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Principal Investigator

Dr.ir. A.C. (Ali) Akyildiz, PhD

Assistant professor

  • Department
  • Cardiology
  • Focus area
  • Biomechanics
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Improved diagnosis and prognosis of diseases and developing effective preventive strategies and therapies can only be achieved if the healthy tissue mechanics and multifactorial mechanisms involved in the onset and progression of the related pathologies are elucidated. Biomechanical factors and mechanisms are heavily involved in the system-, organ-, tissue- and cell-scale functional organizations in the human body. Hence, understanding the biomechanics engaged at all these levels for both healthy and pathological structures is of great importance.

Ali C. Akyildiz is an Assistant professor in the Biomedical Engineering Group of the Cardiology Department. His research is dedicated to realizing the above-mentioned scientific goal(s) in the field of cardiovascular biomechanics. He and his team employ experimental and computational studies to unravel the biomechanics involved in cardiovascular pathologies, with a special focus on atherosclerosis and (congenital) heart defects.

Field(s) of expertise

  • Cardiovascular Biomechanics
  • Soft Tissue Biomechanics
  • Cardiovascular Imaging
  • Continuum Mechanics
  • Computational Mechanics
  • Tissue Failure Mechanics

Education and career

Dr. Akyildiz received his BSc (2007) and MSc (2009) degrees from the Mechanical Engineering Department at Bogazici University (Turkey). He obtained his PhD degree (2013) with the dissertation entitled “Biomechanical Modeling of Atherosclerotic Plaques for Risk Assessment” from the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Erasmus Medical Center (the Netherlands) for his experimental and computational studies on atherosclerosis. Following his PhD, he accepted a post-doctoral position in the “Center for Modeling, Simulation, & Imaging in Medicine” at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (NY, USA). There he co-founded a soft tissue experimentation lab, and developed numerical and experimental tools for mechanical characterization of biological soft tissues. In 2016, he rejoined the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Erasmus MC, where he currently serves as an assistant professor. Dr. Akyildiz is also holds an assistant professorship in the Department of Biomechanical Engineering at Delft University of Technology and is affiliated as a guest researcher with the Department of Radiology and Nuclear Medicine of the Radboud University Medical Center. Dr. Akyildiz is an associate editor for the journal Molecular & Cellular Biomechanics, a board member of YOUNG@Heart (Netherlands Heart Institute) and a review editorial board member of Frontiers in Medical Technology/Cardiovascular Medical Technology.


Teaching activities

  • Tissue Biomechanics (Responsible instructor, Delft University of Technology, 2021)
  • Physiology & Anatomy (Lecturer, Delft University of Technology, 2020)
  • Continuum mechanics (Co-instructor, Delft University of Technology, 2018 - 2020)
  • Introduction to cardiovascular biomechanics (Principal instructor, Erasmus MC, Medical Delta minor program, 2017 - 2020)
  • Computational methods in modeling (Principal instructor, Erasmus MC, Medical Delta minor program, 2011)
  • Biomechanical modeling of soft tissues (Principal instructor, Erasmus MC, Medical Delta minor program, 2010 & 2012)

Other positions

  • Editorial board
    • Associate editor of the journal “Molecular & Cellular Biomechanics”
    • Review editorial board member of the journal “Frontiers in Medical Technology – Cardiovascular Medical Technology”
  • (Inter)national societies
    • Member of European Society of Biomechanics (ESB)
    • Member of American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME)
    • Invited member of the scientific council Young@Heart - Netherlands Heart Institute
    • Member of European Mechanics Society (EUROMECH)

Scholarships, grants, and awards

  • Erasmus Medical Center Mrace grant (PI) 2020
    Project: Towards Improved Cerebrovascular Event Risk Assessment: Carotid Plaque Morphology and Biomechanical Analysis 
  • Erasmus Medical Center Mrace grant (co-PI) 2019
    Project: Dissecting the role of intracranial arteriosclerosis in stroke 
  • “Hartekind” Foundation Pilot project funding (co-PI) 2019
    Project: Computational cardiac modeling of congenital heart defects
  • ERC Marie Skolodowska-Curie Individual Fellowship (PI) 2017
    Project: Biomechanical Characterization of Carotid Plaque Rupture

My Groups