Kiara Cui

Doctoral Candidate

Cookeville, Tennessee
Version 2

Co-Advisor: Professor Alex Dunn

Education B.S. Chemical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2016

Research Focus

The endothelial cells (ECs) which line the interior of blood and lymphatic vessels are known to be highly sensitive to the fluid flow they experience as a part of their physiological function. Specifically, variations in hemodynamic shear stresses are known to affect EC orientation, migration, signaling and valve formation. The mechanism by which ECs sense flow, however, is unknown and has a profound impact in elucidating vessel function and development as well as understanding diseases related to the cardiovascular and lymphatic systems, such as atherosclerosis and lymphedema.

Our work aims to develop a system which is capable of subjecting ECs to time-varying, oscillating flows. Doing so would enable both (1) monocyte adhesion studies following inflammatory signaling from arterial ECs subjected to atheroprone and atheroprotective flow profiles and (2) studies which examine the role of oscillatory flows in valve formation.