BME Student Wins AHA Funding

Hamza Atcha

April, 15, 2020 - Biomedical engineering graduate student Hamza Atcha has won a two-year American Heart Association predoctoral fellowship.

Atcha’s research aims to understand the role of mechanical cues in regulating the function of macrophages. These immune cells are critical in the development and progression of atherosclerosis, a chronic cardiovascular disease that leads to hardening of blood vessels.

The $62,000 award will help Atcha uncover mechanosensitive molecules, such as ion channels, that influence macrophage function and promote atherosclerotic plaque development. “I am incredibly honored to receive this award and excited to continue my research into better understanding the mechanisms responsible for atherosclerosis,” said Atcha, a fourth-year doctoral student whose adviser is Wendy Liu, an associate professor in biomedical engineering.

The AHA awards predoctoral fellowships to promising graduate students whose research relates to cardiovascular function, disease and stroke or to related problems, and who intend to pursue careers aimed at improving global cardiovascular health.

– Lori Brandt