Welcome to the Sabharwal Lab!


Our research is directed towards understanding neurohumoral control of circulation in health, disease, and aging.  Ongoing projects investigate the role of renin-angiotensin system, sympathetic nervous system, and hypothalamic-pituitary adrenal axis in cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases.  We utilize multidisciplinary and state-of-the art approaches such as radiotelemetry, echocardiography, optogenetics, electrophysiology, in vivo viral gene transfer, molecular biology, Cre-loxP, neuroanatomy etc. to assess cardiovascular and autonomic functions, diurnal rhythms, behavioral neuroscience and neural circuitry in mice.  Our ultimate goal is to identify novel therapies that can be translated to yield better clinical outcomes in dilated cardiomyopathy, heart failure, hypertension, mood disorders, Alzheimer’s disease and ALS.  The Sabharwal laboratory is funded through National Institute of Health (NIH), American Heart Association (AHA)  and  internal and external collaborative research awards.

Lab Members

Lab Members

Rasna Sabharwal photo

Rasna Sabharwal, MS, PhD, FAHA

     Principal Investigator



Nusaira Shahab

Graduate Research Assistant


Cassandra Smith

  Undergraduate Research Assistant


Gabriela Cerri photo

Gabriela Cerri, PhD

Postdoctoral Research Scholar

undergraduate research Asst

Prakruti Pancholi

Undergraduate Research Assistant               prakruti-pancholi@uiowa.edu


Mikayla Gibson

Undergraduate Research Assistant               mikayla-gibson@uiowa.edu

Liping Yang photo

Liping Yang, BS

Research Assistant

undergraduate research Asst

Abby Thill

Undergraduate Research Assistant



Alanna Adkins

Undergraduate Research Assistant                 alanna-adkins@uiowa.edu


Marjan Aghajani, PhD 2021-2022 Postdoctoral Scholar
Emma Walsh 2022 BSURP Undergraduate Research Assistant


Selected Publications

All Publications

See Dr. Sabharwal's complete list of publications on PubMed.


  • We congratulate Dr. Cerri for her first oral presentation at the 2022 annual conference of the American Autonomic Society, held in Maui, Hawaii. November 2022
  • Nusaira Shahab has joined the lab as a Graduate Research Assistant. She is from the Human Toxicology Graduate Program and will complete her PhD research under Dr. Sabharwal's mentorship. August 2022
  • We welcome Cassandra Smith (majoring in Biology/Neuroscience), Alanna Adkins and Mikayla Gibson (both majoring in Human Physiology), as undergraduate research assistants. August 2022
  • Congratulations to Emma Walsh for her first poster presentation at the Undergraduate Research Day held on July 27, 2022 at the Iowa Memorial Union.  We celebrated completion of Emmas productive summer internship! July 2022
  • We welcome Prakruti Pancholi and Abby Thill who have joined the lab as undergraduate research assistants.  Prakruti is a Medical Anthropology/ Pre-Med track student.  Abby is majoring in Human Physiology/Pre-Med track. June 2022
  • We welcome Emma Walsh from the Biomedical Sciences Undergraduate Research Program (BSURP) for a summer research internship. May 2022 
  • Congratulations to Dr. Cerri and Dr. Foroozandehasl for their first national presentation at the Experimental Biology 2022 meeting held in Philadelphia. April 2022
  • Dr. Sabharwal is elected to serve on the Executive Board of the American Autonomic Society. Nov 2021
  • We welcome Dr. Marjan Aghajani who has joined the lab as a postdoctoral research scholar.  Dr. Aghajani obtained her PhD in Medical Physiology from Tehran University in Medical Sciences in 2017. Nov 2021
  • We welcome Dr. Parisa Foroozandehasl who has joined the lab as a postdoctoral research scholar.  Dr. Foroozandehasl obtained her PhD in Biophysics from University Science Malaysia in 2019. Oct 2021
  • Dr. Sabharwal has been awarded a new NIH R21 (2021-2023) to study cardiovascular and cognitive comorbidities in Alzheimer’s Disease. July 2021
  • We welcome Dr. Gabriela Cerri who has joined the lab as a postdoctoral research scholar.  Dr. Cerri obtained her PhD from Federal University of Minas Gerais, Brazil. June 2021
  • Dr. Sabharwal has been awarded a NIH R01 (2020-2024) to study mechanisms of stress-induced morbidity and mortality in dilated cardiomyopathy. April 2020
  • Dr. Sabharwal was awarded a FOE Iowa State Grant to study AT2R induced cardiac remodeling in mice with dilated cardiomyopathy. Nov 2019

Lab Opportunities


We welcome applications for postdoctoral research scholar or research internship positions.  Candidate must hold a M.D. or Ph.D. in Physiology, Neuroscience or related disciplines (for postdoctoral position), and have prior experience in mouse handling and small animal surgery.  To apply, please email your CV, a letter of interest with prior research experience and name/address of 3 references to Dr. Sabharwal.

Prospective rotation students, interested in basic and translational research, are welcome to reach out to Dr. Sabharwal with their CV.  Dr. Sabharwal is affiliated with the Iowa Center for Research by Undergraduates, Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Neuroscience, Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Molecular Medicine, and Summer Research Fellowship Programs.