Brisa Peña, PhD
Assistant Research Professor, Medicine-Cardiology

Graduate Schools :
  • PhD, Universitat Rovira i Virgili (2012)
  • MS, Universitat Rovira i Virgili (2009)
  • BChE, Universidad Autonoma de Chihuahua - Mexico (2007)
Languages: English, Spanish
Department: Medicine-Cardiology

Professional Titles

  • Research Assistant Professor

Recognition & Awards

  • NHLBI K25 award, NIH (2020)
    This K award aims to test a more efficient method to deliver regenerative miRNAs for cardiac tissue engineering.
  • AHA SFRN Heart Failure Fellow, AHA (2017)
    Training award to study fibrosis in tissues using atomic force microscopy (AFM)
  • Council on Cardiovascular Surgery and Anesthesia (CVSA), AHA (2016)
    Minority Travel Stipend, AHA 2016. Scientific Sessions
  • Clinical Cardiology Minority Travel Grant, AHA (2015)
    Clinical Cardiology Minority Travel Grant AHA 2015 Scientific Sessions
  • Cardiovascular Outreach Award, BCVS (2015)
    Cardiovascular Outreach Award BCVS 2015 Scientific Sessions
  • NIH/NHLBI RHL116906 Minority Award Supplement to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research, NIH (2014)
    This grant aimed to develop novel biomaterials for cardiac tissue engineering
  • NIH/NHLBI T32 2 T32 HL 7822-16 Training Award, NIH (2014)
  • URV Extraordinary Doctorate Award (Premi extraordinari de doctorat), URV (2013)
    Best PhD thesis from the Department of Engineering at the URV
  • NIH/NHLBI T32 T32HL072738 Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award Training Grant, NIH (2012)
    Training grant to develop Injectable hydrogels for medical applications
  • Ph.D Scholarship from the MAEC and AECI, MAEC/AECI (2009)
    Ph.D Scholarship
  • MS Scholarship from the MAEC and AECI, MAEC/AECI (2008)
    MS Scholarship
  • Lignocarb grant ALFA II 0412 FAFI, ALFA II 0412 FAFI (2007)
    Interchange Scholarship: Lignocarb grant ALFA II 0412 FAFI


  • Peña B, Adbel-Hafiz M, Cavasin M, Mestroni L, Sbaizero O. Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) Applications in Arrhythmogenic Cardiomyopathy. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 2022 March; 23:3700. doi: 10.3390/ijms23073700.
  • Travers JG, Wennersten SA, Peña B, Bagchi RA, Smith HE, Hirsch RA, Vanderlinden LA, Lin YH, Dobrinskikh E, Demos-Davies KM, Cavasin MA, Mestroni L, Steinkühler C, Lin CY, Houser SR, Woulfe KC, Lam MPY, McKinsey TA. HDAC Inhibition Reverses Preexisting Diastolic Dysfunction and Blocks Covert Extracellular Matrix Remodeling. Circulation. 2021 May 11;143(19):1874-1890. PubMed PMID: 33682427
  • Mueller AC, Piper M, Goodspeed A, Bhuvane S, Williams JS, Bhatia S, Phan AV, Van Court B, Zolman KL, Peña B, Oweida AJ, Zakem S, Meguid C, Knitz MW, Darragh L, Bickett TE, Gadwa J, Mestroni L, Taylor MRG, Jordan KR, Dempsey P, Lucia MS, McCarter MD, Del Chiaro M, Messersmith WA, Schulick RD, Goodman KA, Gough MJ, Greene CS, Costello JC, Neto AG, Lagares D, Hansen KC, Van Bokhoven A, Karam SD. Induction of ADAM10 by Radiation Therapy Drives Fibrosis, Resistance, and Epithelial-to-Mesenchyal Transition in Pancreatic Cancer. Cancer Res. 2021 Jun 15;81(12):3255-3269. PubMed PMID: 33526513
  • Jeffrey DA, Pires Da Silva J, Garcia AM, Jiang X, Karimpour-Fard A, Toni LS, Lanzicher T, Peña B, Miyano CA, Nunley K, Korst A, Sbaizero O, Taylor MR, Miyamoto SD, Stauffer BL, Sucharov CC. Serum circulating proteins from pediatric patients with dilated cardiomyopathy cause pathologic remodeling and cardiomyocyte stiffness. JCI Insight. 2021 Oct 8;6(19). doi: 10.1172/jci.insight.148637. PubMed PMID: 34383712; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC8525651.
  • Lachaize V, Peña B, Ciubotaru C, Cojoc D, Chen SN, Taylor MRG, Mestroni L, Sbaizero O. Compromised Biomechanical Properties, Cell-Cell Adhesion and Nanotubes Communication in Cardiac Fibroblasts Carrying the Lamin A/C D192G Mutation. Int J Mol Sci. 2021 Aug 25;22(17). doi: 10.3390/ijms22179193. PubMed PMID: 34502098; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC8431729.
  • Peña B, Alegret N, Laughter M, Taylor MR, Mestroni L, Prato M. Carbon Nanotubes for Cardiac Applications. In: Da Ros T, Martín N, Nierengarten J, editors. Carbon Nanostructures for Biomedical Applications UK: Royal Society of Chemistry; 2021. Chapter 7; p.223-256.
  • select Laughter MR, Nelson A, Bortot M, Peña B, Liu B, Park D. Multifunctional Fluorocarbon-conjugated Nanoparticles of Varied Morphologies to Enhance Diagnostic Effects in Breast Cancer. Nano Biomedicine and Engineering. 2021; 1(13):52-61. doi: 10.5101/nbe.v13i1.p52-61.
  • Borin D, Peña B, Chen SN, Long CS, Taylor MRG, Mestroni L, Sbaizero O. Altered microtubule structure, hemichannel localization and beating activity in cardiomyocytes expressing pathologic nuclear lamin A/C. Heliyon. 2020 Jan;6(1):e03175. PubMed PMID: 32021920
  • Borin D, Peña B, Taylor MRG, Mestroni L, Lapasin R, Sbaizero O. Viscoelastic behavior of cardiomyocytes carrying LMNA mutations. Biorheology. 2020;57(1):1-14. PubMed PMID: 32083564
  • R Amin D, Sink E, Narayan SP, Abdel-Hafiz M, Mestroni L, Peña B. Nanomaterials for Cardiac Tissue Engineering. Molecules. 2020 Nov 7;25(21). doi: 10.3390/molecules25215189. Review. PubMed PMID: 33171802; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC7664640.
  • Joshua G Travers, Sara A Wennersten, Brisa Pena, Rushita A Bagchi, Harrison E Smith, Rachel A Hirsch, Lauren A Vanderlinden, Ying-Hsi Lin, Evgenia Dobrinskikh, Kimberly M Demos-Davies, Maria A Cavasin, Luisa Mestroni, Christian Steinkuhler, Steven R Houser, Charles Y Lin, Maggie P Lam and Timothy A McKinsey. Circulation. Abstract 15707: Histone Deacetylase Inhibition Reverses Preexisting Diastolic Dysfunction and Blocks Covert Extracellular Matrix Remodeling. 2020.
  • Peña B, Maldonado M, Bonham AJ, Aguado BA, Dominguez-Alfaro A, Laughter M, Rowland TJ, Bardill J, Farnsworth NL, Alegret Ramon N, Taylor MRG, Anseth KS, Prato M, Shandas R, McKinsey TA, Park D, Mestroni L. Gold Nanoparticle-Functionalized Reverse Thermal Gel for Tissue Engineering Applications. ACS Appl Mater Interfaces. 2019 May 22;11(20):18671-18680. PubMed PMID: 31021594
  • Laughter MR, Bardill JR, Ammar DA, Pena B, Calkins DJ, Park D. Injectable Neurotrophic Factor Delivery System Supporting Retinal Ganglion Cell Survival and Regeneration Following Optic Nerve Crush. ACS Biomater Sci Eng. 2018 Sep 10;4(9):3374-3383. PubMed PMID: 31431919
  • Peña B, Laughter M, Jett S, Rowland TJ, Taylor MRG, Mestroni L, Park D. Injectable Hydrogels for Cardiac Tissue Engineering. Macromol Biosci. 2018 Jun;18(6):e1800079. PubMed PMID: 29733514
  • Borin D, Pecorari I, Pena B, Sbaizero O. Novel insights into cardiomyocytes provided by atomic force microscopy. Semin Cell Dev Biol. 2018 Jan;73:4-12. PubMed PMID: 28687239
  • Martinelli V, Bosi S, Peña B, Baj G, Long CS, Sbaizero O, Giacca M, Prato M, Mestroni L. 3D Carbon-Nanotube-Based Composites for Cardiac Tissue Engineering. ACS Appl Bio Mater. 2018 Nov 19;1(5):1530-1537. PubMed PMID: 34996204
  • Peña B, Bosi S, Aguado BA, Borin D, Farnsworth NL, Dobrinskikh E, Rowland TJ, Martinelli V, Jeong M, Taylor MRG, Long CS, Shandas R, Sbaizero O, Prato M, Anseth KS, Park D, Mestroni L. Injectable Carbon Nanotube-Functionalized Reverse Thermal Gel Promotes Cardiomyocytes Survival and Maturation. ACS Appl Mater Interfaces. 2017 Sep 20;9(37):31645-31656. PubMed PMID: 28895403
  • Peña B, Martinelli V, Jeong M, Bosi S, Lapasin R, Taylor MR, Long CS, Shandas R, Park D, Mestroni L. Biomimetic Polymers for Cardiac Tissue Engineering. Biomacromolecules. 2016 May 9;17(5):1593-601. PubMed PMID: 27073119
  • Laughter MR, Ammar DA, Bardill JR, Pena B, Kahook MY, Lee DJ, Park D. A Self-Assembling Injectable Biomimetic Microenvironment Encourages Retinal Ganglion Cell Axon Extension in Vitro. ACS Appl Mater Interfaces. 2016 Aug 17;8(32):20540-8. PubMed PMID: 27434231
  • Peña B, Shandas R, Park D. A heparin-mimicking reverse thermal gel for controlled delivery of positively charged proteins. J Biomed Mater Res A. 2015 Jun;103(6):2102-8. PubMed PMID: 25294242
  • Brisa Peña, Valentina Martinelli, Susanna Bosi, Carmen C. Sucharov, Mark Y. Jeong, Matthew R.G. Taylor, Maurizio Prato, Carlin S. Long, Robin Shandas, Daewon Park and Luisa Mestroni. Circulation Research . Temperature-responsive Cell Delivery Biopolymers for Cardiac Tissue Engineering. 2015.
  • Brisa Pena, Valentina Martinelli, Susanna Bosi, Carmen Sucharov, Mark Jeong, Matthew R Taylor, Maurizio Prato, Carlin S Long, Robin Shandas, Daewon Park and Luisa Mestroni. Circulation Research. Temperature-responsive Cell Delivery Biopolymers for Cardiac Tissue Engineering. 2015.
  • Panisello C, Peña B, Oriol GG, Constantí M, Gumí T, Garcia-Valls R. Polysulfone/Vanillin Microcapsules for Antibacterial and Aromatic Finishing of Fabrics. Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research. 2013 June; 52(29):9995–10003. doi:
  • Peña B, Gumi T. State of the Art of Polysulfone Microcapsules. Current Organic Chemistry. 2013 February; 17(1):22-29. doi: 10.2174/138527213805289105.
  • Peña B, Panisello C, Aresté G, Garcia-Valls R, Gumí T. Preparation and characterization of polysulfone microcapsules for perfume release. Chemical Engineering Journal. 2012 January; 179(1):394-403. doi:
  • Peña B, de Ménorval LC, Garcia-Valls R, Gumí T. Characterization of polysulfone and polysulfone/vanillin microcapsules by 1H NMR spectroscopy, solid-state 13C CP/MAS-NMR spectroscopy, and N2 adsorption-desorption analyses. ACS Appl Mater Interfaces. 2011 Nov;3(11):4420-30. PubMed PMID: 22008282
  • Peña B, Ferré , Garcia-Valls R, Ferrando F, Gumí T. Study of the Mechanical Properties of PSf/Vanillin Films. Influence of Temperature Treatments. Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research. 2011 January; 50(4):2073–2079. doi:
  • Peña B, Casals M, Torras C, Gumí T, Garcia-Valls R. Vanillin Release from Polysulfone Macrocapsules. Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research. 2008 December; 48(3):1562–1565. doi: 10.1021/ie801133f.
  • Fuentes ME, Peña B, Contreras C, Montero AL, Chianelli R, Alvarado M, Olivas , Rodríguez LM, Camacho H, Montero-Cabrera A. Quantum mechanical model for Maya Blue. International Journal of Quantum Chemistry. 2008 March; 12(108):1664-1673. doi:
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General Information

Graduate Schools:
  • PhD, Universitat Rovira i Virgili (2012)
  • MS, Universitat Rovira i Virgili (2009)
  • BChE, Universidad Autonoma de Chihuahua - Mexico (2007)
Languages: English, Spanish
Department: Medicine-Cardiology
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13001 East 17th Place
Campus Box C290
Aurora, CO 80045

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