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Kirstianna Lombardi

Kirstianna Lombardi

Clinical Research Coordinator

Kirstianna is the Clinical Research Coordinator overseeing Dr. Mahan’s human subject research in the Division of Peripheral Nerve and Pain Surgery. She manages clinical research operations for a diverse portfolio of studies funded by both industry and federal sources. Additionally, Kirstianna assists Dr. Mahan in collecting data for projects internal to the Department of Neurosurgery in order to improve the quality of care provided to his patients.

Before joining the Department of Neurosurgery at the University of Utah in 2021, Kirstianna worked as a clinical research coordinator at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in North Carolina. There, she conducted vital research examining the impacts of repetitive low-level blast exposure on active duty service members, particularly in relation to mild traumatic brain injuries (mTBI).

In 2020, Kirstianna earned her master’s degree in psychology with an emphasis in psychological science at the University of North Carolina in Wilmington. She is passionate about leveraging her background in psychology to contribute meaningfully to neurosurgical research, with a focus on improving the lives of individuals grappling with painful and debilitating conditions.

(801) 585-9821

Sama Noroozi

Sama Noroozi Gilandehi

Post-doctoral Research Associate

Sama is a post-doctoral research associate at Mahan lab, Department of Neurosurgery, University of Utah. She holds a dual role focused on both animal and human subjects. 

Her animal research is focused on peripheral nerve diseases, including investigating nerve stretch injuries and discovering predictive biomarkers for nerve recovery. 

On the clinical front, her projects aim to investigate the quality of life of individuals undergoing neuro and spine surgeries. Additionally, she is exploring the molecular and cellular composition of human neuromas to identify the unique gene patterns and cells associated with pain and the progression of this condition. 

In 2020, Sama earned her medical doctorate from Guilan University of Medical Sciences in Iran. She is dedicated to advancing both basic and translational research in neurosurgery, with a particular interest in spine and peripheral nerve injuries. Her goal is to contribute to a deeper understanding of these conditions and help lay the groundwork for new diagnostic and therapeutic approaches to better manage and treat patients suffering from these disabling conditions.

801- 587-4896

Stewart Yeoh

Stewart Yeoh, PhD

Post-doctoral Research Associate

My professional interest has focused on injury biomechanics and high rate trauma to the central and peripheral nervous system, including the blood vessels that perfuse these tissues. Physical injury often involves high forces and accelerations, and understanding the viscoelastic response of the tissues of the human body is key to predicting injury severity and outcome.

My current focus is on injury to the peripheral nervous system. Stretch injury is the most commonly encountered nerve injury from accidents and trauma, with a complex elongated zone of tissue disruption and dysfunctional repair. As these types of injuries are common in young populations, and elevated in active and high risk professions such as the military, it is imperative we develop better treatments for what currently often results in lifelong pain or disability.

Previous research interests include study of high rate brain tissue deformation and contusion, and the response of the circulatory system in the brain to blast overpressure loading. These high rate injury phenomena are all linked by the response of tissue to extreme forces over short periods of time, and the potential for lifelong neurological dysfunction, reduced quality of life, and death. I strongly feel that I have a duty to my country to devote my research abilities to assisting those who suffer injury in war, and to help improve the treatment and outcomes for anyone afflicted by sudden trauma.


Mark Mahan, MD

Primary Investigator