: Bridgewater, NJ
Undergraduate Education: Boston University, BS in Human Physiology
Current Projects & Research: Namrata does CT image processing for the MedImmune and Uganda CAD trials. She also works under Dr.Hedgire on a trial that uses MRI to assess the cardiovascular health of patients with HIV.

Rochelle Louis, BA - Clinical Research Coordinator I

Hometown: Bangalore, India
Undergraduate Education: Boston University, BA in Biology
Current Projects & Research: Rochelle works on two projects: the Randomized Trial to Prevent Vascular Events in HIV (REPRIEVE)  and the Effect of PCSK9 Inhibition on Cardiovascular Risk in Treated HIV Infection (EPIC-HIV study).

Nicki Naddaf, BS - Clinical Research Coordinator I

Hometown: San Jose, California
Undergraduate Education: University of California, Berkeley, BS in Molecular and Cell Biology
Current Projects & Research: Nicki facilitates several clinical studies which use multi-modality PET imaging to investigate the link between the heart and brain.

Sarah Hartmann, BS - Clinical Research Coordinator I

Hometown: Portsmouth, NH
Undergraduate Education: University of New Hampshire, BS in Biomedical Science
Current Projects & Research: Sarah facilitates research using cardiac imaging to determine the protective effects of statins on individuals undergoing chemotherapy.

Xiaomin Becky Chen, BS - Clinical Research Coordinator I

Hometown: Raleigh, NC
Undergraduate Education: UNC Chapel Hill, BS in Biology and Asian Studies with a Concentration in Chinese
Current Projects & Research: Becky works on the Interventional Radiology Clinical Trials.

Hannah Gilman, BS - Clinical Research Coordinator I

Hometown: Stonington, CT
Undergraduate Education: College of Charleston, BS in Biology
Current Projects & Research: Hannah works on studies focusing on the use of Cardiac MRI to monitor response to different treatments and disease progression.

Farah Adam - Administrative Assistant

Hometown: Yonkers, NY
Undergraduate Education: Borough of Manhattan Community College
Current Projects & Research: Farah is Dr. Udo Hoffmann’s administrative assistant.

Veniamin Knyazev, BS - Administrative Assistant

Hometown: Belmont, MA
Undergraduate Education: University of Massachusetts Amherst, BS in Psychology
Current Projects & Research: Venya is a clinical administrative assistant to Dr. Brian Ghoshhajra and assists on a retroactive analysis project in Brian’s lab.