Aggarwal Lab

Location and Contact Information

51 Audubon Avenue
Suites 501 and 505
New York City, NY 10032
United States

Principal Investigators

  • Profile Headshot
    • Director of Training, Go Red for Women Strategically Focused Research Network at CUMC
    • Principal Investigator, Go Red for Women Strategically Focused Research Network at CUMC

In our laboratory, we are evaluating the risk of cardiovascular disease and sleep patterns in a diverse population of women in various life stages.

Drs. Aggarwal & Giardina comparing notes

Sleep-related problems are a common health concern among adults, and women in particular. Poor sleep habits have been linked to cardiac risk, and women are especially vulnerable to sleep problems during specific time periods of their lives.  Our research is aimed at understanding how lack of sleep increases cardiac risk among women.  In particular, we aim to better understand sleep patterns among important populations of racially and ethnically diverse women, and if the link between sleep and cardiac risk differs at various life stages.  We are also studying the role of lifestyle behaviors (e.g., diet and physical activity) and psychosocial factors, including depression, social support, and caregiver strain on sleep and cardiovascular disease.  Physical and laboratory measures include body mass index, waist circumference, blood pressure, lipids, glucose, and inflammatory markers such as high-sensitivity C-reactive protein.  We also aim to understand how changes in sleep due to major life events may be related to cardiac risk factors over time. 

We anticipate that the results of this research will provide insight into potential pathways through which sleep may be linked to cardiac risk, and contribute to the evidence base needed to elevate poor sleep to the status of other modifiable risk factors for cardiovascular disease.

Interested students or fellows are encouraged to contact Dr. Aggarwal to learn about potential research opportunities:


Heartbeat 2017: Sleep

Lab Members

Lab Members

  • Nour Makarem, PhD

    Postdoctoral Research Fellow

    Dr. Nour Makarem is a nutritional and chronic disease epidemiologist. She is currently an American Heart Association Go Red for Women Postdoctoral Fellow in Population Science. Her research examines the interplay between energetic behaviors (diet, sleep, and activity patterns) and their role in cardiometabolic risk among women and underserved population groups.

  • Riddhi Shah, PhD

    Postdoctoral Research Fellow

    Dr. Riddhi Shah is completing a postdoctoral research fellowship sponsored by the American Heart Association at Columbia University Irving Medical Center in the Division of Cardiology. She received her PhD from Louisiana Tech University in Ruston, Louisiana. Dr. Shah’s current research interest is the molecular mechanisms of endothelial activation due to sleep deprivation in women, and her primary mentor is Dr. Sanja Jelic.

  • Jasmine Taylor, MS

    Research Assistant

    Jasmine has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Medicine, Health, and Society from Vanderbilt University and a Master of Science degree in Human Nutrition from Columbia University. In the future she will be pursuing her MD/MBA.

  • Ming Liao, MS

    Data Manager/Data Analyst

    Ming holds a BS in Computer Science and a master’s degree in Statistics. Her work focuses on building and managing relational databases and completing data analysis to support various types of cardiovascular research projects including clinical trials and prospective observational studies.

  • Stephanie Byun, BA, BS

    Graduate Student

    Stephanie has a BS in Nutritional Sciences, Physiology and Metabolism and a BA in Public Health from the University of California, Berkeley. She is currently pursuing a master's degree in Human Nutrition at Columbia University. Outside of school and research, Stephanie enjoys Latin dancing, baking and trying out new restaurants in New York.

  • Zara Mayat, BS

    Graduate Student

    Zara has a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Physiology from the University of Miami, and is currently pursuing a master’s degree from the Institute of Human Nutrition at Columbia University Irving Medical Center. 

  • Simon Chen, BsC

    Graduate Student

    Simon has an Honours BSc in Health Sciences, majoring in Biomedical Sciences. He is currently obtaining a master's degree in Human Nutrition.


  • Elsa-Grace Giardina, MD, MS

    Professor of Medicine

    Dr. Giardina is Professor of Medicine at the Columbia University Irving Medical Center and Attending Physician at the New York Presbyterian Hospital.  Her current research and educational focus is on cardiovascular risk and the impact of nutrition and obesity on intergenerational cardiovascular health and disease among women and their families.  As a co-investigator on the Sleep Patterns in Women study, she provides clinical expertise on issues related to cardiometabolic risk in women, as well as facilitates recruitment and retention, particularly among women in the Northern Manhattan community.

  • Heidi Mochari Greenberger, PhD, MPH

    Adjunct Associate Research Scientist

    Dr. Greenberger is a nutritional epidemiologist who received her PhD in Epidemiology from Columbia University.   She has extensive experience as a registered dietitian in both research and clinical practice.  As a collaborating scientist on the Sleep Patterns in Women study, she rigorously monitors all nutrition-related aspects, including collection and analysis of diet data.

Select Publications

  • Aggarwal B, Makarem N, Shah R, Emin M, Wei Y, St-Onge MP, Jelic S.  Effects of Inadequate Sleep on Blood Pressure and Endothelial Inflammation in Women: Findings from the American Heart Association Go Red for Women Strategically Focused Research Network.  Journal of the American Heart Association.  2018;7:e008590.  Link to full-text:

  • St-Onge MP, Crawford A, Aggarwal B. Plant-based diets: Reducing cardiovascular risk by improving sleep quality? Curr Sleep Medicine Rep (2018).

  • Makarem N, Aggarwal B.  Gender Differences in Associations between Insufficient Sleep and Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factors and Endpoints.  Gender and the Genome.  Jun 2017, 1(2): 80-88.

  • Aggarwal M, Aggarwal B, Rao J.  Integrative Medicine for Cardiovascular Disease and Prevention. Medical Clinics of North America. 2017; 101 (5):  895-923.

  • Aggarwal B, Pender A, Mosca L, Mochari-Greenberger H.  Factors Associated with Medication Adherence among Heart Failure Patients and their Caregivers.  Journal of Nursing Education and Practice.  2015;5(3):22-27.

  • Blair J, Volpe M, Aggarwal B.  Challenges, Needs and Experiences of Recently Hospitalized Cardiac Patients and their Informal Caregivers: A Qualitative Study.  Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing.  2014 Jan-Feb;29(1):29-37.  

  • Aggarwal B, Liao M, Mosca L.  Medication Adherence is Associated with Having a Caregiver Among Cardiac Patients.  Annals of Behavioral Medicine.  2013; 46(2):237-42.  

  • Villanueva C, Aggarwal B.  The Association between Neighborhood Socioeconomic Status and Clinical Outcomes for Patients One Year after Hospitalization for Cardiovascular Disease.  Journal of Community Health.  2013;38(4):690-7.

  • Mochari-Greenberger H, Mosca M, Aggarwal B, Umann T, Mosca L.  Caregiver Status: A Simple Marker to Identify Patients at Risk for Longer Post-Operative Length of Stay, Rehospitalization or Death.  Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing.  2013; 2014 Jan-Feb;29(1):12-9.  

  • Mosca L, Aggarwal B, Mochari-Greenberger H, Liao M, Blair J, Cheng B, Comellas M, Rehm L, Suero-Tejeda N, Umann T.  Association between Having a Caregiver and Clinical Outcomes 1 Year after Hospitalization for Cardiovascular Disease.  American Journal of Cardiology.  2012;109:135-139. 

  • Mosca M, Aggarwal B.  Sleep Duration, Snoring Habits, and Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factors in an Ethnically Diverse Population.  Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing.  2012 May-Jun;27(3):263-9.

  • Mosca L, Mochari-Greenberger H, Aggarwal B, Liao M, Suero-Tejeda N, Comellas M, Rehm L, Umann TM, Mehran R.  Patterns of Caregiving among Patients Hospitalized with Cardiovascular Disease. Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing.  2011;26(4):305-311.  

  • Aggarwal B, Liao M, Mosca L.  Predictors of Physical Activity at 1-Year in a Randomized Controlled Trial.  Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing. 2010; 25(6):444-9. 

  • Aggarwal B, Liao M, Allegrante JP, Mosca L.  Low Social Support Level is Associated with Non-Adherence to Diet at 1-Year in the Family Intervention Trial for Heart Health (FIT Heart).  Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior.  2010; 42(6): 380-88.

  • Aggarwal B, Mosca L.  Lifestyle and Psychosocial Risk Factors Predict Non-Adherence to Medication.  Annals of Behavioral Medicine.  2010; 40(2):228-33.

  • Aggarwal B, Liao M, Christian A, Mosca L.  Influence of Caregiving on Lifestyle and Psychosocial Risk Factors among Family Members of Patients Hospitalized with Cardiovascular Disease.  Journal of General Internal Medicine.   2009; 24(1):93-8. 

  • Aggarwal B, Mosca L.  Heart Disease Risk for Female Cardiac Caregivers.  The Female Patient.  2009;34: 1- 4.

  • Mosca L, Mochari H, Liao M, Christian AH, Edelman D, Aggarwal B, Oz M.  A Novel Family-based Intervention Trial to Improve Heart Health (FIT Heart):  Results of a Randomized Controlled Trial.  Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.  2008; 1:98-106. 

  • Fischer Aggarwal BA, Liao M, Mosca L. Physical Activity as a Potential Mechanism through which Social Support May Reduce Cardiovascular Disease Risk.  Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing.  2008; 23(2):90-6.