Atta Behfar, M.D., Ph.D., and Andre Terzic, M.D., Ph.D., lead the Mayo Clinic Van Cleve Regenerative Medicine Program. Team science

Research in the Mayo Clinic Van Cleve Cardiac Regenerative Medicine Program is led by Atta Behfar, M.D., Ph.D., and Andre Terzic, M.D., Ph.D., supported by a dedicated administrative staff, and carried out by expert researchers and M.D.-Ph.D. students.

Leading Team Science in Regenerative Medicine

Program leadership

Administrative staff

  • Allison J. Pedretti
    • Ms. Pedretti supports scheduling and coordination within the program.
  • Paul G. Stalboerger, M.S., PMP
    • Mr. Stalboerger focuses on managing the program to ensure operational alignment with the strategic vision and overarching mission.

Research team

  • Humberto De Vitto, Ph.D.
    • Dr. De Vitto is a molecular and cellular biologist focused on acellular and cellular therapies. His research is aimed at explaining underlying mechanisms of cell regeneration. Dr. De Vitto supports project management and innovation within the Mayo Clinic Van Cleve Cardiac Regenerative Medicine Program.
    • Publications
  • Zeji Du, Ph.D.
    • Dr. Du is a molecular biology expert focused on developing nonviral gene delivery approaches and technologies for regenerative therapies.
    • Publications
  • Matthew L. Hillestad, Ph.D.
    • Dr. Hillestad is a gene therapy expert focused on developing cardiac-targeted technologies to deliver novel regenerative therapies to the heart.
    • Publications
  • Ryan C. Mahlberg, M.S.
    • Mr. Mahlberg has an extensive background in histology and immunological staining. He supports preclinical studies and innovation within the program.
  • Mary E. Nagel
    • Ms. Nagel supports surgical care and investigative models to enhance the mission and vision of the Mayo Clinic Van Cleve Cardiac Regenerative Medicine Program.
  • Michael S. Sabbah, M.D.
    • Dr. Sabbah is a National Institutes of Health clinician-investigator fellow in Mayo Clinic's Cardiovasology Training Program. He works to translate innovative regenerative therapies from the lab bench to the patient bedside.
    • Publications
  • Tyra A. Witt
    • Ms. Witt is developing avenues in surgical supportive care and investigative models to support the program's mission.
    • Publications

Ph.D. and M.D.-Ph.D. students

  • Monique S. Bagwell
    • Ms. Bagwell is a doctoral student studying exosomes as a diagnostic and therapeutic platform for inflammation-related diseases.
  • Skylar A. Rizzo
    • Ms. Rizzo is an M.D.-Ph.D. student working on developing exosomes into a gene-delivery tool.
  • Amanda R. Terlap
    • Ms. Terlap is a doctoral student focused on developing gene and antiviral therapies for regenerative platforms.

Postdocs and clinical fellows

  • Mohsin Abbas, M.B.B.S.
    • Dr. Abbas is a clinical research fellow. He works in cardiac interventional and imaging laboratories, with a focus on using advanced innovative tools — including transcriptomics and artificial intelligence — to provide patients with the best possible, least invasive, and most accessible diagnostic and therapeutic care possible.
    • Publications
  • Kobra (Parisa) P. Kargaran, Ph.D.
    • Dr. Kargaran works on the optimization of cardiopoiesis for therapeutic and diagnostic applications in heart disease.
    • Publications