Sara Pahlavan Ph.D.

Department of Stem Cells and Developmental Biology

Assistant professor


Phone: +98 21 23562512

CV: Sara Pahlavan CV 2019

Sara Pahlavan is a member of Royan Cardiovascular Group. She studied Biology in her B.Sc and graduated in M.Sc of Physiology from Shiraz University. During her undergraduate studies, she got interested in physiology of cardiac cells, specifically excitation-contraction coupling. To pursue her interest, she moved to Germany and started her graduate studies in Professor Peter Lipp’s lab at Universitäts Klinikum des Saarlandes.
There, she learned state of the art technologies such as simultaneous “patch-clamp” and “Ca2+ imaging” to study excitation-contraction coupling in cardiomyocytes. Furthermore, she used transgenic mice to study pathophysiology of inherited cardiac diseases with respect to electrophysiology and/or Ca2+ machinery.
Toward the end of her PhD studies, she got interested in using patient-specific iPSC-derived cardiomyocytes to study cardiac disease in human cardiac cells and to test new drugs. To pursue this goal, she moved to United States and started her postdoctoral fellowship in Professor Martin Morad’ lab at Medical University of South Carolina.
There she could develop a new genetically-encoded Ca2+ probe to study Ca2+ induced Ca2+ release and Ca2+ sparks in cardiomyocytes of healthy and patient-specific iPSC-derived cardiomyocytes. She joined Royan Institute at 2015 and currently she works as an Assistant Professor in cardiovascular Group

Physiology/ Disease Modeling/ Drug Testing

We are a newly established group with the aim to investigate familial cardiovascular diseases using patient-specific iPSC-derived cardiomyocytes. We aim to do whole exome sequencing, determine the mutation, generate iPSCs from the patient, differentiate iPSCs to cardiomyocytes and perform molecular studies such as transcriptional, post-transcriptional, translational, post-translational as well as cellular studies such as morphological and functional evaluations. To pursue this goal, we use multiple techniques including RNA-seq, patch clamp and Ca2+ imaging. Furthermore, we aim to apply genomic tools to correct the mutations e.g. using crisper/cas9 in order to develop new therapies. Our group is also interested to use hPSC-derived cardiomyocytes for drug testing or cardiotoxicity evaluations.

Shiva Ahmadvand

MSc student

Project title: Epi-transcriptome analysis of pathological hypertrophy in XX and XY human embryonic stem cell-derived cardiomyocyte

Negar Ghorbani

PhD student

Project title: Investigations into the roles of caspase regulators during differentiation of human embryonic stem cells into cardiomyocytes

Leyla Ostadi

MSc student

Project title: Cardiogenic differentiation of Danon induced pluripotent stem cells into cardiomyocytes and their characterization

Mahya Hosseini

MSc Alumni

Fariba Moslem

MSc Alumni

Selected Publications:

  1. Varzideh F, Pahlavan S, Ansari H, Halvaei M, Kostin S, Feiz MS, Latifi H, Aghdami N, Braun T, Baharvand H. Human cardiomyocytes undergo enhanced maturation in embryonic stem cell-derived organoid transplants.Biomaterials. 2019 Feb;192:537-550
  2.  Anna Meyfour, Mahya Hosseini, Hamid Sobhanian, Sara Pahlavan. ran’s Contribution to Human Proteomic Research. Cell J. Volume 21, Number 3, Autumn 2019, Serial Number: 83- Pages
  3. Establishment of A Protocol for In Vitro Culture of Cardiogenic Mesodermal Cells Derived from Human Embryonic Stem Cells. Vahdat S, Pahlavan S, Aghdami N, Bakhshandeh B, Baharvand H. Cell J. 2019 Jan;20(4):496-504. doi: 10.22074/cellj.2019.5661. Epub 2018 Dec 12.
  4. Reversible permeabilization of the mitochondrial membrane promotes human cardiomyocyte differentiation from embryonic stem cells. Ghiasi P, Hosseinkhani S, Ansari H, Aghdami N, Balalaei S, Pahlavan S, Baharvand H. J Cell Physiol. 2018 Jan;234(1):521-536. doi: 10.1002/jcp.26758. Epub 2018 Aug 2.
  5. Effects of hawthorn (Crataeguspentagyna) leaf extract on electrophysiologicproperties of cardiomyocytesderived from human cardiac arrhythmia-specific induced pluripotent stem cells.Pahlavan S, Tousi MS, Ayyari M, Alirezalu A, Ansari H, Saric T, Baharvand H. FASEB J. 2017 Nov 13. pii: fj.201700494RR.
  6. 17thChromosome-Centric Human Proteome Project (C-HPP) Symposium in Tehran.Meyfour A, Pahlavan S, Sobhanian H, Salekdeh GH. Proteomics. 2018 Jan 31.
  7. Human embryonic stem cell-derived cardiovascular progenitor cells efficiently colonize in bFGF-tethered natural matrix to construct contracting humanized rat hearts.Rajabi S, Pahlavan S, Ashtiani MK, Ansari H, Abbasalizadeh S, Sayahpour FA, Varzideh F, Kostin S, Aghdami N, Braun T, Baharvand H. Biomaterials. 2018 Feb;154:99-112.
  8. Y Chromosome Missing Protein, TBL1Y, May Play an Important Role in Cardiac Differentiation.Meyfour A, Ansari H, Pahlavan S, Mirshahvaladi S, Rezaei-Tavirani M, Gourabi H, Baharvand H, Salekdeh GH. J Proteome Res. 2017 Dec 1;16(12):4391-4402.
  9. Total internal reflectance fluorescence imaging of genetically engineered ryanodine receptor-targeted Ca2+probes in rat ventricular myocytes.Pahlavan S, Morad M. Cell Calcium. 2017 Sep;66:98-110.