Dr. Zahra K. Motamed

Dr. Zahra Keshavarz Motamed

Assistant Professor

McMaster University
Department of Mechanical Engineering
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada L8S 4L7

Office: JHE A416 (Mail to JHE-310)
Email: motamedz@mcmaster.ca
Voice: (905) 525-9140 x26997


  • B.Sc., M.Eng., Mechanical Engineering, Sharif University of Technology, Tehran, Iran (1998, 2001)
  • PhD, Mechanical Engineering, Concordia University, Montreal, Canada, 2012
  • PDF, Biomedical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, USA, 2016; University of Montreal/Laval University, Montreal, Canada, 2014


Brief Bio

Dr. Motamed is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at McMaster University. She also holds associate faculty memberships in the Department of Computing and Software, in the School of Biomedical Engineering and in the School of Computational Science and Engineering and is a member of McMaster Institute for Research on Aging (MIRA). Before joining McMaster, she was a postdoctoral fellow in the Institute for Medical Engineering & Science and Harvard-MIT Biomedical Engineering Center at MIT. She received her Ph.D. degree in mechanical engineering from Concordia University (Montreal, Canada) in 2012 where she was a part-time/adjunct faculty member from 2013 to 2014. She was a postdoctoral fellow at University of Montreal/Laval University (2013–2014). She has been a scientific consultant to a number of medical-device companies. She also has 8 years of industrial experience in the automotive design sector with a proven record of leadership and project and team management.

Research Interests

Dr. Motamed’s research interests are in the areas of translational and basic cardiovascular mechanics. Using multidisciplinary research she tries to advance knowledge in biomechanics, fluid mechanics, solid mechanics, medical imaging and mathematical modelling. Her lab uses techniques such as particle image velocimetry, magnetic resonance imaging and in vitro experimentations and performs in vivo animal and human studies to further investigate underlying physics of healthy and pathological states and to validate computational algorithms. A major part of her work has been dedicated to development and validation of advanced multi-scale computational-mechanics and imaging-based algorithms for patient-specific modelling of cardiovascular system with the following objectives:

  • To develop long needed quantitative diagnostic, predictive and intervention-optimization tools for cardiovascular diseases to support personalized interventions and clinical decision making
  • To design, evaluate and optimize cardiovascular devices such as left ventricular assist device, transcatheter heart valves and vascular stents
  • To uncover causes of cardiovascular pathologies through solving complex biomedical problems
  • To re-classify diseases and to establish guidelines for clinical interventions
  • To lead multidisciplinary collaborative efforts to translate engineering-based findings and developments into clinical practice

Due to the interdisciplinary nature of her research, Dr. Motamed’s lab extensively collaborates with engineers, clinical scientists, surgeons and cardiologists in Canada, USA and Europe.

Description of ongoing research
Despite advancements in surgical/interventional techniques, many cardiovascular patients do not respond favorably to treatments and their life expectancy remains reduced. Abnormal hemodynamics and biomechanics lay at the base of the initiation and progression of many cardiovascular diseases. Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death globally, taking more lives than all forms of cancer combined. It is expected to remain the first cause of death by 2030 in the world. Blood flow quantification can be greatly useful for accurate and early diagnosis of cardiovascular diseases. However the fluid-dynamics methods that can be used as calculating engines of the new diagnostic tools are yet to be developed. Furthermore, as most interventions intend to restore the healthy condition, the ability to predict hemodynamics and biomechanics resulting from a particular intervention has significant impacts on saving lives. Predictive methods are rare. They are extensions of diagnostic methods enabling prediction of effectiveness of interventions, allowing systematic testing for possible clinical solutions, and thus enabling personalization of interventions. The step beyond prediction is optimization of interventions to obtain the best possible outcome. Advancing computational mechanics offers a powerful means to augment clinical measurements and medical imaging to create noninvasive diagnostic, predictive and optimization tools. This is the aim behind a computational cardiovascular mechanics framework that Dr. Motamed’s lab is developing. The framework was named Poiseuille to honour the 18th-century French physicist and physiologist Jean Leonard Marie Poiseuille who provided a mathematical description for blood flow in vessels. Poiseuille is built for three folds of applications: diagnosis, prediction and intervention optimization. Poiseuille has one specific module for each of these applications and one common module that contain shared programs serving the three application modules. Currently Poiseuille is under active development. These developments present formidable mathematical and computational challenges: modeling must incorporate the motion of fluid and the motion of vessel wall, a large network of the blood vessels with complicated geometries, persistent pulse-driven changes in flow and pressure, and in some cases behavior of red blood cells.

Selected Awards & Honours

- American Heart Association (AHA) Fellowship, USA, 2016
- Fonds de la Recherche du Québec-Santé (FRSQ) Fellowship, Canada, 2016
- Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) Fellowship, Canada, 2014
- Fonds de la Recherche du Québec-Santé (FRSQ) Fellowship, Canada, 2014
- Visiting Scholars Fellowship, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) Fellowship, Canada, 2014
 - Fonds de la Recherche du Québec-Nature et Technologies (FQRNT) Fellowship, Canada, 2013
- Amelia Earhart Fellowship, Zonta International Foundation for women in engineering, USA, 2011
- PhD Thesis Award, Canada, 2011
- Campaign for a New Millennium Award, Canada, 2011
- Power Corporation of Canada Award, Canada, 2011
- Carolyn & Richard Renaud Teaching Award, Canada, 2010
- Power Corporation of Canada Award, Canada, 2010

Selected Publications

- Z. Keshavarz-Motamed, F. Rikhtegar Nezami, R. A. Partida, K. Nakamura, P. V. Staziaki, E. Ben-Assa, B. Ghoshhajra, A. B. Bhatt, E. R. Edelman. (2016). Elimination of trans-coarctation pressure gradients has no impact on left ventricular function or aortic shear stress post intervention in patients with mild coarctation. JACC: Cardiovascular Interventions. 9(18): 1953-1965.
- G. Di Labbio, Z. Keshavarz-Motamed, L. Kadem. (2016). Numerical simulation of flows in a circular pipe transversely subjected to a localized impulsive body force with applications to blunt traumatic aortic rupture. Fluid Dynamics Research. 49(3) 035510.
- Z. Keshavarz-Motamed, E. R. Edelman, P. K. Motamed, J. Garcia, N. Dahdah, L. Kadem. (2015). The role of aortic compliance in determination of coarctation severity: lumped parameter modeling, in vitro study and clinical evaluation. Journal of Biomechanics. 48(16): 4229-4237.
- Z. Keshavarz-Motamed, P. K. Motamed, N. Maftoon. (2015). Non-invasive determination of aortic valve trans-catheter pressure gradient: an analytical model. Medical Engineering & Physics. 37(3): 321-327.
- E. Benevento, A. Dejebbari, Z. Keshavarz-Motamed, R. Cecere, L. Kadem. (2015). Flow distribution in aortic valve bypass: a mathematical modeling approach. PLoS One. 10(4): e0123000.
- Z. Keshavarz-Motamed, J. Garcia, E. Gaillard, R. Capoulade, F. LeVen, G. Cloutier, L. Kadem, P. Pibarot. (2014). Non-invasive determination of left ventricular workload in patients with aortic stenosis using magnetic resonance imaging and Doppler echocardiography. PLoS One. 9(1): e86793.
- Z. Keshavarz-Motamed, Y. Saijo, Y. Majdouline, J. Ohayon, G. Cloutier. (2014). Coronary artery atherectomy stabilizes plaque shear strains: an endovascular elastography imaging study. Atherosclerosis. 235(1): 140-149.
- Z. Keshavarz-Motamed, J. Garcia, E. Gaillard, N. Maftoon, G. Di Labbio, G. Cloutier, L. Kadem. (2014). Effect of coarctation of the aorta and bicuspid aortic valve on flow dynamics and turbulence in the aorta using particle image velocimetry. Experiments in Fluids. 55: 1696.
- Y. Majdouline, J. Ohayon, Z. Keshavarz-Motamed, M. H. Roy Cardinal, D. Garcia, L. Allard, S. Lerouge, F. Arsenault, G. Soulez, G. Cloutier. (2014). Endovascular shear strain elastography for detection and characterization the severity of atherosclerotic plaques: in vitro validation and in vivo evaluation. Ultrasound in Medicine & Biology. 40(5): 890-903.
- Z. Keshavarz-Motamed, J. Garcia, L. Kadem. (2013). Fluid dynamics of coarctation of the aorta and effect of bicuspid aortic valve. PLoS One. 8(8): e72394.
- Z. Keshavarz-Motamed, J. Garcia, N. Maftoon, E. Bedard, P. Chetaille, L. Kadem. (2012). A new approach for the evaluation of the severity of coarctation of the aorta using Doppler velocity index and effective orifice area: in vitro study and clinical implications. Journal of Biomechanics. 45(7): 1239-1245.
- Z. Keshavarz-Motamed, J. Garcia, P. Pibarot, L. Kadem. (2011). Modeling the impact of concomitant aortic stenosis and coarctation of the aorta on left ventricular workload. Journal of Biomechanics. 44(16): 2817-2825.
- Z. Keshavarz-Motamed, L. Kadem, A. Dolatabadi. (2010). Effects of dynamic contact angle on numerical modeling of electrowetting in parallel plate microchannels. Journal of Microfluidics and Nanofluidics. 8(1): 47-56.
- Z. Keshavarz-Motamed, L. Kadem. (2010). Pulsatile flow in a curved tube with coexisting model of aortic stenosis and coarctationof the aorta. Medical Engineering and Physics. 33(3): 315-324.


Available Positions

There are multiple MSc and PhD positions available in my group. There are many potential projects in the lab for undergraduates interested in independent studies, summer positions and honours projects. Interested students should apply by email (motamedz@mcmaster.ca or zahra_km@mit.edu) and include a brief description of their research interests, transcripts, curriculum vitae and references. Graduate students and postdoctoral fellows with external funding are encouraged to contact Dr. Motamed to discuss mutual research interests.