Nina Kraus

Master's Student


 About me

I am a PhD student of Dr. Brian Metscher and my project concerns the investigation of hemodynamic influences on heart morphogenesis. Using the chick as a model, I will establish a strong 3D morphological basis of the heart using Micro-CT imaging. Next I will acquire OCT images of the live chick heart over the developmental stages of interest and create computational fluid dynamic models to analyze shear stress patterns of blood moving along the heart walls. This is done in cooperation with the Leitgeb & Drexler lab at the Medical University of Vienna and Sandra Rugonyi of the Oregon Health and Science University. Lastly, I will do in situ hybridization to map the expression of genes already known to be shear-stress markers throughout development. This will be done in cooperation with Michael Richardson and Robert Poelman from the University of Leiden. Taken together, this series of experiments allows me to show how the developing heart morphology, shear stress distribution, and expression patterns of shear responsive genes track each other and thereby influence heart morphogenesis.