Department of Surgery (Division of Vascular Surgery) and The Stanford Cardiovascular Institute
Dr. Nazish Sayed earned his MD degree from the University of Mumbai, India, and his PhD degree from Rutgers New Jersey Medical School. He has a Master’s degree in molecular biology from Montclair State University. He completed his postdoctoral fellowship in cardiovascular and regenerative medicine in the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine at Stanford University followed by an Instructor position at the Stanford Cardiovascular Institute.
Dr. Sayed’s work is focused on the development of novel technologies that drive innovation in disease modeling and drug testing in vascular biology. His lab conducts translational research and aims to understand the role of the vasculature in the development of cardiac diseases, including those due to inherited genetic variants or environmental insults by leveraging the human induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) technology. By employing this unique platform, the lab also investigates the impact of anti-cancer drugs on the vasculature. Dr. Sayed’s lab has established an endothelial regeneration program that leverages the innate immune system to regenerate endothelial cells from human fibroblasts.
Dr. Sayed has received numerous awards including the ATVB Young Investigator Award by the American Heart Association and the Jay D. Coffman Young Investigator Award by the Society of Vascular Medicine. He has been a recipient of the Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Individual Postdoctoral Fellowship (F32), AHA Scientist Development Grant, and the National Institute of Health (NIH), National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute K-award. His lab is currently funded by grants from NIH/NHLBI and the American Heart Association.
SAGE Project: Modeling vascular aging in humans by identifying an inflammatory clock using deep learning and induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs)
Dr. Sayed’s project aims to identify a novel metric for systemic chronic inflammation (iAge) by leveraging deep learning methods on immunological protein levels in a large cohort of 1001 subjects (from the Stanford 1,000 Immunomes Project) and identify immune biomarkers of cardiovascular aging. Moreover, this project aims to employ the human induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) derived endothelial cells (iPSC-ECs), as a model of vascular aging to validate the identified circulating immune biomarkers “in-a-dish”. We recently identified immune biomarkers of aging and developed reference values for age-related chronic inflammation (Sayed et al. Nature Aging, 2021). The resulting inflammatory clock of aging (iAge) is tracked with multimorbidity, frailty, and cardiovascular aging. We validated the role of the resulting cytokine, CXCL9 on vascular aging using induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSCs)-derived endothelial cells. Importantly, CXCL9 suppressed EC function and correlated with subclinical cardiac remodeling and arterial stiffness in humans, indicating intricate crosstalk between the aged ECs and cardiac (CM) dysfunction. Despite impressive progress, we have limited knowledge regarding how aging affects the endothelium. Dr. Sayed’s project aims to understand the potential importance of cell-to-cell signaling between ECs and CMs, even though ECs serve a paracrine function to enhance signaling in CMs.