Nandini Doshi is a trainee under the supervision of Matthew Steinhauser, MD, associate professor of cardiology and deputy director of human translation at the Aging Institute, and has worked in the Steinhauser Lab since May 2022. Doshi is a medical student in the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine Physician Scientist Training Program (PSTP), a five-year training program for medical students who wish to become successful physician scientists. In the Steinhauser Lab, her research concentrates on elucidating novel immune signatures of resiliency in aging populations, with a focus on individuals undergoing cardiac surgery.

Despite improvements in overall outcomes after cardiac surgery, the proportion of patients who suffer from neurologic morbidity after cardiac surgery remains high. Inflammation has been implicated in causing neurologic complications post-surgery, but the exact molecular mechanisms of this phenomenon are still unknown. In order to interrogate the mechanisms involved, the Steinhauser Lab has created a novel whole blood assay that subjects patients’ blood to various perturbations targeting specific aspects of molecular inflammatory and stress response. This ex vivo assay of fresh whole blood assesses intrinsic immune responsiveness. Their central hypothesis is that patients who do not experience neurologic morbidity after cardiac surgery — those who exhibit greater resiliency — will have an attenuated, intrinsic pro-inflammatory response to tissue stressors compared to patients who develop post-operative cognitive decline. In addition to this work, Doshi is analyzing electronic medical records of patients evaluated at UPMC to carefully phenotype and characterize patients who exhibit cardiac resilience.

Doshi is originally from the Los Angeles area and received her bachelor’s degree from Emory University, where she studied Neuroscience and Behavioral Biology. At Emory, she conducted research pertaining to inter-generational influences of parental stress. Prior to matriculating into the PSTP, Doshi spent two years working at Biogen in Cambridge, Mass., where she supported the upstream process development of various early- and mid-stage biologic programs. She hopes to pursue a career as a physicianscientist. Outside of the lab, Doshi enjoys traveling, exploring Pittsburgh’s food scene, and spending time with family and friends.