Inflammation Research
Inflammation is the complex biological process in which cells of the immune system (i.e. 'white blood cells' or 'leukocytes') are recruited into tissues in response to harmful stimuli (e.g., pathogens, damaged cells, or irritants). This is a protective attempt by the organism to remove the injurious stimuli and initiate tissue healing. As the interface between blood circulation and underlying tissue the vascular endothelium plays a central role in the initiation and progression of inflammatory responses. Under basal conditions the endothelium serves as a barrier to leukocyte migration. However, in the presence of appropriate stimuli endothelial cells initiate diverse signaling and transcriptional events that alter their morphology and barrier function and induce recruitment of leukocytes. Misregulation of these processes leads to variety of inflammatory diseases that are associated with inappropriate leukocyte recruitment/activation, leakage of plasma into the interstitium (i.e. edema) and excessive damage of host tissues.

CVBR investigators are interested in a range of inflammatory disease including sepsis, atherosclerosis, allograft rejection and diabetes. Investigators are studying the vascular contribution to inflammation at a variety of levels including regulation of both pro-inflammatory and cyto-protective genes in endothelium and vascular smooth muscle cells and the signaling and cell biological basis for vascular permeability and leukocyte-endothelial interactions. In addition CVBR members are engaged in clinical studies targeted at developing novel biomarkers for endothelial dysfunction and structural biology-based drug discovery aimed at attenuating such dysfunction.

Research area:
Role of Endothelium in Innate Immunity
William Aird, M.D.


Research area:
Leukocyte-Endothelial Interactions
Christopher Carman, Ph.D.

A. Dvorak

Research area:
Basophil, Mast Cell, Eosinophil & Endothelial Cell Biology
Ann Dvorak, M.D.


Research area:
Diabetes & Transplant Associated Arteriosclerosis
Christiane Ferran, M.D./Ph.D.


Research area:
Endothelial barrier / Angiogenesis
Roberta Martinelli, Ph.D.


Research area:
Bioactive Lipids in Cancer
Dipak Panigrahy, M.D.


Research area:
Inflammation, vascular leakage, mitochondria, sepsis, and kidney injury
Samir M. Parikh, M.D.


Research area:
Transcriptional Regulatory Networks
Erzsebet R. Regan, Ph.D.


Research area:
Sphingolipid signaling in endothelial injury
Teresa Sanchez, Ph.D.


Research area:
Endothelial cell dysfunction in sepsis
Nathan Shapiro, M.D.


Research area:
Vascular Niche/Cardiomyocyte Function & Metabolism
Lei Yuan, M.D., Ph.D.