Reza Ardehali, MD, PhD

Reza Ardehali, M.D., Ph.D. 

Professor, Cardiology; Molecular, Cellular and Integrative Physiology


Reza Ardehali, M.D., Ph.D. is a clinician-scientist who treats patients with advanced heart disease and studies the molecular processes involved in heart development and disease. His goal is to use stem cells to create heart cells that can be transplanted into the heart through a minimally invasive procedure, which could regenerate the heart by replacing scar tissue and restoring heart function.

Cardiovascular disease remains the leading cause of death in the United States and the western world; the survival rate of patients with heart failure is 50 percent five years after diagnosis. Heart transplantation is an effective treatment for patients with advanced heart failure, but due to serious complications and shortage of donors, this is a limited option. Ardehali aims to reduce or eliminate the need for heart transplant by developing methods to regenerate the heart using heart cells derived from human pluripotent stem cells.

In order to accomplish his goals, Ardehali’s lab is studying the extent of heart muscle cell division during pre-natal and post-natal development; how cardiac progenitor cells residing in the heart respond to injury such as a heart attack; and the mechanisms behind cardiac fibrosis, the process of scar formation in the heart. His lab discovered several cell surface markers that signify a stem cell is able to generate the cells that make up heart muscle and vessels. This discovery marks a significant step forward in the quest to use stem cells to create transplantable cells for heart regeneration.

Ardehali earned his doctorate in bioengineering from the University of Utah followed by his medical degree at Emory University School of Medicine. He then completed his residency in internal medicine at Johns Hopkins University and clinical training in cardiology at Stanford University School of Medicine.


Honors & Affiliations


  • Douglas P. Zipes Distinguished Young Scientist Award, American College of Cardiology, 2015
  • Jeremiah Stamler Distinguished Young Investigator Research Award, American Heart Association, 2012


  • Elected member, American Society for Clinical Investigation, 2019
  • American Heart Association
  • American College of Cardiology
  • International Society for Stem Cell Research
  • Heart Failure Society of America


Ardehali’s research is funded by the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, the American Heart Association, the American College of Cardiology, the National Institutes of Health and the Steinhart-Reed Foundation.


Developing stem cell therapies to regenerate the heart
Dr. Ardehali's research goal is to find better treatment options for patients with heart disease, which is the leading cause of death in the United States. In this video, he discusses his recent research into the link between heart failure and coronary artery disease, which develops from the obstruction of coronary blood flow. Dr. Ardehali hopes to develop stem cell therapies that help patients' hearts regenerate following a heart attack or cardiac episode.