Lab Members

Michael Ma, MD

Michael Ma, MD is an Assistant Professor of Cardiothoracic Surgery in the Division of Pediatric Cardiac Surgery at Stanford University. His practice encompasses all aspects of congenital heart disease, with an emphasis on neonates, complex biventricular repair, pulmonary artery reconstruction, and heart failure. Dr. Ma’s translational research lab utilizes biomechanical engineering principles to optimize existing and develop de novo surgical and endovascular therapies in the ongoing treatment of complex heart defects.

Sumanth Kidambi

Sumanth is currently a sixth-year clinical resident in the integrated cardiothoracic surgery program at Stanford. His research interests during residency have involved mechanical circulatory support, Electronic Health Record optimization, and outcomes research in congenital heart surgery. Sumanth Kidambi has a degree in Electrical Engineering. Notable projects including the development of novel stochastic algorithms for fault tolerant sensor networks, and catheter guidewire design using smart fluids. Sumanth also has a background in industry and worked for five years as a management consultant at Deloitte Consulting with a focus in large scale supply chain transformations prior to enrolling in medical school. 

Amit Sharir

Amit Sharir graduated with a BS in Biomedical Engineering from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo with a Pre-Med specialization. Previously, he has worked on developing a miniature Ventricular Assistive device by using CAD, CFD and Additive Manufacturing. Currently in the Ma Lab, Amit is developing an MRI compatible Mock circulatory loop for studying congenital heart diseases and modeling different surgical repairs using Silicone phantom hearts.  In addition, Amit is involved in the myriad of valve repairs studied in the lab where he tests the hemodynamic effects of valve repairs. During his free time, Amit likes to play basketball and volunteer in the local Jewish/Israeli community.

Yellappa Palagani

Yellappa Palagani is currently a Postdoctoral Fellow in Cardiothoracic Surgery at Stanford University. In Dr Ma's lab, he is developing an MRI compatible mock circulatory loop and cardiac phantoms to simulate common congenital heart defects. Prior to joining Stanford, he was a Postdoctoral Associate in Cardiac Surgery at Yale University from April 2021 to March 2023, where he worked on left ventricular assist devices and smart inductive stents. In August 2020, he received his PhD in Electronics Engineering from Kyungpook National University, South Korea. During his PhD, he worked on wirelessly powered cardiac pacemakers and wearable cardiac arrhythmia indicators.

James Lee

James graduated with a BA from Brown University with graduate-level coursework in biostatistics. In the Ma Lab, he is interested in guiding clinical decision-making through survival analytics in congenital heart surgery and pediatric heart transplantation. Previously, he has worked to teach basic surgical skills on explanted porcine hearts in the simulation lab. His leisurely writing has been offered publication in The New York Times and he enjoys surfing on the weekends.

Lab Alumni

Stephen Moye

Stephen is currently a medical student at Harvard Medical School. Stephen worked in the Ma Laboratory as a Life Science Research Professional from June 2020 to June 2021 after graduating from Stanford University with a BS in Bioengineering. During his time in the lab, Stephen focused on the biomechanical function of the systemic atrioventricular valve in single ventricle physiology and initiated development of an ex vivo simulator to model the use of mechanical circulatory support in congenital heart disease. As an undergraduate at Stanford, Stephen completed as a varsity athlete on the Men’s Volleyball team and performed research with Dr. Südhof in the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology to investigate genes involved in synaptogenesis.

Amelia Bryan

Amelia is currently attending Stanford University School of Medicine. She completed her undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 2018. While attending MIT, Amelia participated in biomaterials research as well as completing multiple design projects on medical devices. During the summer of 2017 she completed research on motion capture and analysis for diagnostic purposes at École Nationale Supérieure d'Arts et Métiers in Paris, France. She worked extensively with MIT Emergency Medical Services (EMS) as an EMT for 4 years where she was elected Chief of MIT's EMS from 2017-2018. Amelia has been a contributing member of the Ma Lab team since May of 2019.

Shane Gilligan-Steinberg

Shane Gilligan-Steinberg earned his B.S. with honors in Molecular and Cellular Biology in 2020 from Johns Hopkins University where he pursued research in immunology, creating a bioinformatic tool to assess mosaic glycoprotein formation in the parasite T. brucei. Currently, he is a Ph.D. student in Bioengineering at the University of Washington, hoping to specialize in cell and tissue engineering, microfluidics, or biomechanics. In his free time, he enjoys playing soccer and basketball, making music, and fishing (without much success).