Research at Banner Sun Health Research Institute  

Our Researchers

Mohamed A. Gaballa, PhD

Mohamed A. Gaballa, PhD
Director, Principal investigator

"When I was finishing my doctorate in mechanical engineering, I was turned onto the problem of curing heart failure. I realized they were only treating the symptoms, not the disease; so I decided to dedicate my life toward it. After my doctorate, I finished a fellowship in cardiac medicine at the University of Arizona and began my research to attenuate and cure heart failure. I began using stem cells for that purpose in the early 2000s. Developing a clinical trial based on autologous cardiac resident stem cells is my ultimate goal."

Liudmila Zakharova, PhD

Liudmila Zakharova, PhD
Staff scientist

"After earning my PhD in Biochemistry, I spent four years at the University of California studying the role of the immune system in atherosclerosis development. I joined Dr. Gaballa's lab in August 2008 as a Postdoctoral Fellow. My current research is focused on cardiac stem cells regulation and differentiation. I manipulate stem cell phenotypes in order to enhance their survival, engraftment and efficacy upon transplantation on an infarcted heart. My long-term goal is to develop a clinically applicable strategy to maximize the regenerative potential of cardiac progenitor cells in heart failure settings."

H. feyza Nural-Guvener, PhD

H. Feyza Nural-Guvener, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow

"I earned my PhD in Developmental Neurology from the University of Nevada, Reno. Since I joined the lab in 2010, I am working on several projects, including changes in brain biochemistry due to myocardial infarction and epigenetic regulation of cardiac remodeling in heart failure."

Zana Popovic

Zana (Snjezana)Popovic
Research Associate

"I earned my undergraduate degree at Arizona State University in Biochemistry. It was clear to me at a very young age, that science was the path I'd take. My main focus in our lab is to provide technical support to our staff scientists and work as a liaison between our community and our projects. Beyond the lab, I love outdoor activities, especially hiking and cycling."

James R. Nimlos

James R. Nimlos
Research Associate

"My alma mater is the University of Arizona where  I earned a BS in Biosystems Engineering. I have been with the Center for Cardiovascular Research since August 2010 and my main duties are to research model management and regulatory compliance. I am currently applying to medical school and want to ultimately become a physician-scientist."

Lorraine Feehery

Lorraine Feehery
Research Associate

"My undergraduate degree is in Genetic, Cell and Developmental Biology, earned at  Arizona State University. After completing an internship and extensive training, I officically joined the team in September 2012. My primary focus is creating and manipulating research models and providing in-vitro technical support to our staff scientists."                                    

Banner Sun Health Research Institute
10515 W. Santa Fe Drive
Sun City, AZ 85351
(623) 832-6500
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