Heart Nanofibers Advance to the STAT Madness Finals

Innovative discovery make it to the semifinals in biomedical competition

The Texas Heart Institute (THI) and Rice University’s heart-saving nanotube fibers remain in the STAT Madness competition, and NCAA-style, a single-elimination national championship to choose the past year’s best university-based bioscience project.

The research team, co-led by Director of Electrophysiology Clinical Research and InnovationsDr. Mehdi Razavi and Matteo Pasquali, Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and a professor of materials science and nanoengineering and of chemistry at Rice, is competing with research partially funded by the American Heart Association through a 2015 grant.

The scientific paper at the heart of the competition was published as an open-access Editor’s Pick in the American Heart Association journal Circulation: Arrhythmia and Electrophysiology as an open-access Editor’s Pick.

The competition began with 64 talented teams. The THI/Rice team won four tough elimination round matchups against Penn Medicine, the University of California Irvine School of Medicine, Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MIT, and St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital. The team is now matched up with the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center for the chance to compete in the finals.

On April 6, two winners will be chosen: a fan favorite based on votes by the public, and an editor’s pick chosen by STAT journalists.

Online voting is open until March 31 at 10:59. The team needs to win the popular vote to make it to the finals!

Vote for THI/Rice!


Rewiring Hearts With Nanotubes Soft fibers bridge gap to restore healthy beat. (n.d.). Rice Magazine Winter 2020, 25.    Graphic by Daisy Chung