Roshanak Rahimian

Roshanak Rahimian

At Pacific Since: 2001

Roshanak Rahimian, PharmD, MSc, PhD earned her doctor of pharmacy from Tehran University of Medical Sciences in Tehran, Iran in 1988 and her master of science from the University of Ottawa in Ottawa, Canada in 1995. Dr. Rahimian earned her doctor of philosophy from University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada in 1998. She then completed a three-year post doctoral fellowship from the Canadian Institute of Health Research before joining the Pacific family in 2001.

Dr. Rahimian's passion for teaching is evident in everything she does. What she loves about teaching at Pacific is the student-body and the outstanding environment for active learning. It is her goal to ensure that students learn fundamental skills in her class and laboratory. Her areas of expertise are cardiovascular and endocrine physiology, pathophysiology and pharmacology.

She is a member of the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics (ASPET), American Physiological Society (APS) and APS Sex and Gender Interest Group. She has served as a reviewer for the American Heart Association. Her objective as a faculty member and scholar is to fully support the students while they work to achieve their goals. The individual who influenced her most in her career was her late mother.


PharmD, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Iran, 1988

MSc in Pharmacology, University of Ottawa, Canada, 1995

PhD in Pharmacology, University of British Columbia, Canada, 1998

PostDoc, Canadian Institute of Health Research, University of British Columbia, Canada, 1998-2001

Teaching Interests

Teaching Philosophy
"I encourage students to understand fundamental concepts and think critically. I also view teaching as central to all of my scholarly activities."

PCSP 235 — Current topics in Pharmacology and Toxicology
PHRM 123 — Physiology and Pathophysiology II
PHRM 142 — Physiology and Pathophysiology III
PHRM 145 — Pharmacology and Medicinal Chemistry II

Research Focus

Research Summary
"Diabetes affects more than 400 million person worldwide, just over half of whom are women, and the number of diabetic patients is estimated to rise by more than 50% within 20 years. Cardiovascular diseases (CVD) are the leading cause of mortality and morbidity in diabetic patients. Several reports including our previous study published in the American Journal of Physiology [303:H1183-H1198, 2012] have suggested that diabetes affects male and female vascular beds differently. Premenopausal women have a lower incidence of CVDs compared with age-matched men. However, premenopausal women with diabetes not only lose this sex-based cardiovascular protection, they also experience a relative higher risk of CVD compared to diabetic men. Nonetheless, there is insufficient evidence to establish the mechanism(s) underlying the loss of pre-menopausal female specific cardiovascular protection in diabetes. The overall goal of our research is to elucidate the underlying mechanisms responsible for the impairment of sex-based cardiovascular protection in the experimental models diabetes and obesity."

Research Interests

  • Diabetes, Estrogen and Endothelial Dysfunction
  • Sexual Dimorphism in Endothelial Function

Current Personnel
Farjana Akther
MD Rahatullah Razan


  • National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI, NIH)
  • University of the Pacific

Scholarly Activity

Selected Peer-Reviewed Publications:

Islam R.A., Khalsa S.S.S., Arpita K. Vyas A.K., Rahimian R. Sex-Specific Impacts of Exercise on Cardiovascular Remodeling. Journal of Clinical Medicine, 26 Aug.  2021.

Akther F., Razan M.R., Shaligram S., Graham J.L., Stanhope K.L., Allen K.N., Vázquez-Medina J.P., Havel P.J, Roshanak R. Potentiation of Acetylcholine-Induced Relaxation of Aorta in Male UC Davis Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (UCD-T2DM) Rats: Sex-Specific Responses. Frontiers in Physiology, 22 July 2021.

Shaligram.S. Sangüesa G., Akther F, Alegret M., Laguna J.C., Rahimian R. Differential effects of high consumption of fructose and glucose on mesenteric endothelial function in female rats. Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, 57 (2018) 136-144.

Sangüesa G., Shaligram S. Akther F, Laguna J.C., Rahimian R1, Alegret M.1. Type of supplemented simple sugar, not merely calorie intake, determines adverse effects on metabolism and aortic function in female rats. 1Equal senior authors. American Journal Pf Physiology, Heart Circ Physiol (2017) 312: H289-H304.

Han, X., Shaligram, S., Zhang, R., Anderson, L., and Rahimian, R. Sex-specific vascular responses of the rat aorta: Effects of moderate term (intermediate stage) streptozotocin-induced diabetes. Canadian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology (2016) 94(4): 408-415.

Shi, H. Brown, L. M., Rahimian, R. Sex/Gender Differences in Metabolism and Behavior: Influence of Sex Chromosomes and Hormones. International Journal of Endocrinology (2015), Article ID 245949. DOI:

Han, X., Zhang, R., Anderson, L., and Rahimian, R. Sexual dimorphism in rat aortic endothelial function of streptozotocin-induced diabetes: Possible involvement of superoxide and nitric oxide production. European Journal of Pharmacology (2014) 723 442-450.

Zhang, R., Thor, D., Han, X., Anderson, L., Rahimian, R. Sex differences in mesenteric endothelial function of streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats: A shift in the relative importance of EDRFs. American Journal of Physiology, Heart Circulatory Physiology (2012) 303: H1183-H1198.

Thor, D., Zhang, R., Anderson, L., Bose, D., Dube, G., and Rahimian, R. Effects of 17 β-estradiol on lipopolysacharride-induced intracellular adhesion molecule-1 mRNA expression and Ca2+ homeostasis alteration in human endothelial. Vascular Pharmacology (2010) 53, 230-238.

Thor, D., Uchizono, J., Lin-Cereghino, J., and Rahimian, R. The effect of 17 β-estradiol on intracellular calcium homeostasis in human endothelial cells. European journal of Pharmacology (2010) 630, 92-99.

Smith, J., Lindsay, M., Rahimian, R., and Anderson, L. The influence of estrogen and progesterone on parasympathetic vasodilatation in the rat submandibular gland. Autonomic Neuroscience (2009) 146 (1-2), 87-94.

Goel, A., Thor, D., Anderson, L., and Rahimian, R. Sexual dimorphism in rabbit aortic endothelial function under hyperglycemic conditions and gender-specific response to acute 17-beta estradiol. American Journal of Physiology- Heart Circulatory Physiology (2008) 294, H2411-2420.

Goel, A., Zhang, Y., Anderson, L., and Rahimian, R. Gender difference in rat aorta vasodilation after acute exposure to high glucose: involvement of protein kinase C β but not rho kinase. Cardiovascular Research (2007) 76, 351-60.

Anderson, L. C., Martin, D. J., Phillips, D. L., Killpack, K. J., Bone, S. E., and Rahimian, R. The influence of gender on parasympathetic vasodilatation in the submandibular gland of the rat. Experimental Physiology (2006) 91(2), 435-44.