Vascular Research Lab

Vascular Research Lab

Cardiovascular Surgery Aneurysm Research Laboratory

University of Virginia



About Us

The Cardiovascular Aneurysm Research laboratory at the University of Virginia began in 2007 by Dr. Gorav Ailawadi.  In september 2010, Dr. Gilbert R. Upchurch Jr., a renowned expert in aneurysm disease with over thirteen years of expertise, moved his laboratory from the University of Michigan to UVA.  The two investogators joined efforts to study thoracic and abdominal aortic aneurysms.  Our present location is on the third flood of MR4 building. The Cardiovascular Surgery Research Lab consists of a molecular biology unit, a histology unit, a small animal microsurgery room, a cold storage room, large animal operating facilities, and research offices. We are affiliated with the Department of Surgery and are part of the Robert M. Berne Cardiovascular Research Center at University of Virginia. It is one of the few labs in the nation that is dedicated solely to the research of aortic aneurysms.




Principal Investigators


Gilbert R. Upchurch Jr. M.D.


Gorav Ailawadi M.D.


Faculty & Staff


Guanyi Lu, M.D., Ph.D.

Research Scientist



Gang Su, M.D.

Senior Laboratory Specialist



Morgan A. Salmon, Ph.D.

Research Scientist


Akshaya Meher, Ph.D.

Research Scientist


Ashish Sharma, MBBS, Ph.D.


Tony Herring

Manager & Grant Administrator


Cindy Dodson


Sheila Hammond


Post-doctoral Research Fellows

2011 Davis

John P. Davis, M.D.

General Surgery Resident

2012 Schaheen B.jpg

Basil Schaheen, M.D.

General Surgery Resident

2012 Downs E.jpg

Emily Downs, M.D.

General Surgery Resident

Alumni of Our Lab

As always, we appreciate our lab alumni’s hard works and contributions to our on-going research projects. The friendship and happy memories of our alumni are some of the most valuable treasures of our lab.

Nick Pope M.D., 2012-2014, Postdoctoral fellow. Smooth muscle cell phenotypic switching in AAA

Jip L. Tolenaar  M.D., 2013, Postdoctoral fellow. Stem cell Rx on ruptured AAA model

William F. Johnston  M.D., 2011-2013, Postdoctoral fellow. IL-1β & aromatase in AAA formation

Seako Okutsu  Ph.D., 2012, Research Associate. Novel systemic targets to inhibit experimental aneurysm

Christopher W. Moehle Ph.D., 2010-1013, Pre-doctoral fellow. Role of MCP-1 in aortic aneurysm

Gaurav S. Mehta M.D. 2010-2012, Research associate. Multiple projects.

Sean English M.D., 2010-2012, Postdoctoral fellow. 18F-FDG uptake in ruptured AAA model

Paul Dimusto M.D., 2009-1011, Postdoctoral fellow. Serine proteinases in AAA formation

Adriana Laser  M.D., 2009-1011, Postdoctoral fellow. Estrogen receptor-α in AAA formation

Abhijit Ghosh  Ph.D., 2009-2010, Research associate.  ERK & AKT in AAA formation

Karen J. Roelofs  D.V.M., 2001-2010, Senior Research Specialist. Multiple projects

Omar Sadiq  B.S., 2008-2010, Student. Role of JNK in AAA formation

Brendan McEvoy  B.S., 2009-2010, Student. Gender differences in AAA formation

John Futchko 2008-2010, Student (undergraduate). Role of ERK in AAA formation

Lauren K. Ehrlichman  M.D., 2008, Pre-doctoral fellow(BA). Role of ERK in AAA formation

Wagner Tedeschi  M.D., 2008, Postdoctoral fellow. Gender differences in AAA formation

Kevin K. Hannawa  M.D., 2001-2008, Pre-doctoral fellow(BA). NO in regulating MMP-9 in SMCs

Nathan Narashimhan  M.D., 2004-2006, Postdoctoral fellow. Role of selectins in AAA formation

Brenda S. Cho  Ph.D., 2003-2006, Pre-doctoral fellow(MA). Gender difference in AAA formation

Chris Longo  M.D., 2004-2005, Postdoctoral fellow. CCR2 in AAA formation

Derek T. Woodrum  M.D., 2003-2005, Predoctoral fellow. Role of eNOS in AAA formation

Indranil Sinha M.D., 2002-2005, Pre-doctoral fellow(BA). NO prevents MMP-9 mediated AAA

Jonathan L. Eliason  M.D., 2002-2004, Postdoctoral fellow. Neutrophil depletion on AAA

Vladimir Grigoryants  M.D., 2003-2004, Postdoctoral fellow. Inhibition of AAA by tamoxifen

Gorav Ailawadi  M.D., 2000-2003, Postdoctoral fellow. Differential expression of MMP-9 in AAA

Brian S. Knipp  M.D., 2001-2003, Pre-doctoral fellow (MS). Inhibition NOS up-regulates MMP-9

Andrew Lipnick  MD, 2001-2002, Predoctoral fellow(BA). MMPs in DVT resolution

Matthew J. Eagleton  M.D., 2000-2002, Postdoctoral fellow. NO inhibition on MMP expression

David A Peterson  M.D., 2000-2002, Pre-doctoral fellow(BA). NF-κB on MMP-expression

Autumn Broady 2000-2001, Student (undergraduate). Effects of NO on MMP production


Univ of Mich Lab 1


Univ of Michigan Lab 2

Our former lab members in Jobst's Lab, University of Michigan


LabMembers 2011

Our Lab Members, University of Virginia, October 18, 2011








Paul Dimusto, MD

Adriana Laser, MD Abhijit Ghosh, PhD Omar Sadiq, BS Sean English, MD







Gaurav Mehta, MD


Christopher Moehle, MD Forrest Johnston, MD Jip Tolenaar, MD Nick Pope, MD

Research Projects

1. Gender differences in experimental aneurysm formation.

  • The role of sex hormones & its receptors in aneurysm formation
  • Effect of bone marrow transplant & aortic transplant during aneurysm formation.
  • Gender differences of inflammatory cytokines & angiogenesis in AAA.


2.  Stem cell application in the treatment of experimental aortic aneurysm.

3.  Effects of dietary phytoestrogen in aneurysm formation.

4.  Role of B2 cell-dependent differention of regulatory T cell in aortic aneurysm.

5.  Role of neutrophil extracellulat traps in AAA pathogenesis.

6.  Smooth muscle cell phenotypic switching during experimental aneurysm formation

7.  Anti-aneurysm drug screening.



Current funding:

Dr. Upchurch:

  • 2013- 2018 NIH Co-Investigator, Reuse of ZD4054 for patients with symptomatic PAD
  • 2014-2017 AHA Scientist Development Grant, Mentor,  Role of KLF2 in aortic aneurysm formation
  • 2014-2018 NIH (RO1), PI: G.U. Gender/estrogen differences in AAA formation
  • 2014-2018 NIH (RO1), PI (G.U.), The role of neutrophil extracellular traps in AAA pathogenesis


Dr. Ailawadi:

  • Pending Council Review, NIH (RO1), PI  (G.A.), Role of IL-1R1 in cell transitions in Aortic Aneurysm Pathogenesis
  • 2014-2018 NIH R01, Co-Investigator, Gender differences in experimental aortic aneurysms
  • 2014-2018 AHA grant, PI (A.M.), mentor (G.A.), Role of B2 cell-dependent differentiation of regulatory T cell in aortic aneurysm.
  • 2014- 2016 TSFRE Braunwald Fellowship, Mentor, Anisotropic Reinforcement of Acute Right  Ventricular Dysfunction
  • 2010 – 2015 Matching Funds for K08, PI (G.A.) Thoracic Surgery Foundation for Research and Education


Completed funding:

Dr. Upchurch:

  • 2011 – 2014 Astra Zeneca, Pl (G.U.), Novel systemic targets to inhibit experimental aneurysm formation.
  • 2009-2013 NIH (RO1), PI (G.U.), Gender differences in aortic aneurysm2007-2012 NIH (RO1), PI (G.U.), Gender differences in aortic aneurysm
  • 2001-2006   NIH Mentored Clinical Scientist Development Award (KO8), PI (G.U.)
  • 2001-2006   Lifeline Foundation® Research Award, PI (G.U.)



Dr. Ailawadi:

  • 2010-2014 NIH (NHLBI), PI (G.A.) The Effects of KLF4 in Experimental Aortic Aneurysm Formation
  • 2012-2014, , R21 HL111546, Co-PI (G.A), Anisotropic Reinforcement to improve post-infarction LV Function
  • 2013-2014, University of Virginia Research & Design Award,(G.A.) Development of a Novel Anisotropic Patch to Treat Acute RV Failure
  • 2010 – 2014 Astra Zeneca Collaboration, PI (G.A), Novel Systemic Targets to Inhibit Experimental Aneurysm Formation.
  • 2011 – 2013 American Heart Association/ Innovation Grant, PI(G.A.), Use of microbubbles to deliver nanoparticles to aortic aneurysms.
  • 2008 – 2011 Coulter Translational Research Program, University of Virginia. PI (G.A.), Therapeutic Modification of Myocardial Infarct Anisotropy.
  • 2008 – 2010 Coulter Translational Research Program, University of Virginia. Co-PI (G.A.), A novel device to determine the cause of coagulopathy after cardiac surgery.
  • 2008 – 2010 Thoracic Surgery Foundation for Research & Education, PI (G.A.), The Effects of IL-1β on smooth muscle cell phenotype during experimental aortic aneurysm formation.
  • 2007 – 2008, Partner’s Fund, University of Virginia. PI (G.A.), Effects of IL-1B on smooth muscle cell phenotypic switching in experimental aortic aneurysm formation.
  • 2001 – 2003 Resident Research Scholarship, PI (G.A.), American College of Surgeons. The effects of gender and estrogen on experimental aneurysm formation.


Lab Equipment

  • Real-time PCR CFX96 System—BIO-RAD
  • Gel Doc XR+ Imaging System, Bio-Rad Laboratories, Inc.
  • iMark Microplate Reader, Bio-Rad Laboratories, Inc.
  • Nanodrop 2000 spectrophotometer, ND-2000-US-CAN
  • Incubator, Carbon Dioxide, Thermo Scientific; NAPCO 8000 Series
  • Incubator Shaker II; Boekel; w/3 shelves; 3 trays; sealed metal door w/window
  • Shaker, Rotating; Thermo Scientific; Speed 0 to 25rpm; 3-dimensional, 6deg through 360deg angle rotation; Continuous-duty motor;
  • Trans-Blot SD Semi-dry Transfer Cell, Bio-Rad Laboratories, Inc.
  • Ultra-Low Temperature Freezers, Thermo Scientific Revco Plus Series
  • 4 C° Biofuge Fresco, Kendro
  • Centrifuge, 5810R, 4X250 RTR, 15&50ML ADAP;
  • Ultrasonic Cleaners, Branson XCell SureLockᵀᴹ Mini-Cell, Invitrogen
  • Eclipse histology microscope (Nikon)
  • Surgical microscopes (4) (Nikon SMX-800) with NIS-Elements D.3.10 software, etc.
  • Microsurgery instruments
  • Dry sterilizer, Germinator-500, Cellpoint Scientific, Inc.
  • Vaporizers and other anesthetic instruments.
  • Mini-Vent Mouse ventilator, D79232,Hugo sachs elektronic, Germany
  • Infusion pumps, SB -8000, Braintree Scientific, Inc.
  • Ultrasound Pocket Doppler with 4MHz Probe for Vascular Monitoring


Research Techniques

1. Small animal (mouse & rat) microsurgery:

  • Abdominal aortic aneurysm (elastase perfusion model, elastase topical application model, calcium chloride model, angiotensin II model, BAPN rupture model).
  • Thoracic aortic aneurysm (topical application model only).
  • Aneurysm induction on bone marrow transplant mouse.
  • Aortic transplant.
  • Heterotopic heart transplant (abdominal model, cervical model, re-transplant, second-graft transplant, target gene transfection).
  • Other “non-micro” survival surgeries (orchiectomy, ovariectomy, drug pellet or device implant etc.)




Microsurgery Unit

2. Large animal surgery:

  • Aortic aneurysm induction, organ and tissue transplants, other survival surgeries.


Large Animal Surgery 1

Large Animal Surgery 2

Large Animal Surgery 3


Large Animal Surgery 4

Large Animal Surgeries


3. Biology:

  • Protein, RNA and DNA abstraction
  • Western blot
  • RT-PCR
  • Gelatin zymography & reverse zymography
  • Cytokine and angiogenesis array
  • Elispot
  • Flow cytometry
  • Primary isolation and culture of vascular smooth muscle cell
  • Stem cell culture
  • Bone marrow transplantation
  • Adoptive T cell or B cell transfer of into mice


Bio Unit 1


Bio Unit 2

Biology Unit


4. Histology:

  • Tissue sample processing and slice preparations
  • Regular histology stainings (HE, Verhoeff van Gieson, Picrosirius red, Trichrome, etc.)
  • Immunohistochemical stainings (neutrophil, macrophage, CD3+T cell, a-smooth muscle cell actin)
  • Fluorescent & confocal imaging


Histo Unit 1


Histo Unit 2

Histology Unit


Other Skills:

  • Mouse colony management & genotyping
  • Sample collecting (Tail vein, retro-orbital, lavage)
  • Drug dosing (I.V., I.P., I.H., gavage)

Animal Breeding 1


Animal Breeding 2

Animal Breeding Facility




  1. Inhibition of interleukin-1β decreases aneurysm formation and progression in a novel model of thoracic aortic aneurysms. Johnston WF, Salmon M, Pope NH, Meher A, Su G, Stone ML, Lu G, Owens GK, Upchurch GR Jr, Ailawadi G Circulation. 2014 Sep 9;130(11 Suppl 1):S51-9. doi: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.113.006800.
  2. Predicting in-hospital mortality in acute type B aortic dissection: evidence from international registry of acute aortic dissection. Tolenaar JL, Froehlich W, Jonker FH, Upchurch GR Jr, Rampoldi V, Tsai TT, Bossone E, Evangelista A, O'Gara P, Pape L, Montgomery D, Isselbacher EM, Nienaber CA, Eagle KA, Trimarchi S. Circulation. 9;130(11 Suppl 1):S45-50, 2014.  doi:10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.113.007117. PMID:25200055
  3. The influence of contralateral occlusion on results of carotid interventions from the Society for Vascular Surgery Vascular Registry. Ricotta JJ 2nd, Upchurch GR Jr, Landis GS, Kenwood CT, Siami FS, Tsilimparis N, Ricotta JJ, White RA J Vasc Surg. 60(4):958-965, 2014. doi: 10.1016/j.jvs.2014.04.036. PMID:25260471
  4. 5-Lipoxygenase Pathway in Experimental Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms. Bhamidipati CM, Whatling CA, Mehta GS, Meher AK, Hajzus VA, Su G, Salmon M, Upchurch GR Jr, Owens GK, Ailawadi G. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2014 Oct 16. pii: ATVBAHA.114.304016. [Epub ahead of print] PMID:25324573 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
  5. Cost analysis of endovascular versus open repair in the treatment of thoracic aortic aneurysms. Gillen JR, Schaheen BW, Yount KW, Cherry KJ, Kern JA, Kron IL, Upchurch GR Jr, Lau CL. J Vasc Surg. 2014 Oct 27. pii: S0741-5214(14)01773-X. doi: 10.1016/j.jvs.2014.09.009. [Epub ahead of print] PMID:25449008
  6. SS The effect of hospital factors on mortality rates after abdominal aortic aneurysm repair. Dua A, Furlough CL, Ray H, Sharma S, Upchurch GR, Desai SS J Vasc Surg. 2014 Dec;60(6):1446-51. doi: 10.1016/j.jvs.2014.08.111. Epub 2014 Oct 14. PMID:25441675 [PubMed - in process]
  7. Antiplatelet and statin treatment is not associated with reduced myocardial infarction after high-risk vascular procedures. DeMartino RR, Hoel AW, Beck AW, Hallett JW, Arya S, Upchurch GR, Cronenwett JL, Goodney PP. . J Vasc Surg. 2014 Dec;60(6):1721. doi: 10.1016/j.jvs.2014.09.053. Epub 2014 Nov 21. No abstract available.  PMID: 25479667 [PubMed - in process]
  8. Acute type B aortic dissection complicated by visceral ischemia. Jonker FH, Patel HJ, Upchurch GR, Williams DM, Montgomery DG, Gleason TG, Braverman AC, Sechtem U, Fattori R, Di Eusanio M, Evangelista A, Nienaber CA, Isselbacher EM, Eagle KA, Trimarchi S. J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2014 Nov 12. pii: S0022-5223(14)01788-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jtcvs.2014.11.012. [Epub ahead of print].
  9. Cigarette smoke-induced MMP2 and MMP9 secretion from aortic vascular smooth cells is mediated via the Jak/Stat pathway. Ghosh A, Pechota A, Coleman D, Upchurch GR Jr, Eliason JL Hum Pathol. 2014 Nov 22. pii: S0046-8177(14)00471-7. doi: 10.1016/j.humpath.2014.11.003. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 25537973
  10. B2 cells suppress experimental aortic aneurysmsMeher AK, Johnston WF, Lu G, Pope N, Bhamidipati CM, Harmon DB, Su G, Zhao Y, McNamara CA, Upchurch GR, Ailawadi G.  Am J  Pathol  (Accepted) (this is pub med link, please link it like the others for B2 cells suppress experimental aortic aneurysms
  11. Aromatase is required for female abdominal aortic aneurysm protectionJohnston WF, Salmon M, Su G, Lu G, Ailawadi G, Upchurch GR Jr. J Vasc Surg. 2014 Feb 27. pii: S0741-5214(14)00132-3.doi:10.1016/j.jvs.2014.01.032. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 24582702
  12. Increased 18F-FDG Uptake Is Predictive of Rupture in a Novel Rat Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Rupture Model. English SJ, Piert MR, Diaz JA, Gordon D, Ghosh A, Dʼalecy LG, Whitesall SE, Sharma AK, Deroo EP, Watt T, Su G, Henke PK, Eliason JL, Ailawadi G, Upchurch GR Jr. Ann Surg. 2014 Mar 19.[Epub ahead of print] PMID: 24651130
  13. Dietary phytoestrogens inhibit experimental aneurysm formation in male mice. Lu G, Su G, Zhao Y, Johnston WF, Sherman NE, Rissman EF, Lau C, Ailawadi G, Upchurch GR Jr. J Surg Res. 2013 Dec 3. pii: S0022-4804(13)02140-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jss.2013.11.1108.
  14. Phosphorylation of AKT and abdominal aortic aneurysm formation. Ghosh A, Lu G, Su G, McEvoy B, Sadiq O, Dimusto PD, Laser A, Futchko JS, Henke PK, Eliason JL, Upchurch GR Jr. Am J Pathol. 2014 Jan;184 (1):148-58. doi: 10.1016/j.ajpath.2013.09.016.PMID: 24332015 [PubMed - in process]
  15. Increased estrogen receptor alpha in experimental aortic aneurysms in females compared with males. Laser A, Ghosh A, Roelofs K, Sadiq O, McEvoy B, Dimusto P, Eliason J, Upchurch GR Jr. J Surg Res. 2013 Aug 18. doi:pii: S0022-4804(13)00723-3. 10.1016/j.jss.2013.07.050. [Epub ahead of print]PMID:23993200  [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
  16. KLF4 regulates abdominal aortic aneurysm morphology and deletion attenuates aneurysm formation.Salmon M, Johnston WF, Woo A, Pope NH, Su G, Upchurch GR Jr, Owens GK, Ailawadi G. Circulation. 2013 Sep 10;128(11 Suppl 1):S163-74. doi: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.112.000238. PMID: 24030402[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
  17. Adenosine 2A receptor modulates inflammation and phenotype in experimental abdominal aortic aneurysms. Bhamidipati CM, Mehta GS, Moehle CW, Meher AK, Su G, Vigneshwar NG, Barbery C, Sharma AK, Kron IL, Laubach VE, Owens GK, Upchurch GR Jr, Ailawadi G. FASEB J. 2013 Jun;27(6):2122-31. doi: 10.1096/fj.12-214197. Epub 2013 Feb 14. PMID: 23413358 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
  18. Experimental abdominal aortic aneurysm formation is mediated by IL-17 and attenuated by  mesenchymal stem cell treatment. Sharma AK, Lu G, Jester A, Johnston WF, Zhao Y, Hajzus VA, Saadatzadeh MR, Su G, Bhamidipati    CM, Mehta GS, Kron IL, Laubach VE, Murphy MP, Ailawadi G, Upchurch GR Jr. Circulation. 2012 Sep 11;126(11 Suppl 1):S38-45. Erratum in: Circulation. 2012 Oct 23;126(17):e278. PMID:22965992  [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
  19. The role of extracellular signal-related kinase during abdominal aortic aneurysm  formation. Ghosh A, DiMusto PD, Ehrlichman LK, Sadiq O, McEvoy B, Futchko JS, Henke PK, Eliason JL, Upchurch GR Jr.  J Am Coll Surg. 2012 Nov;215(5):668-680.e1. doi: 10.1016/j.jamcollsurg.2012.06.414. Epub 2012 Aug 21. PMID:22917644  [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
  20. Increased JNK in males compared with females in a rodent model of abdominal aortic aneurysm. DiMusto PD, Lu G, Ghosh A, Roelofs KJ, Sadiq O, McEvoy B, Su G, Laser A, Bhamidipati CM, Ailawadi  G, Henke PK, Eliason JL, Upchurch GR Jr. J Surg Res. 2012 Aug;176(2):687-95. doi: 10.1016/j.jss.2011.11.1024. Epub 2011 Dec 14. PMID:22316675  [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
  21. Increased PAI-1 in females compared with males is protective for abdominal aortic aneurysm formation in a rodent model. DiMusto PD, Lu G, Ghosh A, Roelofs KJ, Su G, Zhao Y, Lau CL, Sadiq O, McEvoy B, Laser A, Diaz JA, Wakefield TW, Henke PK, Eliason JL, Upchurch GR Jr. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 2012 Apr 1;302(7):H1378-86. doi: 10.1152/ajpheart.00620.2011. Epub 2012 Feb 3. PMID:22307671  [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
  22. Bone marrow-derived MCP1 required for experimental aortic aneurysm formation and smooth muscle phenotypic modulation. Moehle CW, Bhamidipati CM, Alexander MR, Mehta GS, Irvine JN, Salmon M, Upchurch GR Jr, Kron IL, Owens GK, Ailawadi G. J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2011 Dec;142(6):1567-74. doi: 10.1016/j.jtcvs.2011.07.053. Epub 2011 Oct 11. PMID:21996300
  23. Decreased collagen and increased matrix metalloproteinase-13 in experimental abdominal aortic aneurysms in males compared with females. Cho BS, Roelofs KJ, Ford JW, Henke PK, Upchurch GR Jr. Surgery. 2010 Feb;147(2):258-67. doi: 10.1016/j.surg.2009.06.047. Epub 2009 Sep 20. PMID:19767051   [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
  24. Gender-dependent differential phosphorylation in the ERK signaling pathway is associated with increased MMP2 activity in rat aortic smooth muscle cells. Ehrlichman LK, Ford JW, Roelofs KJ, Tedeschi-Filho W, Futchko JS, Ramacciotti E, Eliason JL, Henke PK, Upchurch GR Jr. J Surg Res. 2010 May 1;160(1):18-24. doi: 10.1016/j.jss.2009.03.095. Epub 2009 May 8. PMID:19592018  [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
  25. Differential regulation of aortic growth in male and female rodents is associated with AAA development. Cho BS, Woodrum DT, Roelofs KJ, Stanley JC, Henke PK, Upchurch GR Jr. J Surg Res. 2009 Aug;155(2):330-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jss.2008.07.027. Epub 2008 Aug 27.     PMID:19111327  [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
  26. Differential effect of 17-beta-estradiol on smooth muscle cell and aortic explant MMP2. Woodrum DT, Ford JW, Cho BS, Hannawa KK, Stanley JC, Henke PK, Upchurch GR Jr. J Surg Res. 2009 Jul;155(1):48-53. doi: 10.1016/j.jss.2008.07.003. Epub 2008 Aug 15. PMID:19041098  [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
  27. Differential regulation of the superoxide dismutase family in experimental aortic aneurysms and rat aortic explants. Sinha I, Pearce CG, Cho BS, Hannawa KK, Roelofs KJ, Stanley JC, Henke PK, Upchurch GR Jr. J Surg Res. 2007 Apr;138(2):156-62. Epub 2006 Dec 29. PMID:17196988 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
  28. Female gender attenuates cytokine and chemokine expression and leukocyte recruitment in experimental rodent abdominal aortic aneurysms. Sinha I, Cho BS, Roelofs KJ, Stanley JC, Henke PK, Upchurch GR Jr. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2006 Nov;1085:367-79. PMID: 17182958 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
  29. Attenuation of experimental aortic aneurysm formation in P-selectin knockout mice. Hannawa KK, Cho BS, Sinha I, Roelofs KJ, Myers DD, Wakefield TJ, Stanley JC, Henke PK, Upchurch GR Jr. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2006 Nov;1085:353-9. PMID: 17182955 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
  30. Diffusion of Alexa Fluor 488-conjugated dendrimers in rat aortic tissue. Cho BS, Roelofs KJ, Majoros IJ, Baker JR Jr, Stanley JC, Henke PK, Upchurch GR Jr. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2006 Nov;1085:294-305. PMID: 17182946 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
  31. Early increased MT1-MMP expression and late MMP-2 and MMP-9 activity during Angiotensin II induced aneurysm formation. Eagleton MJ, Ballard N, Lynch E, Srivastava SD, Upchurch GR Jr, Stanley JC. J Surg Res. 2006 Oct;135(2):345-51. Epub 2006 May 22. PMID: 16716358 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
  32. A biologic basis for asymmetric growth in descending thoracic aortic aneurysms: a role for matrix metalloproteinase 9 and 2. Sinha I, Bethi S, Cronin P, Williams DM, Roelofs K, Ailawadi G, Henke PK, Eagleton MJ, Deeb GM, Patel HJ, Berguer R, Stanley JC, Upchurch GR Jr. J Vasc Surg. 2006 Feb;43(2):342-8. PMID: 16476613 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
  33. The nitric oxide donor DETA-NONOate decreases matrix metalloproteinase-9 expression and activity in rat aortic smooth muscle and abdominal aortic explants. Sinha I, Hannawa KK, Ailawadi G, Woodrum DT, Ford JW, Henke PK, Stanley JC, Eagleton MJ, Upchurch GR Jr. Ann Vasc Surg. 2006 Jan;20(1):92-8. PMID: 16378139 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
  34. Alterations in angiotensin converting enzyme during rodent aortic aneurysm formation. Eagleton MJ, Cho B, Lynch E, Roelofs K, Woodrum D, Stanley JC, Upchurch GR Jr. J Surg Res. 2006 May;132(1):69-73. Epub 2005 Dec 2. PMID: 16325859 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
  35. Mitochondrial-dependent apoptosis in experimental rodent abdominal aortic aneurysms. Sinha I, Sinha-Hikim AP, Hannawa KK, Henke PK, Eagleton MJ, Stanley JC, Upchurch GR Jr. Surgery. 2005 Oct;138(4):806-11. PMID: 16269312 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
  36. Gender differences in rat aortic smooth muscle cell matrix metalloproteinase-9. Woodrum DT, Ford JW, Ailawadi G, Pearce CG, Sinha I, Eagleton MJ, Henke PK, Stanley JC, Upchurch GR Jr.J Am Coll Surg. 2005 Sep; 201(3):398-404. PMID: 16125073 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
  37. Neutrophil depletion inhibits experimental abdominal aortic aneurysm formation. Eliason JL, Hannawa KK, Ailawadi G, Sinha I, Ford JW, Deogracias MP, Roelofs KJ, Woodrum DT, Ennis TL, Henke PK, Stanley JC, Thompson RW, Upchurch GR Jr. Circulation. 2005 Jul 12;112(2):232-40. PMID: 16009808 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
  38. L-selectin-mediated neutrophil recruitment in experimental rodent aneurysm formation. Hannawa KK, Eliason JL, Woodrum DT, Pearce CG, Roelofs KJ, Grigoryants V, Eagleton MJ, Henke PK, Wakefield TW, Myers DD, Stanley JC, Upchurch GR Jr. Circulation. 2005 Jul 12;112(2):241-7. Epub 2005 Jul 5. PMID: 15998669 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
  39. Tamoxifen up-regulates catalase production, inhibits vessel wall neutrophil infiltration, and attenuates development of experimental abdominal aortic aneurysms. Grigoryants V, Hannawa KK, Pearce CG, Sinha I, Roelofs KJ, Ailawadi G, Deatrick KB, Woodrum DT, Cho BS, Henke PK, Stanley JC, Eagleton MJ, Upchurch GR. J Vasc Surg. 2005 Jan;41(1):108-14. PMID: 15696052 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
  40. Gender differences in experimental aortic aneurysm formation. Ailawadi G, Eliason JL, Roelofs KJ, Sinha I, Hannawa KK, Kaldjian EP, Lu G, Henke PK, Stanley JC, Weiss SJ, Thompson RW, Upchurch GR Jr. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2004 Nov;24(11):2116-22. Epub 2004 Aug 26. PMID: 15331435 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
  41. Increased MMP-9 expression and activity by aortic smooth muscle cells after nitric oxide synthase inhibition is associated with increased nuclear factor-kappaB and activator protein-1 activity. Knipp BS, Ailawadi G, Ford JW, Peterson DA, Eagleton MJ, Roelofs KJ, Hannawa KK, Deogracias MP, Ji B, Logsdon C, Graziano KD, Simeone DM, Thompson RW, Henke PK, Stanley JC, Upchurch GR Jr. J Surg Res. 2004 Jan;116(1):70-80. PMID: 14732351 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
  42. Ultrasound measurement of aortic diameters in rodent models of aneurysm disease. Knipp BS, Ailawadi G, Sullivan VV, Roelofs KJ, Henke PK, Stanley JC, Upchurch GR Jr. J Surg Res. 2003 Jun 1;112(1):97-101. PMID: 12873440 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]  PMID: 12844103 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
  43. A nonintrinsic regional basis for increased infrarenal aortic MMP-9 expression and activity. Ailawadi G, Knipp BS, Lu G, Roelofs KJ, Ford JW, Hannawa KK, Bishop K, Thanaporn P, Henke PK, Stanley JC, Upchurch GR Jr. J Vasc Surg. 2003 May;37(5):1059-66. PMID: 12756355 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
  44. Nitric oxide inhibition increases aortic wall matrix metalloproteinase-9 expression. Eagleton MJ, Peterson DA, Sullivan VV, Roelofs KJ, Ford JA, Stanley JC, Upchurch GR Jr. J Surg Res. 2002 May 1;104(1):15-21. PMID: 11971672 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
  45. Nitric oxide synthase inhibition in vitro is associated with increased nuclear Factor-кB activity in rat aortic smooth muscle. Peterson DA, Wakefield TW, Ford JW, Deogracias MP, Knipp BS, Eagleton MJ, Simeone DM, Stanly JC, Upchurch GR, Jr. Surgical Forum 2001 Vol LII; 370-2
  46. Heparin reacts with and inactivates nitric oxide. Upchurch GR, Jr., Welch GN, Zhang YY, George D, Ye S, Costello K, Loscalzo J. J Cardiovasc Pharm Therapeut. 2001; 6(2):163-73
  47. Nitric oxide inhibition increases MMP-9 expression by rat smooth muscle cells in vitro. Upchurch GR, Jr.,Ford JW, Weiss SJ, Knipp BS, Peterson DA, Thompson RW, Eagleton MJ, Broady AJ, Proctor MC, Stanley JC. J Vasc Surg 2001; 34:76-83



Research Training




1. Resident: Resident research training is an important part of our lab. Our research team has many years of experience working with young trainee in the program.  Dr. Upchurch has nurtured many young trainees becoming successful academic surgeons (see “Alumni of Our Lab” section).

2. Post-doctoral fellow and graduate student: Our lab supports the Ph.D. training program in cardiovascular biology in CVRC ( Dr. Upchurch and Dr. Ailawadi are the member faculty and mentors of Robert M. Berne Cardiovascular Research Center ( They could be your thesis advisors for your graduate study in the field of vascular disease. While the lab has all the basic equipment and techniques for aneurysm research, the post-doc and graduate student in the lab can also get access to CVRC’s core facilities and shared facilities.

3. Others: Our lab has routinely participated in the  University of Virginia Medical Student Summer Research Program (MSSRP).There are limited opportunities for student to receive short-term research training in the field of vascular surgery. Visiting scholars are always welcome to our lab to exchange research ideas.


Joining Us?

For training and working opportunities in our lab, please contact:

Anthony J, Herring

Phone: 434-924-9297



For research collaboration and technical assistance, please contact our faculty and staff at the following address:

3153 MR4 Building, 409 Lane Road

University of Virginia Health System

PO Box 801359

Charlottesville, VA 22908

Phone: 434-924-5329    Fax: 434-924-1218