Undergraduate Research Program

Nadia Siddiqui

Siddiqui, Nadia
Major: Bioengineering
Mentor: Jennifer Davis, Cardiovascular Bioengineering

Contact: nadiasid@uw.edu
Current research project: Using Genetic Engineering Approaches to Inform Cardiac Wound Healing and the Fibrotic Response



Translate your work so that we can all understand its importance:

After cardiac injury, like a heart attack, a heart must repair dead, oxygen deficient tissue to prevent further damage. Since the heart has a limited ability to regenerate healthy muscle tissue, it instead relies on repair through fibrosis and scarring. Fibrosis is the excess accumulation of collagen and other stiff matrix components secreted by activated fibroblasts. Because of these stiff components, fibrotic buildup leaves the heart inflexible and unable to properly relax and contract. At the Davis Lab, we use in vivo and in vitro models to identify the networks that create the fibrotic response and use these networks to enhance the way the heart repairs itself.

When, how, and why did you get involved in undergraduate research?

My freshman year at UW I was connected to my research mentor through Women in Science and Engineering. After shadowing in the research environment and learning lab techniques I decided I wanted to continue researching with the Davis Lab. I knew I wanted to do research because I was interested in learning about what research is and whether I wanted to pursue research as a career. Once I had some research experience I knew I wanted to stick with it because being a part of solving real world problems and seeing science in action is so cool and, of course, meaningful.

What advice would you give a student who is considering getting involved in undergraduate research?

Research is such a great way to learn about a subject but also about yourself and your own career and path, which can take a lot of persistence and enthusiasm, but it really pays off. Also don’t be afraid to ask for help! URP has a ton of resources for getting undergraduates connected with research opportunities which make the process of finding a lab – which can seem pretty daunting – much easier.