Category: Site Parnassus


Arthur Weiss, M.D., Ph.D.

Weiss

Research Interests:
Cell Surface Molecules and Molecular Events Involved in Lymphocyte Activation

Summary:
Dr. Weiss studies on how the functions of cells of the immune system are regulated. The immune system protects individuals from infections and malignancies. However, it is also involved in undesirable destructive responses, such as in autoimmune and allergic diseases as well as atherosclerosis and transplant rejection.

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Rong Wang, Ph.D.

Rong Wang photo copy

Research Interests:
Molecular Regulation of Mammalian Arterial Venous Specification

Summary:

Molecular Regulation of Arterial-Venous Programming in Development and Disease   

 

Research in my lab is focused on angiogenesis, or new blood vessel formation, which is a critical process in development and disease. My lab aims to advance the fundamental understanding of the cellular, molecular, and hemodynamic mechanisms underlying arterial-venous programming in normal and pathological angiogenesis. We use cutting-edge mouse genetics to delete or express genes in a cell lineage-specific and temporally controllable fashion in endothelial cells. This advance is crucial for the study of candidate genes in vascular function, especially when combined with sophisticated 5D two-photon imaging (3D + blood flow over time). These innovative approaches provide us with exceptional access to gene function in both healthy and pathological conditions in living animals. This basic approach is complemented by preclinical studies with patient samples in addition to our mouse models of disease. In particular, we investigate the molecular regulators governing arterial-venous programming – particularly the Notch, ephrin-B2, and TGF-beta signaling pathways – in both normal and pathological conditions.

 

 

Ongoing projects:

 

Vascular Development.  Our lab aims to identify molecular regulators of arterial and venous cell fate determination and morphogenesis in embryonic development. We primarily focus on the origin and morphogenesis of the dorsal aorta and cardinal vein, the first major artery-vein pair to form in the body.

 

Arteriovenous Malformation (AVM).  AVMs are severe vascular anomalies that shunt blood directly from arteries to veins, displace intervening capillaries, and bypass tissues. My lab studies the pathogenesis and regression of AVMs. We have a long history of investigation using animal models into Notch-mediated AVM pathogenesis as well as into potential treatments for the disease.

Arterial occlusive diseases and arteriogenesis.  The body responds to arterial occlusions by inducing arteriogenesis, or radial enlargement of arteries, to restore circulation to blood-deprived tissue. We are investigating pro-arteriogenic molecular regulators to uncover potential therapeutic targets, which may be used to enhance the body’s natural defense against arterial occlusive disease.

Cancer. Solid tumors induce arteriogenesis to support their growth. We investigate the molecular stimulators of arteriogenesis in tumor progression and regression, particularly in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), which is characterized by large and highly arterialized tumor masses in the liver. We study genes regulating tumor arterial growth and modify these genes to target tumor arterial supply and to inhibit HCC growth.

Ultimately, through these distinct but interconnected fields of study, we hope to identify novel drug targets and inform rational design of new therapeutics to treat human disease.

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David F Teitel, M.D.

Teitel

Research Interests:
Pediatric cardiology, developmental cardiovascular physiology, cardiac mechanics, pediatric interventional cardiac catheterization, computer technology in cardiology, heart center administration, medical education, digital technology in learning, bioinformatics.

Summary:
Congenital heart disease is extremely common, occurring in about 1% of all births. My goals are to advance our knowledge of heart function in such infants and children, and to develop new methods to treat them, using medicines and catheter based techniques rather than surgery.

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Matthew L Springer, Ph.D.

 

Matt 2016

Research Interests:
Angiogenesis, VEGF, stem cells, progenitor cells, gene therapy, heart failure, myocardial infarction, coronary artery disease, cardiac regeneration, peripheral artery disease, vascular injury, nitric oxide, flavanols, skeletal muscle myoblasts, secondhand smoke

Summary:
Our research interests include cell therapy and gene therapy approaches to studying cardiovascular disease, with the goals of exploring potential treatments and understanding underlying mechanisms involved in angiogenesis, vascular function, and treatments for myocardial infarction. The laboratory is studying the effects of VEGF and pleiotrophin gene therapy on the heart and limb vasculature in mice. Further interests center in the therapeutic effects of ultrasound-guided bone marrow cell implantation into the heart after myocardial infarction, with a special emphasis on the therapeutic implications of the age and cardiac disease state of the cell donor. Similarly, the lab is studying the effects of age and disease on circulating angiogenic cells (sometimes called endothelial progenitor cells), with a focus on the roles of endothelial nitric oxide synthase and nitric oxide in the function of these cells. Lastly, they have developed a rat model of endothelium-dependent flow-mediated vasodilation, and are using it to examine mechanisms underlying vascular reactivity and how they are affected by cigarette smoke exposure.

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Anthony K Shum, M.D.

Shum

Research Interests:
Autoimmune lung disease, interstitial lung disease, ER stress, lung injury, lung fibrosis, lung autoantigens

Summary:
The Shum lab is interested in understanding the immune mechanisms that lead to lung inflammation and fibrosis in patients with autoimmune disorders. Through human and mouse studies, we seek to define the critical factors that lead to autoimmune lung disease in order to speed the development of diagnostic tests and treatments for patients.

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Melvin M Scheinman, M.D.

Scheinman2

Research Interests:
Mechanisms of cardiac arrhythmias. Cardiac electrophysiology. Catheter ablation of arrhythmogenic foci.

Summary:
My current research interests involve looking at mechanisms of supraventricular arrhythmias with respect to ablative therapy. In addition, we have initiated a cardiac genetic arrhythmic clinic  to help define newer genes in causation of serious ventricular arrhythmias.

We are also studying the mechanism of atypical atrial flutter in humans. We have described the occurrence of double-wave reentry (1), and have extended these observations to describe an entity known as lower-loop reentry (2) which is also isthmus dependent. We have described a new type of atypical atrial flutter involving the left membranous septum and this work was presented at the North American Society of Pacing and Electrophysiology meetings (3).

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Jason R. Rock, PhD

Rock

Research Interests:
Stem cells in lung development, maintenance, and disease

Summary:
We investigate how the many epithelial and stromal cell types of our lungs are generated during development, maintained for a lifetime and regenerated following injury. To do this, we use in vivo and in vitro models to identify and test the progenitor capacity of putative stem cell populations. We posit that aberrant stem cell behaviors explain many features of common lung diseases such as mucous cell hyperplasia and pulmonary fibrosis. For this reason, we study the molecular mechanisms and environmental influences (i.e., niche) that regulate the division and differentiation of stem cells along various lineages. Our ultimate goal is to identify genetic, molecular and cellular therapies for the treatment of lung disease.

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Peter E Oishi, M.D.

Oishi

Research Interests:
Pulmonary vascular disease, endothelial function, congenital heart disease, pulmonary venous stenosis.

Summary:
Pulmonary vascular endothelial function under conditions of abnormal pulmonary blood flow, secondary to congenital cardiac defects.

A significant number of infants and children born with heart defects are also at risk for developing problems with the blood vessels of the lung (pulmonary vascular disease). Our research is focused on exploring the mechanisms that link the abnormal blood flow patterns that accompany many of these common heart defects with the development of pulmonary vascular disease. In order to study these mechanisms our laboratory uses animal models of various cardiac defects that allow an integrated approach for studying the accompanying physiologic, biochemical, molecular, and cellular derangements. Our hope is that by elucidating the controlling mechanisms, new therapies and treatment strategies can be devised that will improve the outcome for these children.

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Donald M McDonald, M.D., Ph.D.

Mcdonald

Research Interests:
Angiogenesis; cancer; chronic inflammation; endothelial cells; vascular remodeling

Summary:
Our laboratory is studying the cellular mechanisms of angiogenesis, vascular remodeling, and plasma leakage in mouse models of chronic inflammation and cancer. We are also studying cellular changes in lymphatic vessels in disease models. The goal is use novel in vivo cell biological approaches to identify abnormalities of blood and lymphatic vasculature that can serve as the basis of novel treatments. In one area of research, we are examining the mechanism of the action of VEGF, angiopoietins, and other factors on blood vessel growth, remodeling, and leakiness. Other experiments include exploring the mechanism and reversibility of vascular remodeling and angiogenesis and examining the cellular actions of inhibitors of angiogenesis and lymphangiogenesis in tumors and inflammatory disease. We are also studying the cellular mechanisms of plasma leakage in disease. Here, the mechanism of plasma leakage from tumor vessels, due to a defective endothelial monolayer, contrasts with leakage in inflammation, where intercellular gaps form in seconds and reseal spontaneously. Multiple different disease models in wild-type, transgenic, and knockout mice are being used in combination with novel therapeutic agents to identify the cells and growth factors that drive angiogenesis and vascular remodeling and to understand the mechanism of reversibility of vascular changes in inflammation and cancer.

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Michael A Matthay, M.D.

Matthay

Research Interests:
Alveolar epithelial transport under normal and pathologic conditions. Resolution of pulmonary edema Mechanisms of Acute Lung Injury

Summary:
My research program is focused on identifying mechanisms responsible for fluid transport across the alveolar epithelium using cell, molecular, and in vivo models. In addition, our group is focused on understanding the mechanisms responsible for the development and resolution of pulmonary edema and acute lung injury in critically ill patients with acute respiratory failure. The studies include experimental and human-based studies designed to understand the pathogenesis of acute respiratory failure and to test potential new therapies. The work is supported primarily by grants from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.

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Michael J Mann, M.D.

Mann

Research Interests:
1. Molecular/cellular biology and molecular genetics of atherosclerosis and heart failure. 2. Development of hybrid surgical and molecular/cellular therapies for heart disease. 3. Stem and progenitor cell transplantation for cardiovascular regeneration. 4. Cardiovascular tissue engineering. 5. Reduction to clinical practice of current methods in genetic, molecular and cellular disease intervention. 6. Novel targeted molecular therapies for lung cancer. 7. Molecular profiling of cancers for personalized medicine. 8. Development of novel methods of in vivo/ex vivo gene therapy and gene transfer. 9. Novel approaches to therapeutic neovascularization for coronary and peripheral ischemic disease. 10. Cardiovascular cell cycle biology. 11. Myocardial gene therapy.

Summary:
Dr. Mann’s research focuses on the molecular and cellular biology of heart disease with an emphasis on practical ways to develop new treatments for heart failure. These involve potential gene and molecular therapies, combinations of molecular and cell-based treatments with surgical reconstruction, and evaluation of novel materials for the development of bioartificial replacements of lost or damaged heart tissue.

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