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Rapidly translating life saving vascular research

Welcome to the Lab

The lab is home to a multidisciplinary research environment in which we collaborate with clinicians, engineers, statisticians, neuroscientists, and population health scientists to work on a range of basic science to clinically-relevant questions. Led by Dr. Baraa Al-Khazraji, the lab investigates the biophysics of the cerebral and peripheral vasculature and its adaptation in health, exercise, disease and spaceflight. Leveraging aspects of cerebrovascular and cardiovascular hemodynamics, biophysics, image processing, mathematical modeling, AI and multimodality imaging, to take on relevant research challenges. Projects range from investigating the micro- and macro-vascular network function in peripheral and cerebral vascular beds in health and disease to developing tools (software/hardware) to translate research findings into real-world applications. Dr. Baraa K. Al-Khazraji is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Kinesiology, Faculty of Science, and an associate member of the School of Biomedical Engineering, McMaster University. She received her Doctorate of Medical Biophysics in microvascular control, and her postdoctoral training in Kinesiology in the area of integrative cardiovascular and cerebrovascular control.








Equipment >$40,000


Highest impact factor paper

Ongoing Projects

*Images are AI-generated and do not depict accurate anatomical representations
  • All
  • Vascular
  • AI
  • Technology
  • Imaging
  • Exercise

Heart-brain connection


Implications of cerebrovascular network layout and function

Vascular, AI

Multimodality imaging of the vasculature

Imaging, AI

Acute and chronic vascular adaptations to exercise


Women-focused vascular health

Vascular, Exercise

Astronaut exercise prescription



Dr. Baraa Al-Khazraji

Director, Assistant Professor

Dr. Baraa K. Al-Khazraji is an Assistant Professor at McMaster University in the Department of Kinesiology, Faculty of Science, and the School of Biomedical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering. She also serves as the Chief Science Officer for Ro. Dr. Al-Khazraji holds a Doctorate of Medical Biophysics with a specialization in microvascular control from Western University. She completed postdoctoral training in Kinesiology, focusing on integrative cardiovascular and cerebrovascular control, and has received machine learning training from Vector Institute. Dr. Al-Khazraji leads a research lab at McMaster University, focusing on the biophysics of the cerebral and peripheral vasculature and its adaptation in health, exercise, spaceflight and disease. Her lab leverages applied AI and other forms of mathematical modelling, multimodality imaging, exercise testing, cardiovascular and cerebrovascular physiolgoy to rapidly translate lab findings. In addition to her research, Dr. Al-Khazraji teaches upper-level courses in Kinesiology, covering topics such as integrative cardiovascular physiology, cardiopathophysiology, machine learning and signal processing for physiological data.


Dr. Geoff Coombs

Postdoctoral Fellow

I study the changes to cerebrovascular structure and function that occur with aging, and how these factors contribute to cognitive decline. Additionally, I'm interested in how lifestyle factors (e.g., physical activity, fitness) can improve brain health. Fun fact: Enjoys cycling wine tours and running 10 miles up mountains during 35 degrees Celcius weather

Michelle Mei

PhD student

Interested in learning more about cardio/cerebrovascular pathophysiology and risk factors, sex differences and women's health, sociocultural determinants of health. Fun fact: I am trying to train my cat, Pickles, to go for walkies!

Elric Allison

PhD student

Interested in chronic vascular adaptations to strength training, autonomic control of cerebral blood flow, medical image acquisition and processing Fun fact: I didn’t take high school math or science until I was in my 2nd year of university

Huseyn Ismayilov

MSc student

I am a first year MSc student in Dr. Al-Khazraji’s lab. This year, I am excited to learn more about cerebrovascular function in clinical populations. I wish to understand effects of exercise on factors such as the angiogenesis of arteries that supply the brain Fun fact: I can speak, read and write in 4 different languages.

Marc Cuizon

MSc student

Interested in the cerebrovascular pathophysiology of clinical populations (ex. Patients with depression) and how changes in cerebrovascular function affect their neurophysiology (and vice versa). I am also interested in learning different imaging techniques and how machine learning can be used to optimize it. Fun fact: I love to dance bachata and salsa!

Malak Aiad,

4th year undergraduate thesis student

I’m a 4th year undergraduate thesis student working on a systematic review with Elric this year. My research interests are exercise and cardiovascular health, cerebrovascular pathology and the Circle of Willis. Fun fact: I’ve been to almost every bubble tea store in Hamilton and Mississauga.

Farzad Boloori,

5th year UG iBioMed thesis student

I am a 5th year undergraduate thesis student working on making a semi-automated method of measuring cerebrovascular cross-sectional area with Elric. I am also interested in the effects of weightlifting on cardiovascular health. Fun fact: I have and collect glass/crystal figurines.

Vanessa Mizzi,

4th year UG thesis student

I am a fourth year undergraduate thesis student. I have always had an interest in the inner workings of the human body. Specifically, how different variables that govern the cardiovascular system (ie. heart rate, arterial resistance etc.) alter under times of intense stress. As well, understanding how these reactions can predict future health outcomes. Fun fact: I can hip thrust over 400lbs!

Aya Mohamed,

4th year UG thesis student

I’m in my 4th year of Kinesiology. I’m interested in learning about the effects of exercise on our physiological responses, specifically our blood pressure and heart rate! Fun fact: I’m actually really good at playing pool

Diane (Daeun) Kim

4th year NSERC USRA co-op placement student

I am in my fourth year of iBioMed HESE at McMaster University. I am interested to learn the mechanism behind the link between cardiovascular disease, including the underlying pathology of atherosclerosis, and brain function. I would also like to continue developing my programming skills using Python. Fun fact: I have been collecting mechanical pencils since I was 6 years old.

Neha Saroya

4th year UG thesis student

I am conducting my fourth-year thesis this year. My research interests are cardiovascular health and chronic/acute pain. I’m excited to learn different modalities in the lab! Fun fact: I once broke my ankle by jumping off a boat.

Tony Jiao

3rd year Kinesiology placement student

I'm currently in my third year here at Mac Kin! I'm really looking forward to applying my interest in hemodynamics & cerebrovascular health to computer science/imaging techniques. Fun fact: I have a titanium implant in my arm, BUT, I don't set off metal detectors!

Ariana Ladha

3rd year Health Sciences placement student

I am in my third year of Health Sciences. I am interested in learning more about race and sex-related differences in cardiovascular health and physiology. Fun fact: I binged 13 seasons of Grey's Anatomy in one month.

Meirah Alkuhali

5th year Kinesiology placement student

I am in my third year of Health Sciences. I am interested in learning more about race and sex-related differences in cardiovascular health and physiology. Fun fact: I binged 13 seasons of Grey's Anatomy in one month.

Abigail Berube

3rd year Kinesiology placement student

Hi my name is Abby and my pronouns are she/her! I’m a third year kin student doing my 3RP3 student placement in the lab this year. What I’m most excited to learn in the lab this year is just how a real research lab functions and how to do said research! Fun fact: A fun fact about me is that I am a twin!

Mason Kadem

Data Scientist


The Translational Vascular AI Lab leverages its deep domain expertise in the biophysics of the vasculature, AI, innovative technologies (hardware + software), and data-driven solutions to offer automation of labs, from complex analysis, to AI-enabled solutions, consulting services, and assistance in translating research from the lab to the clinic.

Complex data analysis and Machine Learning solutions

Our team of data scientists and machine learning engineers excel in providing rigorous reproducible workflows for both traditional statistics and machine learning solutions. Contact us today to collaborate.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How can I participate in lab studies?

    Send an email to [email protected]

  • Positions Available for Fall 2024:

    Undergraduate students, MSc students, PhD students, and Post-doctoral fellows.


    Self-directed learners with a "team player" mindset.

    Excellent written and oral communication skills in English.

    Minimum grade point average of A-.

    Desirable qualities include knowledge of cardiovascular physiology, statistics, programming (e.g., Python, R, Matlab), or willingness to gain proficiency.

    Application Process:

    Email [email protected] with your CV, unofficial transcript, and a letter highlighting your research interests, educational background, and relevant experience.

    Attach PDF versions of relevant documents. Dr. Al-Khazraji will contact potential candidates for interviews.

    Postdoctoral Fellows:

    Please send an email to [email protected] to discuss fellowship funding competitions.

  • Send an detailed email to [email protected] and we'll connect you with the right people.

  • The lab includes many projects not focused on using AI or mathematics directly. To ensure responsible yet accessible machine learning, students seeking more advanced technical projects beyond their training are paired with individuals who can complement their skills. The diverse team with vast spread of skills and backgrounds is largely what makes the lab unique, and provides a rich training environment. Thus, we welcome anyone with a passion for research and learning, and a willingness to work hard to apply to the lab.