Sasha is a PhD student in the Bioengineering Department working with Professor Beth Pruitt. She is studying how heart muscle cells function in the developing, adult, and diseased heart by mimicking these environments in the lab using hydrogels of various stiffness. Sasha creates arrays of single cells on these hydrogels and aims to assess their function by evaluating the biochemical cycling and mechanical beating of each heart muscle cell. Sasha is excited about gaining fundamental understanding of heart muscle biomechanics using these cell culture platforms to inform targeted therapeutics for clinical translation. Outside the lab, Sasha leads outreach activities to encourage aspiring scientists.