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Research Teams


Sumeet S. Chugh, MD
Director, Center for Cardiac Arrest Prevention, Pauline and Harold Price Chair in Cardiac Electrophysiology Research
Kyndaron Reinier, PhD, MPH
Associate Director, Epidemiology, Research Associate Professor, Cardiology


Christine Albert, MD, MPH
Chair, Department of Cardiology, Lee and Harold Kapelovitz Distinguished Chair in Cardiology
Evan Kransdorf, MD
Associate Director, Heart Transplant Research and Education Advanced Heart Disease
Faye L. Norby, PhD, MPH
Research Scientist I, Center for Cardiac Arrest Prevention, Research Assistant Professor, Cardiology

Research Staff

Ziana Bhanji, BS
Clinical Research Associate I

Ziana Bhanji, BS, is a recent UCLA grad who was born and raised in Mombasa, Kenya, before moving to Los Angeles to pursue her undergraduate degree in biology. In the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at UCLA, she studied the role of epithelial membrane protein 2 (EMP2).

Harpriya Chugh, BE
Clinical Research Data Specialist III

Harpriya Chugh, BE, has been working with data for over 25 years and at the CCAP for the past 13 years managing and designing databases and processes for the Oregon Sudden Unexpected Death Study (SUDS) as well as the Ventura (PRESTO) study.

Bernadine Dizon, MPH
Clinical Research Coordinator II

Bernadine Dizon, MPH, earned her master’s in public health with an emphasis in epidemiology from the University of California, Irvine. She currently manages subject recruitment efforts for the Oregon Sudden Unexpected Death Study (SUDS) and Prediction of Sudden Death in Multiethnic Communities (PRESTO) study.

Audrey U. Evanado, MD
Project Scientist and Team Leader, Phenotyping Core

Audrey Uy-Evanado, MD, is a cardiologist and project scientist at the Center for Cardiac Arrest Prevention at the Smidt Heart Institute. She leads the patient recruitment and phenotyping efforts for the Oregon Sudden Unexpected Death Study (SUDS).

Lauri Holmstrom, MD, PhD
Visiting Postdoctoral Scientist

Lauri Holmstrom, MD, PhD, is a physician from Finland and earned his doctorate in medicine from the University of Oulu, Finland. His research interests include genetic background and mechanisms of sudden cardiac arrest.

Ronald Mariani, EMT-P
Clinical Research Associate

Ronald Mariani, EMT-P, is a retired fire paramedic and captain in the Portland Fire Bureau and functions as a liaison to the collaborating emergency medical services agencies and the Oregon State Medical Examiner’s Office.

Hoang Nhat Pham, MD

Hoang Nhat Pham, MD, is a doctor from Italy and earned his medical degree from the University of Milan. He spent his final year of medical school in the Mayo Clinic Department of Cardiovascular Medicine (Rochester, Minnesota) for his graduation thesis on sudden unexpected death and arrhythmogenic cardiomyopathy.

Kotoka Nakamura, PhD
Project Scientist and Team Leader, Biobank

Kotoka Nakamura, PhD, is a project scientist who earned her doctorate in biological chemistry from the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. The focus of her research covers the area of human genetics and the molecular basis of human diseases. As a molecular biologist and geneticist, Dr. Nakamura is currently leading projects to understand the molecular pathology of sudden cardiac arrest. She manages biobanks for over 3000 of our CCAP patients and utilizes these samples for various omics experiments to discover biomarkers and to investigate the risk factors of sudden cardiac death.

Arayik Sargsyan, MD, MPH
Clinical Research Coordinator II

Arayik Sargsyan, MD, MPH, obtained his master’s degree in public health from the American University of Armenia (affiliated with Johns Hopkins University) and is a foreign MD with international experience in hospitals in Vienna and Salzburg and clinical research centers in Warsaw, Stockholm and Vienna.

Madison Seifer, BA
Clinical Research Associate I

Madison Seifer, BA, graduated with a bachelor’s in molecular and cell biology from UC Berkeley in 2021. Her past work includes in silico drug discovery research at the Keck Graduate Institute in Claremont, California, as well as working on nanoparticle engineering at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in Berkeley, California.

Chad Sorenson, BS
Research Associate

Chad Sorenson, BS, obtained a bachelor’s in sports medicine with an emphasis in cardiology from Oregon State and is currently at the CCAP site at Oregon Health & Science University. Experience includes practicums in cath lab, cardiac rehab and cardiopulmonary medicine at Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center in Corvallis, Oregon.


Eric Boerwinkle, PhD
UTHealth, The University of Texas
Jonathan Jui, MD, MPH
Oregon Health & Science University
Robert C. Kaplan, PhD
SCD Genomics Smidt-Baylor Collaboration, Associate Director, Baylor College of Medicine Human Genome Sequencing Center
Angelo Salvucci, MD
Ventura County Emergency Medical Services
Eric C. Stecker, MD, MPH
Oregon Health & Science University
Jennifer Van Eyk, PhD
Erika J. Glazer Chair in Women’s Heart Health

Have Questions or Need Help?

Contact us if you have any questions or wish to learn more about the Center for Cardiac Arrest Prevention at Cedars-Sinai.

Center for Cardiac Arrest Prevention
Advanced Health Sciences Pavilion, Suite 3100
127 S. San Vicente Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90048

Maria Mirzakhanyan, Project Coordinator