Areas of Interest
Blood vessels respond to injury and various hemodynamic and metabolic stimuli by changing physiologic properties or mechanical properties such as diameter and wall thickness. This process of structural adaptation, known as vascular remodeling, may improve vascular function or may cause adverse effects, such as occlusion of blood flow, promotion of thrombotic events, or aneurysm and rupture of the blood vessel. I am a physician scientist, and my laboratory is focused on the genetics of vascular remodeling as it pertains to the development of common diseases, such as atherosclerosis and hypertension, as well as rare diseases such as fibromuscular dysplasia, which causes stroke and severe hypertension in children and adults. We are also studying interactions between blood traits and these same diseases. We use a variety of gene discovery approaches, and my laboratory is investigating novel genes identified by the discovery studies in functional, mechanistic studies using molecular genetic and vascular biology techniques, including ex vivo and in vivo models of disease. We are seeking students with an interest in human genetics, molecular genetics or vascular biology as it pertains to the biologic basis of complex cardiovascular diseases. Students can expect to gain exposure to the translational and clinical impact of our research as well.