Welcome to the Sabharwal Lab

Our research is directed towards understanding neurohumoral regulatory mechanisms in health and disease.  Ongoing projects investigate the role of renin-angiotensin system, sympathetic nervous system, and hypothalamic-pituitary adrenal axis in muscular dystrophies, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, dilated cardiomyopathy and stress-induced sudden death.  We utilize multidisciplinary and state-of-the art approaches such as radiotelemetry, echocardiography, in vivo viral gene transfer, optogenetics etc. to assess cardiovascular and autonomic functions, sleep-wakefulness patterns, behavior and neural circuitry in genetically modified mice.  Our ultimate goal is to identify novel therapies that can be translated to yield better clinical outcomes in neuromuscular and neurodegenerative diseases, cardiomyopathies, hypertension and psychosocial disorders. 

Lab Members

Rasna Sabharwal, PhD

Rasna Sabharwal, MS, PhD, FAHA

     Principal Investigator
Email: rasna-sabharwal@uiowa.edu
Phone: (319) 335-7674

Liping Yang, BS

Liping Yang, BS

Research Assistant
Email: liping-yang-1@uiowa.edu
Phone: (319) 335-7684

Selected Publications

  • Sabharwal R, Mason BN, Kuburas A, Abboud FM, Russo AF, Chapleau MW. Increased receptor activity-modifying protein 1 in the nervous system is sufficient to protect against autonomic dysregulation and hypertension. J Cereb Blood Flow Metab. 2018 Jan 1:271678X17751352. doi: 10.1177/0271678X17751352. [Epub ahead of print]
    PMID: 29297736 

  • Sabharwal, R., Rasmussen L, Sluka KA, Chapleau MW. (2016). Exercise prevents development of autonomic dysregulation and hyperalgesia in a mouse model of chronic muscle pain. Pain 157(2): 387-398.
    PMCID: PMC4724275.

  • Sabharwal, R.*, Weiss, R.M., Zimmerman, K., Domenig, O., Cicha, M.Z., and Chapleau, M.W. (2015). Angiotensin-dependent autonomic dysregulation precedes dilated cardiomyopathy in a mouse model of muscular dystrophy. Exp Physiol 100(7): 776-795.
    PMCID: PMC4505616. *corresponding author

  • Sabharwal, R.*, Cicha, M.Z., Sinisterra, R., de Sousa, F.B., Santos, R.A., and Chapleau, M.W. (2014). Chronic oral administration of Ang-(1-7) improves skeletal muscle, autonomic, and locomotor phenotypes in muscular dystrophy. Clin Sci 127(2): 101-9.
    PMCID: PMC4318348. *corresponding author

  • Sabharwal, R. (2014) The link between stress disorders and autonomic dysfunction in muscular dystrophy. Front Physiol 5: 25.
    PMCID: PMC3905207.

  • Sabharwal, R.*, and Chapleau, M.W. (2013) Autonomic, locomotor and cardiac abnormalities in a mouse model of muscular dystrophy: targeting the renin-angiotensin system. Exp Physiol 99(4): 627-31.
    PMCID: PMC4322680. *corresponding author


  • American Physiological Society
    • Neural Control and Autonomic Regulation (NCAR) Steering Committee
    • Career Opportunities in Physiology Committee (COPC)
    • Membership & Fellows of APS Committee
    • Chapter Advisory Committee (CAC)