Sheikh Khalifa bin Hamad Al Thani Center for Integrative Research on Cardiovascular Aging (CIRCA)


Arshad Jahangir

Arshad Jahangir, MD


Dr. Jahangir graduated from the Dow Medical College at the University of Karachi (India). He completed his residency in internal medicine and fellowships in cardiology and cardiac electrophysiology at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. He serves as director of the Sheikh Khalifa bin Hamad Al Thani Center for Integrative Research on Cardiovascular Aging and the chair for the Cardiovascular Research at Aurora. He is also a professor of medicine for Aurora University of Wisconsin Medical Group (AUWMG) and University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. As a clinician-investigator, Dr. Jahangir brings an extensive expertise in clinical and basic cardiac electrophysiology and cardiac aging.

Dr. Jahangir has served in a leadership role for several national and international clinical and scientific societies. He currently serves as a member of the Myocardial Ischemia and Metabolism Study Section at the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI). He has also published extensively in the field of cardiovascular disease and served as a reviewer for several peer reviewed journals. Dr. Jahangir is the recipient of numerous national and international awards. He received the William B Abrams Award in Geriatric Clinical Pharmacology and multiple awards from Mayo Clinic for his research in cardiovascular aging.

Dr. Jahangir is a clinician investigator with expertise in clinical and basic cardiac electrophysiology, and research interest in cardiac aging and arrhythmogenesis. His research program has been supported by the National Heart Blood and Lung Institute (NHLBI), National Institute on Aging, American Heart Association, Society of Geriatric Cardiology, Institutional grants from Mayo Clinic and Aurora Health Care. He currently holds two NHLBI RO1 grants that focus on aging and cardio-protection and the role of mitochondria in atrial fibrillation.

Diane Gentilini

Diane Gentilini

Administrative Assistant, Senior

Diane has 15 years of experience in administrative support, originally hired at Aurora in 2011 as a medical transcriptionist and later joining the CIRCA team.

Stacie Edwards

Stacie Edwards, BS

Research Associate

Stacie graduated from UW-Madison with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry. She has 10 years of experience in cardiovascular and induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) research. She joined the Sheikh Khalifa bin Hamad Al Thani Center for Integrative Research on Cardiovascular Aging (CIRCA) in May 2015.

Larisa Emelyanova

Larisa Emelyanova, PhD

Research Scientist

Dr . Emelyanova earned her PhD from the Laboratory of Comparative Biochemistry of Inorganic Ions at the Institute of Evolutionary Physiology and Biochemistry, Russian Academy of Sciences in Saint-Petersburg, Russia.

Before joining the Sheikh Khalifa bin Hamad Al Thani Center for Integrative Research on Cardiovascular Aging, Dr. Emelyanova was a postdoctoral fellow for CardioGerentology at Mayo Clinic in Arizona and a fellow at the Institute of Evolutionary Physiology and Biochemistry, Russian Academy of Sciences. She is also currently a postdoctoral fellow at Aurora UW Medical Group (AUWMG).

Dr. Emelyanova is a Research Scientist under the guidance of Dr. Jahangir on understanding the mechanism of increased susceptibility of aging heart to diseases. She has extensive experience in cellular physiology in the field of mitochondrial energetics, with a particular interest in defining the role of mitochondria in animal models of metabolic stress.

Dr. Emelyanova is a member of several scientific societies, including European Biochemistry Society and American Heart Association. She presented her original research work at national and international meetings, and has several publications in peer reviewed journals.

Rosy Joshi-Mukherjee

Rosy Joshi-Mukherjee, PhD

Research Scientist

Dr. Joshi-Mukherjee's research interest is understanding myocyte-fibroblast remodeling and associated contractile arrhythmia in hypertrophic cardiomyopathy patients. To facilitate this long-term career goal at Aurora Research Institute, Dr. Joshi-Mukherjee is implementing innovative strategies and state-of-the-art induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cell technology.

As a research fellow at Johns Hopkins University, she developed human iPS cell lines from patients harboring mutations associated with long QT3 syndrome. Dr. Joshi-Mukherjee employed an iPS-derived in vitro heart tissue model to investigate the cellular and molecular mechanisms contributing to arrhythmia. Her postdoctoral work at Johns Hopkins laid the groundwork for developing a miniature two-dimensional human heart tissue model for action potential and calcium transient measurements to study arrhythmia.

Dr. Joshi-Mukherjee's significant scientific accomplishments include:

  • Development of human heart culture model mimicking altered electrophysiology and disease phenotype of patient conditions to understand the mechanisms of arrhythmia
  • Development of long-term two-dimensional cultures of adult heart cells to study action potential propagation, calcium transients and arrhythmia.
  • Discovery of smaller alternate forms of connexin43, a gap-junction protein that has direct applications in protein trafficking and arrhythmia.
  • First report of cellular/molecular forms of two plakophilin mutations associated with an arrhythmogenic disease called arrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia.
Kelsey Kraft

Kelsey Kraft

Research Associate

Kelsey received her Bachelor of Science in Chemistry degree from Carroll University in 2011. She has been an Aurora caregiver since 2012, previously working in the Cytology department of ACL labs, located at Aurora West Allis Medical Center. She joined the Sheikh Khalifa bin Hamad Al Thani Center for Integrative Research on Cardiovascular Aging (CIRCA) in 2014. Kelsey provides support for the research scientists and research associates. In addition, she performs the Western Blots for the CIRCA research team.

Ulugbek Negmadjanov

Ulugbek Negmadjanov, MD

Research Associate

Dr. Negmadjanov graduated from the Samarkand State Medical Institute, Uzbekistan with a Bachelor of Medicine and General Practitioner degree. His research is focused on studying persistence of human cardiac myofibroblasts, the major players involved in development of cardiac fibrosis. Dr. Negmadjanov is currently working on several research projects, including cytokine-mediated activation of survival pathways and their role in the cardiac fibrosis, biogenesis of mitochondria in TGF-β1 differentiated fibroblasts, and the role of voltage dependent anion channel (VDAC) in the outer mitochondrial membrane in development of alcoholic cardiomyopathy.

Dr. Negmadjanov has presented the results of his research work at national and local scientific meetings and has published his research in peer reviewed journals.

Farhan Rizvi

Farhan Rizvi, PhD

Research Scientist

Dr. Rizvi graduated from the University of Mumbai, India with a PhD in Biological Science. Before joining the Sheikh Khalifa bin Hamad Al Thani Center for Integrative Research on Cardiovascular Aging, Dr. Rizvi was an International guest scientist at University of Uppsala in Sweden. Most recently, he was a senior postdoctoral fellow at Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee.

He has extensive experience in cell death and disease, signal transduction, gene regulation, epigenetics, and metabolic syndrome.

Dr Rizvi has international patents for discovering the agents for treatment of prophylaxis of diabetic and related metabolic disorders. He has published original research in several peer reviewed journals, including Circulation Research, PloS One, Journal of Lipid Research and Molecular Vision. He also serves as a reviewer to various journals.

Gracious Ross

Gracious Ross, PhD

Research Scientist

Dr. Ross, originally a veterinary medicine graduate, earned his doctorate degree in Pharmacology at Indian Veterinary Research Institute. Subsequently, he underwent postdoctoral trainings at University of Texas Medical Branch (Galveston, TX) and Virginia Commonwealth University (Richmond, VA).

Dr. Ross's field of expertise is ion channel electrophysiology and smooth muscle pharmacology. His discovery of inflammation-induced nitration of tyrosine residues of α1c subunit of Cav1.2 channels was a significant contribution in the ion channel field. He has won several awards, including the Society for Gynecologic Investigation (SGI) President's award and twice won a Post-Doctoral Scientist award from FASEB (ASPET). He was nominated to the Editorial Board of American Journal of Physiology: Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology in 2009. He was honored as the 2009 "Star Reviewer" for American Journal of Physiology: GI & Liver. He has also served as Assistant Professor in the Department of Pharmacology at Virginia Commonwealth University.

Currently, Dr. Ross is a Research Scientist at the Sheikh Khalifa bin Hamad Al Thani Center for Integrative Research on Cardiovascular Aging. His research focus is on ion channel studies in cardiac fibroblasts in health and disease.

Yang (Scarlet) Shi

Yang (Scarlet) Shi, PhD

Research Scientist, Senior

Dr. Yang (Scarlet) Shi is a Research Scientist, Senior at Aurora Research Institute whose major research is related to cardiovascular disease. She received her bachelor's and master's degree from Fudan University and her PhD in cardiovascular physiology from Hunan University. She completed her postdoctoral training at the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) on an American Heart Association (AHA) fellowship grant.

Prior to joining Aurora Health Care, Dr. Shi was an assistant professor of surgery at MCW, where her laboratory investigated molecular and cellular mechanisms of cardioprotection against ischemia reperfusion injury. Her research has been supported by grants from NIH (R01), AHA and other local agencies. She was also a co-investigator on four other NIH grants. She has published many peer-reviewed journal articles with several papers as first author and several others as the corresponding author.

Dr. Shi reviews for many journals such as Circulation Research and the American Journal of Physiology, as well as funding agencies such as AHA and the MCW Research Committee. She is on the editorial boards of Frontiers in Oxidant Physiology and the International Journal of Biomedical Science.