Our Labs

Dr. Paul A. Iaizzo has been at the University of Minnesota since 1990, performing research and teaching graduate and undergraduate courses. In 1997, Dr. Iaizzo and his coworkers began working on large mammalian isolated heart models, and thus the Visible Heart® Laboratories were created in collaboration with Medtronic. Today, these labs are a premiere place to perform translational systems physiology research which ranges from cellular and tissue studies to organ and whole body investigations. The Visible Heart® Laboratories embody a creative atmosphere which is energized by some of the best and brightest students at the University. Our lab staff has over 100 years of collective research experience and functions as a highly efficient and productive team.


Current staff

John Brigham
Heart Library Curator

Kara Heinle
Lab Coordinator

Samanta Toczyl
Researcher 1

Weston Upchurch
Researcher 3

James Villar-Mead
Researcher 1

Gary Williams, BCpE
Applications Programmer


Extended Staff

Andrew Boelter

Erik Donley

Celia Gonzalez

Jeeho Hong

Monica Mahre

Adjunct Assistant Professors, Postdoctoral Fellows

Adjunct Assistant Professors

Michael Eggen

Michael Eggen, PhD 
Principal Scientist Medtronic

Alexander Hill

Alexander Hill, PhD 
Sr Program Director - Medtronic

Timothy Laske

Timothy Laske, PhD
Vice President of Research and Business Development - Medtronic AF Solutions

Nicholas Skadsberg

Nicholas Skadsberg, PhD
Sr. Commercial Marketing Director - Brady at Medtronic



Postdoctoral Fellows

Susana Arango

Susana Arango
Posdoctoral associate



Doctoral Students

Michael Bielecki
Biomedical Engineering

Renee Brigham
Biomedical Engineering

Amanda DeVos
Biomedical Engineering

Neal Duong
Biomedical Engineering

Masha Gundershaug
Bioinformatics and Computational Biology

David Ramirez
Biomedical Engineering

Weston Upchurch
Researcher 3

Jorge Vergen
Bioinformatics and Computational Biology

Master Students

Amr El-Bokl, MD
Pediatric Cardiology Fellow

Leo Mose
Mechanical Engineering / Biomedical

Ryan Nadybal
Biomedical Engineering

Andrew Wang

Volunteers, Undergrad, Directed Research

Jack Burt
Nutrition sciences

Nick Larson
Human Physiology

Kina Msuya

Audrey Wethington

Josh Zipf
Applied Kinesiology