Maryam Raeeszadeh-Sarmazdeh

Maryam Raeeszadeh-Sarmazdeh joined the University of Nevada, Reno in July 2019 as an assistant professor. Dr. Sarmazdeh was a senior research fellow in the Department of Cancer Biology at Mayo Clinic, Florida from 2017 to 2019 at Dr. Radisky’s lab, during which her work was focused on engineering novel protein-based therapeutics based on natural enzyme inhibitors. Prior to her appointment at Mayo Clinic, she was a postdoctoral scholar at the Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Department at the University of Delaware at Prof. Wilfred Chen’s lab for 2.5 years. Dr. Sarmazdeh earned her Ph.D. in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville under Prof. Eric Boder’s supervision. There, her research was focused on generating site-specific protein immobilization on the surface and protein engineering using yeast surface display and directed evolution.

Heather Burkin

Dr. Heath Burkin’s research is focused on signaling pathways in the pregnant uterus. She has been involved in a variety of research topics related to understanding fertility and fetal, infant and child health problems at the molecular level during a career spanning approximately 10 years. This topic is extremely relevant today when 12.8% of births in the United States are premature. Since preterm birth is the leading cause of infant morbidity and mortality, it is distressing that this number is so much higher than in other developed countries.

Her research is focused on signaling pathways activated by stretch in human myometrium. An estimated 10% of preterm births can be attributed to abnormal uterine distension and mechanical forces regulate myometrial gene expression, cell growth, and contractility. Further defining the signaling pathways that regulate stretch-induced activation of the human myometrium will have important implications for the treatment of preterm labor.