On Wednesday, March 1, at 7:30 p.m. PT in Beckman Auditorium on the Caltech campus, Morteza (Mory) Gharib (PhD '83), the Hans W. Liepmann Professor of Aeronautics and Medical Engineering, will continue the 100th anniversary season of the Earnest C. Watson Lecture Series with "Enigma of the Heart."
Our circulatory system's 500 million years of evolution is on full display during the nine months of human embryonic heart development. The hallmark of this evolution is a beating, complex, autonomous muscular pump that sustains life. In this lecture, Gharib will explain the wave system established by the beating heart that moves through the human body, which can provide a window to the health of the cardiovascular system and early diagnoses of its devastating diseases by utilizing modern data science.
"The goal of my research is to look at this system of waves and try to decipher it and see what we can learn from the information that [the waves] carry," says Gharib, who is also the director and Booth-Kresa Leadership Chair of the Center for Autonomous Systems and Technologies (CAST) and director of GALCIT in the Division of Engineering and Applied Science. "Every bit of it has so much information that we can use to really solve some of the mysteries of heart disease."
Gharib earned a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Tehran in his native Iran, a master's degree in mechanical and aerospace engineering from Syracuse University, and a doctoral degree in aeronautics from Caltech. He joined the Caltech faculty in 1992 after working for two years as a research scientist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, which Caltech manages on behalf of NASA, and after spending seven years on the faculty at UC San Diego. Gharib's research interests cover a range of topics in conventional fluid dynamics, aeronautics, and medical engineering. In his work on health issues, Gharib combines his interests to explore physiological machines such as the human cardiovascular system and to develop medical devices such as heart valves, cardiovascular and eye health monitoring systems, and drug delivery techniques.
The 2022–23 season marks the centennial of The Earnest C. Watson Lecture Series, which has brought Caltech's most innovative scientific research to the public since the Friday Evening Demonstration Lectures premiered in October 1922. The series is named for Earnest C. Watson, a professor of physics at Caltech from 1919 until 1959.
The Watson Lectures, which are geared toward a general audience, spotlight a selection of the pioneering research conducted by Caltech's faculty as part of the Institute's ongoing commitment to benefiting the local community through education and outreach. All Watson Lectures are free and open to the public.
Many past Watson Lectures are available on YouTube.
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