Rana Zadeh

Rana Zadeh

Assistant Professor
Design + Environmental Analysis, College of Human Ecology
2425 Martha Van Rensselaer Hall


Rana Sagha Zadeh, M.Arch., Ph.D., Associate AIA, LEED AP, EDAC, is an associate professor and the co-director and co-founder of the Health Design Innovations Lab (HDIL, affiliated with the Institute for Healthy Futures) in the Department of Design & Environmental Analysis at Cornell University. Dr. Zadeh’s team received the Innovation Incubator Award and the Novel Technology Award from the Clinical and Translational Science Center and Weill Cornell Medical College. She also received the Center for Health Design’s 2012-13 New Investigator Award for her high-quality research in the field of evidence-based healthcare facility design and the 2013 Architectural Research Centers Consortium's King Medal for innovation, integrity, and scholarship in environmental design research.

Dr. Zadeh specializes in evidence-based and human-centered healthcare design. Zadeh’s work focuses on improving quality-of-life and management of symptoms for individuals who experience chronic, advanced or life-limiting illness, and optimizing working environments and caring experience for their formal and informal caregivers.

Zadeh’s lab develops translational solutions to bring best evidence to practice using a systems approach combining available capacities in design, engineering, psychology, business and medicine and in partnership with communities. These include environmental, technological, or educational guidelines and solutions to support safety, quality of life, and dignity. Some examples of work are:

  • Healthy aging by design
  • Palliative and supportive care by environmental design
  • Sleep and circadian rhythms disturbances, effective evidence-based educational programs
  • Occupant sensing technologies for homes and institutional environments to support health, safety and sustainability
  • Medication compliance in individuals with dementia by design and engineering
  • Health and healthcare access for at risk populations and marginalized populations
  • Workplace health and performance optimization
  • Economic evaluation of design and engineering solutions to optimize medical workplaces

Zadeh is a founding member of the Nursing Institute for Healthcare Design. Zadeh served as a member of the Center for Health Design’s Research Coalition, and a grant reviewer for the New Investigator Award for 7 years, and served on the CHD’s Behavioral Health, and volunteer on CHD’s the Agency for Healthcare Research Quality’s project to create a risk assessment tool for patient safety. Zadeh is an associate member of American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers, and a member and former president of a student chapter of the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America. Zadeh’s professional activities go beyond research and volunteerism and has involved service learning projects for community members including Hospicare of Tompkins County, End –of-Life Care Residence (2013- current), New York Presbyterian Hospital (Spring 2015,16,18), Brigham & Women’s Hospital and CAMA Inc. (spring 2014), Cayuga Medical Center (Fall 2013,Spring 2014,Spring 2017) and Hoag Healthcare (Spring 2013).

Research Interests

Combining innovative and evidence-based strategies we can improve the patient and caregiver experience in healthcare if we work in multidisciplinary teams and partner with the stakeholders involved. Learning from the users’ needs and their competencies we can design optimized places products and processes that are supportive of safety, quality of life, control, and dignity of patients and caregivers. My team conducts qualitative and quantitative studies, works with the community representatives and policy makers to translate best evidence into feasible effective and affordable solutions that change living and caring environments for the better.

Selected Publications

  • Sagha Zadeh, R., Owora, A. H., Jiang, N., & Pham, Y. (In Press). Sociodemographic and Job Characteristics Influence Environmental Strategies Used to Manage Workplace Sleepiness. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.
  • Sagha Zadeh, R., Capezuti, E., Eshelman, P., Woody, N., Tiffany, J., & Krieger, A. (2018).Non-pharmacological solutions to sleep and circadian rhythm disruption: Voiced bedside experiences of hospice and end-of-life staff caregivers. BMC Palliative Care, 17(1), 131. doi: 10.1186/s12904-018-0385-2 (Impact Factor 2.48)
  • Sagha Zadeh, R., & Eshelman, P. (In press). "Palliative design" meets "palliative medicine": A strategic and judicious approach to the design, construction, and operation of healthcare facilities to improve quality of life and minimize suffering for patients, their families, and their caregivers. HERD: Health Environments Research & Design Journal. (Impact Factor 1.34)
  • Javani, Z., Madani, R., Hojat, I., & Sagha Zadeh, R. (In Press). The Relationship between Daylight and Happiness for Women in Residential Districts of Isfahan, Iran. Environmental Quality Management.
  • Capezuti, E., Sagha Zadeh, R., Pain, K., Basara, A., Jiang, N. Z., & Krieger, A. C. (2018). A systematic review of non-pharmacological interventions to improve nighttime sleep among residents of long-term care settings. BMC Geriatrics, 18(1), 143. doi: 10.1186/s12877-018-0794-3


  • Ph.D. (Architecture, Health Systems & Design), Texas A&M University, 2012
  • M.Arch. (Architecture), Azad University, Tehran, 2005