Vascular Research Lab
Cardiovascular Surgery Research Laboratory,
University of Virginia
The Cardiovascular 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.
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.
Tony Herring, Manager & Grant Administrator
Post-doctoral Research Fellows
John P. Davis, M.D.
General Surgery Resident
Basil Schaheen, M.D.
General Surgery Resident
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
Our former lab members in Jobst's Lab, University of Michigan
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|
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.
- 2014-2019 NIH (RO1), PI: G.U. Gender/estrogen differences in AAA formation
- 2014-2019 NIH (RO1), PI (G.U.), The role of neutrophil extracellular traps in AAA pathogenesis
- 1014-2018 AHA grant, PI (A.M.), mentor (G.A.), Role of B2 cell-dependent differentiation of regulatory T cell in aortic aneurysm.
- 2010-2014 NIH (NHLBI), PI (G.A.) The Effects of KLF4 in Experimental Aortic Aneurysm Formation
- 2010 – 2015 Matching Funds for K08, PI (G.A.) Thoracic Surgery Foundation for Research and Education
- 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
- 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.)
- 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.
- 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 sectrophotometer, 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
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.
- Heterotopical 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.)
2. Large anumal surgery:
- Aortic aneurysm induction, organ and tissue transplants, other survival surgeries.
- Protein, RNA and DNA abstraction
- Western blot
- Gelatin zymography & reverse zymography
- Cytokine and angiogenesis array
- 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
- Tissue sample processing and slice preparations
- Regular histology staings (HE, Verhoeff van Gieson, Picrosirius red, Trichrome, etc.)
- Immunohistochemical stainings (neutraphil, macrophage, CD3+T cell, a-smooth muscle cell actin)
- Flourescent & confocal imaging
5. Other Skills:
- Mouse colony management & genotyping
- Sample collecting (Tail vein, retro-orbital, lavage)
- Drug dosing (I.V., I.P., I.H., gavage)
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 (http://training.cvrc.virginia.edu). Dr. Upchurch and Dr. Ailawadi are the member faculty and mentors of Robert M. Berne Cardiovascular Research Center (http://training.cvrc.virginia.edu/our-mentors.php). They could be your thesis advisors for your graduate study in the field of vascular disease. While the lab has all the basic equipments 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.
For training and working opportunities in our lab, please contact:
Anthony J. Herring
Phone: 434-924-9297 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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