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

Dr. Pahlavan’s research focuses on the mechanistic studies of cardiovascular diseases using in vitro models. Both 2D human pluripotent stem cells-derived cardiomyocytes (hPSC-CM) and 3D cardiac micro-tissues are used by her group to model pathological conditions such as hypoxia and fibrosis, and to explore the therapeutic approaches. In line with that, part of her research is directed toward maturation of hPSC-CM and development of more native-like cardiac micro-tissues. She uses a combination of tissue engineering and stem cell biology to improve this 3D cardiac tissues. Furthermore, she is interested in regenerative approaches for heart by dedifferentiation of cardiomyocytes. And she uses in vitro platforms to find the major molecular players of dedifferentiation.

Negar Ghorbani

PhD student

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

Hoda Madani

MD-PhD student

Project title: Safety and Feasibility of Intracoronary Transplantation of Allogenic Wharton’s Jelly Derived-Mesenchymal Stem Cells (WJ-MSCs) in Pediatrics with Non-Ischemic Dilated Cardiomyopathy (PNIDCM): Clinical Trial Phase I

Mojtaba Shafaghi

MSc student

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

Malihe Rezaei, MD

Research Assistant

Siamak Rezaeiani

PhD student

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

Mahshad Shiri

MSc student

Project title: Study of miRNAs in cell cycle arrest of human pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocyte


Roham Yaghubi

Biotechnology Student

Research Assistant


Roghayeh Hamidi

MSc. Biotechnology

Research Assistant

Mahya Hosseini

MSc Alumni

Shiva Ahmadvand

MSc Alumni

Hanieh Sadeghi

MSc Alumni

Yasaman Pourmehran

MSc Alumni

Fariba Moslem

MSc Alumni

Leyla Ostadi

MSc Alumni

Fatemeh Movahedi

MSc Alumni

Hamid Khodayari

MSc Alumni

Selected Publications:


2023 Roshanravan N, Ghaffari S, Bastani S, Pahlavan S, Asghari S, Doustvandi MA, Jalilzadeh-Razin S, Dastouri M. Human cardiac organoids: A recent revolution in disease modeling and regenerative medicine. J Cardiovasc Thorac Res 2023;15(2):68-72


2023 Sadeghi H, Masoudi M, Torabi P, Rezaeiani S, Movahedi F, Pahlavan S, Moradi S. Conditioned media from human pluripotent stem cell‐derived cardiomyocytes inhibit the growth and migration of lung cancer cells. Journal of Cellular Biochemistry. 2023; 124(3):446–458


2022    Hesaraki M, Bora U, Pahlavan S, Salehi N, Mousavi SA, Barekat M, Rasouli SJ, Baharvand H, Ozhan G, Totonchi M. A Novel Missense Variant in Actin Binding Domain of MYH7 Is Associated With Left Ventricular Noncompaction. Front Cardiovasc Med. 2022 Apr 8;9:839862. doi: 10.3389/fcvm.2022.839862


2021    Radmanesh F, Sadeghi Abandansari H, Ghanian MH, Pahlavan S, Varzideh F, Yakhkeshi S, Alikhani M, Moradi S, Braun T, Baharvand H. Hydrogel-mediated delivery of microRNA-92a inhibitor polyplex nanoparticles induces localized angiogenesis. Angiogenesis. 2021 Aug;24(3):657-676. doi: 10.1007/s10456-021-09778-6


2021 Melika Parchehbaf-Kashani, Hassan Ansari, Elena Mahmoudi, Maryam Barekat, Mohammadmajid Sepantafar, Sarah Rajabi, Sara Pahlavan. Heart Repair Induced by Cardiac Progenitor Cell Delivery within Polypyrrole-Loaded Cardiogel Post-ischemia. ACS Applied Bio Materials. 4, 6, 4849–4861


2021 Shiva Ahmadvand, Ali Osia, Anna Meyfour, Sara Pahlavan. Gender-specific characteristics of hypertrophic response in cardiomyocytes derived from human embryonic stem cells. J Cardiovasc Thorac Res 13(2). 146-155


2021 Montazeri L, Kowsari-Esfahan R, Pahlavan S, et. al. Oxygen-rich Environment Ameliorates Cell Therapy Outcomes of Cardiac Progenitor Cells for Myocardial Infarction. Materials Science and Engineering: C 121, 111836


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

Teachers Day 1402, happy to have such wonderful group members

Currently I do not have open positions for graduate students.

Volunteers are welcome to join my group.