Sara Pahlavan Ph.D.

Department of Stem Cells and Developmental Biology

Assistant professor


Phone: +98 21 23562512

CV: Sara Pahlavan CV

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.

Negar Ghorbani

PhD student

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

Mojtaba Shafaghi

MSc student

Project title: Differentiation of cardiac fibroblast cells from human pluripotent stem cells and their use in in vitro fibrosis model

Yasaman Pourmehran

MSc student

Project title: Identification of novel cardiac fibrosis-related long noncoding RNAs using bioinformatics analysis of RNA-seq data

Siamak Rezaeiani

PhD student

Generation and Expansion of Cardiac Progenitor Cells derived from Human Pluripotent Stem Cells using Small Molecules

Fatemeh Movahedi

MSc student

The effect of MEIS1/HOXB13 knockdown on the mitosis induction of adult human cardiomyocytes derived from human pluripotent stem cells

Mahya Hosseini

MSc Alumni

Shiva Ahmadvand

MSc Alumni

Hanieh Sadeghi

MSc Alumni

Fariba Moslem

MSc Alumni

Leyla Ostadi

MSc Alumni

Selected Publications:


2020 Montazeri L, Sobat M, Kowsari-Esfahan R, Rabbani S, Ansari H, Barekat M, Firoozi S, Rajabi S, Vahdat S, Baharvand H, Pahlavan S. VEGF Sustained Delivery AugmentedCell Therapy Outcomes of Cardiac Progenitor Cells for Myocardial Infarction. J Tissue Eng Regen Med. 2020 Sep 4. doi: 10.1002/term.3125.


2020 Meyfour A, Pahlavan S, Mirzaei M, Krijgsveld J, Baharvand H, Salekdeh GH. The quest of cell surface markers for stem cell therapy. Cell Mol Life Sci. 2020 Jul 24. doi: 10.1007/s00018-020-03602-y.


2020 Hosseini M, Ayyari M, Meyfour A, Piacente S, Cerulli A, Crawford A, Pahlavan S. Cardenolide-rich fraction of Pergularia tomentosa as a novel Antiangiogenic agent mainly targeting endothelial cell migration. Daru. 2020 Jul 1. doi: 10.1007/s40199-020-00356-7.


2020 Parchehbaf-Kashani M, Sepantafar M, Talkhabi M, Sayahpour FA, Baharvand H, Pahlavan S, Rajabi S. Design and characterization of an electroconductive scaffold for cardiomyocytes based biomedical assays. Mater Sci Eng C Mater Biol Appl. 2020 Apr;109:110603. doi: 10.1016/j.msec.2019.110603.


2020 Firoozi S, Pahlavan S, Ghanian MH, Rabbani S, Barekat M, Nazari A, Pakzad M, Shekari F, Hassani SN, Moslem F, Lahrood FN, Soleimani M, Baharvand H. Mesenchymal stem cell-derived extracellular vesicles alone or in conjunction with a SDKP-conjugated self-assembling peptide improve a rat model of myocardial infarction. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2020 Apr 16;524(4):903-909. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2020.02.009.


2020 Firoozi S,Pahlavan S, Ghanian MH, Rabbani S, Tavakol S, Barekat M, Yakhkeshi S, Mahmoudi E, Soleymani M, Baharvand H.A Cell-Free SDKP-Conjugated Self-Assembling Peptide Hydrogel Sufficient for Improvement of Myocardial Infarction. Biomolecules. 2020 Jan 30;10(2). pii: E205. doi: 10.3390/biom10020205.


2020 Baei P, Hosseini M, Baharvand H,Pahlavan S. Electrically conductive materials for in vitro cardiac microtissue engineering.J Biomed Mater Res A. 2020 Feb 8. doi: 10.1002/jbm.a.36894.

My interview with prestigeous Daneshmand magezine

New Year Ceremony 1398

Heart group 1397

New Year Celebration


Our Heart group

Our Tehran Sightseeing

Spring 1396

New Year Celebration


Lecture by Dr. Sara Pahlavan in Bishnash 99

Coffee shop day; after 2 years qarantine

Currently I do not have open positions for graduate students.

Volunteers are welcome to join my group.