Hai-Chao Han, assistant professor of mechanical engineering at The University of Texas at San Antonio, has been awarded a five-year, $400,000 Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) award from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to study the cardiovascular mechanics associated with artery buckling in humans.
The CAREER award is NSF's most prestigious honor for junior faculty members and is designed to support exceptionally promising college and university faculty members who are committed to the integration of research and education.
Han, who joined UTSA in 2003, is focusing on understanding the role of mechanical stress in arterial and heart remodeling and its relationship to cardiovascular diseases. Graduate students in his lab are also studying the mechanisms of artery kinking in the elderly and the wall stress and remodeling of the left ventricle after heart attacks.
"Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, so we are trying to understand the adaptation of the heart and arteries to mechanical stress and coronary artery disease and develop new technologies for its treatment," said Han. "The NSF grants enable us to carry out the research and provide great training opportunities for our students in the biomedical engineering area."
Han received his doctoral degree in mechanical engineering from Xi'an Jiatong University in China, with joint training from The University of California at San Diego.
The University of Texas at San Antonio is one of the premier institutions of higher education in South Texas and one of the fastest growing universities in the state. One of nine academic universities and six health institutions that comprise the UT System, UTSA is the second largest institution in the system. Celebrating its 37th anniversary, UTSA serves more than 28,300 students enrolled in 63 bachelor's, 43 master's and 20 doctoral degree programs.
Programs are offered through the colleges of Architecture, Business, Education and Human Development, Engineering, Honors, Liberal and Fine Arts, Public Policy, and Sciences, and the Graduate School. A Top 100 Hispanic-serving institution, UTSA is ranked among the top 10. A university of access and excellence, UTSA is committed to research and discovery, teaching and learning, and public service.