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Cardiovascular Research Institute

About

The Cardiovascular Research Institute (CVRI) was established in 1998 when The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents approved changing the name from the Microcirculation Research Institute, which was established in 1981. The name change reflected the expanding scope and role of the scientists' work. The purpose of the cardiovascular science faculty is to foster communication and collaboration among faculty involved in cardiovascular research, education and training.

The major objective of this institute is to discover and disseminate new knowledge about the heart, blood vessels and lymphatics in normal and disease states.

Discovery with an emphasis on human health requires basic and clinical research, therefore our research team consists of basic scientists and physician/scientists from a wide variety of fields and disciplines. To facilitate research today and for future generations, the CVRI provides an environment for the training of undergraduates, medical students, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and residents.

Dissemination of new knowledge is made possible by publication in major medical journals and in monographs and books focusing on the cardiovascular system. The contributions of our faculty to the medical literature can be found on their individual web pages.

CVRI scientists have made significant discoveries in the basic physiology of blood vessels, lymphatics and the heart. Other areas of investigation include: angiogenesis; exercise biology; heart failure; atherosclerosis; ischemic heart disease; hypertension; and diabetes. CVRI research in these areas is funded by the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, the American Heart Association and other agencies.

The CVRI consists of approximately 70 faculty investigators from the Texas A&M Health Science Center and Texas A&M University.

Within the health science center, CVRI investigators are housed in the College of Medicine on both the Temple and College Station campuses, College of Dentistry in Dallas, and the Institute of Biosciences and Technology in Houston.

Additional CVRI researchers reside in the Colleges of Agriculture, Education, Engineering, Science and Veterinary Medicine on the main campus of Texas A&M in College Station.

The CVRI is headquartered in the Medical Research Building on the Temple campus of the College of Medicine.

Director

David C. Zawieja, PhD 
Department of Medical Physiology, Texas A&M Health Science Center

Executive Committee

David E. Dostal, PhD 
Department of Medical Physiology, Texas A&M Health Science Center

Cynthia J. Meininger, PhD 
Department of Medical Physiology,Texas A&M Health Science Center

M. Karen Newell-Rogers, PhD 
Department of Surgery,Texas A&M Health Science Center

David C. Zawieja, PhD 
Department of Medical Physiology,Texas A&M Health Science Center

Scientific Program Committee

David E. Dostal, PhD, Chair 
Department of Medical Physiology, Texas A&M Health Science Center

Jiang Chang, PhD 
Institute of Biosciences and Technology, Texas A&M Health Science Center

Cristine L. Heaps, PhD 
Department of Veterinary Physiology and Pharmacology, Texas A&M University

Brett M. Mitchell, PhD 
Department of Medical Physiology, Texas A&M Health Science Center

Mariappan Muthuchamy, PhD 
Department of Medical Physiology, Texas A&M Health Science Center

Louis-Bruno Ruest, PhD 
Department of Biomedical Sciences, BCD

John Stallone, PhD 
Department of Veterinary Physiology and Pharmacology, Texas A&M University

Christopher R. Woodman, PhD 
Department of Health and Kinesiology, Texas A&M University

CVRI Seminar Series Subcommittee

David E. Dostal, PhD, Chair 
Department of Medical Physiology, Texas A&M Health Science Center

Shaodong Guo, PhD 
Department of Medical Physiology, Texas A&M Health Science Center

Cristine L. Heaps, PhD 
Department of Veterinary Physiology & Pharmacology, Texas A&M University

Roland Kaunas, PhD 
Department of Biomedical Engineering, Texas A&M University

Brett M. Mitchell, PhD 
Department of Medical Physiology, Texas A&M Health Science Center

Mariappan Muthuchamy, PhD 
Department of Medical Physiology, Texas A&M Health Science Center

Christopher R. Woodman, PhD 
Department of Health & Kinesiology, Texas A&M University

Investigators

Kayla J. Bayless, PhD 
Associate Professor 
Department of Molecular and Cellular Medicine 
Lab: 979.845.7287 
Phone: 979.845.7205 
Email: kbayless@medicine.tamhsc.edu 
Molecular signals that regulate endothelial cell invasion in three-dimensional matrices; ocular angiogenesis

Sarah E. Bondos, PhD 
Associate Professor 
Department of Molecular and Cellular Medicine 
Phone: 979.845.5399 
Email: SEBondos@medicine.tamhsc.edu 
Protein structure, function, and assembly; using protein-based materials to guide and pattern angiogenesis in 3D tissue engineering scaffolds

Clifford J. Buckley, MD 
Professor 
Department of Surgery 
Phone:254.724.5975 
Email: cbuckley@sw.org 
Peripheral vascular disease; intravascular ultrasonography; quality/cost control issues in practice of vascular surgery.

Jiang Chang, MD, PhD 
Associate Professor 
IBT Center for Molecular Development and Disease 
Cardiac biology; molecular basis of heart failure

Gerard L Cote, PhD 
Professor 
Department of Biomedical Engineering 
Phone: 979.845.4196 
Email: cote@tamu.edu 
Optical sensing and spectroscopy, optical diagnostics, biomedical imaging, development of non-invasive sensors

John C. Criscione, MD, PhD 
Associate Professor 
Department of Biomedical Engineering 
Phone: 979.845.5428 
Email: jccriscione@tamu.edu 
Cardiac mechanics; constitutive mechanics; computational mechanics; cellular mechanics.

Stephen F. Crouse, PhD 
Professor 
Kinesiology Division 
Department of Health and Kinesiology 
Phone: 979.845.3997 
Email: s-crouse@tamu.edu 
Cardiovascular risk factors; blood lipid profiles in sedentary and exercising subjects.

Gregory J. Dehmer, MD 
Professor 
Department of Internal Medicine 
Phone: 254.724.6713 
Email: gdehmer@sw.org 
Platelets, thrombosis and myocardial infarction; national standards for interventional cardiology practice and training.

David E. Dostal, PhD 
Professor 
Department of Medical Physiology 
Phone: 254.743.2464 
Email: ddostal@medicine.tamhsc.edu 
Regulation and functional role of the cardiac renin-angiotensin system.

Anatoliy A. Gashev, MD, PhD, DMedSci 
Associate Professor 
Department of Medical Physiology 
Phone: 254.742.7147 
Email: gashev@tamu.edu 
Lymphatic physiology, mechanisms of lymphatic pumping, behavior of human lymphatics.

Harris J. Granger, PhD 
Distinguished Professor 
Department of Medical Physiology 
Phone: 979.845.7816 
Email: granger@tamu.edu 
Angiogenesis; microvascular permeability; growth factor signaling; genomics; computer simulation of biological processes.

Rakeshwar Guleria, PhD 
Research Assistant Professor 
Department of Medical Physiology 
Phone: 254.743.4915 
Email: rsguleria@medicine.tamhsc.edu 
Role of renin angiotensin system in diabetes induced cardiac remodeling with special reference to retinoid receptor mediated signaling

Shaodong Guo, PhD 
Associate Professor 
Department of Medical Physiology 
Phone: 254.743.1222 
Email: sguo@medicine.tamhsc.edu 
Foxo1, Foxo3, insulin signaling, mitochondrial function, pancreatic beta cell function

Sudhiranjan Gupta, PhD 
Assistant Professor 
Department of Medical Physiology 
Phone: 254.743.2465 
Email: sgupta@medicine.tamhsc.edu 
Role of NF- KB in extracellular matrix protein remodeling in cardiac hypertrophy and heart failure; role of thymosin ß4 and integrin link kinase (ILK) in cardiac remodeling and role of ILK and NF- KB in pulmonary arterial hypertension

Guichun Han, MD, PhD 
Assistant Professor 
Department of Veterinary Physiology & Pharmacology 
Phone: 979.845.6099 
Email:GHan@cvm.tamu.eduEffects of sex hormones in coronary circulation, especially the role of estrogen receptors in coronary arterial tone regulation and arterial wall remodeling; signaling mechanisms of sex hormones in vascular tone

Cristine L. Heaps, PhD 
Associate Professor 
Department of Veterinary Physiology & Pharmacology 
Phone: 979.458.0753 
Email: cheaps@cvm.tamu.edu 
Cellular and functional adaptations in the coronary circulation in response to coronary artery disease and exercise training; specifically the adaptive responses of both smooth muscle ion channels and endothelial nitric oxide regulation in the regulation of coronary artery function with disease and exercise training.

Travis W. Hein, PhD 
Professor 
Department of Surgery 
Phone: 254.724.3550 
Email: thein@tamhsc.edu 
Physiology and pathophysiology of coronary and retinal microcirculation; metabolic regulation of microvascular blood flow; nitric oxide and microvascular function; influence of antioxidants/oxidative stress on microvascular vasomotor function

Wonmuk Hwang, PhD 
Associate Professor 
Department of Biomedical Engineering 
Phone: 979.458.0178 
Email: hwm@tamu.edu 
Computer simulation and theoretical modeling of biomolecular self-assembly and mechanics; amyloid fibrillogenesis; biofilament mechanics; collagen dynamics; cytoskeletal mechanics; kinesin motility; molecular motors

Roland Kaunas, PhD 
Associate Professor 
Department of Biomedical Engineering 
Phone:979.845.2412 
Email: rkaunas@bme.tamu.edu 
Mechanical properties of cells; regulation of mechanotransduction via cytoskeletal reorganization; angiogenesis; cell-matrix interactions.

Lih Kuo, PhD 
Professor 
Department of Medical Physiology 
Phone:254.742.7041 
Email: lkuo@tamu.edu 
Regulation of coronary microvascular function; endothelium and vascular smooth-muscle biology; atherosclerosis and ischemia-reperfusion injury.

Glen A. Laine, PhD 
Professor 
Department of Veterinary Physiology and Pharmacology 
Phone: 979.845.7261 
Email: glaine@tamu.edu 
Microvascular, interstitial and lymphatic interactions in regulating myocardial fluid balance; myocardial edema and fibrosis; left ventricular mechanics

John M. Lawler, PhD 
Professor 
Department of Health & Kinesiology 
Phone: 979.862.2038 
jml2621@neo.tamu.edu 
Exercise, oxidative stress, antioxidant capacity, nitric oxide, cardiovascular disease, muscle wasting

Larry F. Lemanski, PhD 
Professor 
Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences 
Texas A&M University - Commerce 
Phone: 903.866.5018 
Email: Larry.Lemanski@tamuc.edu 
Cellular, molecular and developmental mechanisms of cardiac muscle repair processes using tissue culture as well as in vivo mouse infarct models.

Ronald D. MacFarlane, PhD 
Professor 
Department of Chemistry 
Phone: 979.845.2021 
Email: macfarlane@mail.chem.tamu.edu 
Application of ionization mass spectrometry and capillary electrophoresis to problems related to human medicine; lipoprotein profiling and coronary vascular disease

Michael P. Massett, PhD 
Associate Professor 
Department of Health and Kinesiology 
Phone: 979.862.4687 
Email: mmassett@hlkn.tamu.edu 
Genomic/genetic approaches to identify genes associated with exercise training, physiological adaptations to exercise training as they relate to markers of chronic disease, endothelial function, vascular remodeling

Steven A. Maxwell, PhD 
Associate Professor 
Department of Molecular and Cellular Medicine 
Phone: 979.845.7206 
Email: s-maxwell@tamu.edu 
Cancer; oncogenes; tumor suppressor genes; apoptosis; angiogenesis.

Wallace McKeehan, PhD 
Professor 
IBT Center for Cancer Biology and Nutrition 
Phone: 713.677.7522 
Email: wmckeehan@ibt.tamhsc.edu 
Molecular signaling through fibroblast growth factor and transforming growth factors, prostate cancer, cardiovascular diseases, liver regeneration, plant products for the prevention and treatment of cancer

Cynthia J. Meininger, PhD 
Professor 
Department of Medical Physiology 
Phone: 254.742.7037 
Email: cjm@tamu.edu 
Physiologic control of angiogenesis; vascular complications in diabetes; nitric oxide production and proliferation of endothelial cells; mast cell modulation of tumor angiogenesis

Brett M. Mitchell, PhD 
Associate Professor 
Department of Medical Physiology 
Phone: 979.436.0751 
Email: bmitchell@medicine.tamhsc.edu 
Endothelial cell and vascular biology; regulation of arterial blood pressure by the immune system and inflammation; mouse models of hypertension and preeclampsia.

Jon Mogford, PhD 
Vice Chancellor for Research 
Texas A&M University System 
Phone: 979.458.6000 
Email: jmogford@tamus.edu 
Vascular response to injury, hemorrhagic/shock states, neural-vascular interactions

Mariappan Muthuchamy, PhD 
Professor 
Department of Medical Physiology 
Phone:979.847.9251 
Email: marim@tamu.edu 
Structure and function relationship of contractile proteins - a transgenic approach; molecular and physiological mechanisms of cardiac muscle contraction.

M. Karen Newell-Rogers, PhD 
Professor 
Department of Surgery 
Phone: 254.742.7028 
Email: newellrogers@medicine.tamhsc.edu 
Cell differentiation, cell death

Xu Peng, MD, PhD 
Associate Professor 
Department of Medical Physiology 
Phone: 254.742.7033 
Email: xpeng@medicine.tamhsc.edu 
Cardiac and vascular development; angiogenesis and vasculogenesis

Christopher M. Quick, PhD 
Associate Professor 
Department of Veterinary Physiology and Pharmacology 
Phone: 979.845.2645 
Email: cquick@tamu.edu 
Quantitative cardiovascular physiology; cardiovascular remodeling and simulation; arterial hemodynamics and pulse wave phenomena

Robert H. Rosa, Jr., MD 
Professor 
Department of Surgery 
Phone: 254.724.5541 
Email: rrosa@sw.org 
Retinal vasoregulation; retinal and choroidal neovascularization; macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy

Louis-Bruno Ruest, PhD 
Assistant Professor 
Department of Biomedical Sciences 
Phone: 214.828.8294 
Email: lbruest@tamhsc.edu 
Endothelin signaling during craniofacial and cardiovascular development; role of endothelin signaling in periodontal disease and in pregnancy complications such as premature delivery and eclampsia

Robert C. Scott, III, MD, PhD 
Associate Professor 
Department of Internal Medicine 
Phone: 254.724.7286 
Email: rcscott@swmail.sw.org 
Mechanisms of cardiac hypertrophy and cardiomyopathies; myocarditis; renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system in cardiovascular disease; endothelial function/mechanisms of dysfunction; mechanisms of atherogenesis; evaluation and manipulation of endogenous cardiac stem cells.

John N. Stallone, PhD 
Professor 
Department of Veterinary Physiology and Pharmacology 
Phone: 979.862.3065 
Email: jstallone@cvm.tamu.edu 
Humoral interactions between vascular smooth muscle and endothelium; genomic and non-genomic effects of gonadal steroid hormones on vascular function.

Randolph Stewart, DVM, PhD 
Clinical Associate Professor 
Department of Veterinary Physiology and Pharmacology 
Phone: 979.862.7764 
Email: r-230@tamu.edu 
Lymphatic function; microvascular and interstitial fluid dynamics; synovial fluid balance; cardiac function.

George Stoica, DVM, PhD 
Professor 
Department of Veterinary Pathobiology 
Phone: 979.845.5089 
Email: gstoica@cvm.tamu.edu 
Cancer biology; growth factors; tumor angiogenesis; immunohistochemical analysis of peripheral arteries after balloon angioplasty

Binu Tharakan, PhD 
Assistant Professor 
Department of Surgery 
Phone: 254.724.9782 
Email: btharakan@medicine.tamhsc.edu 
Microvascular permeability following traumatic and ischemic injuries; blood-brain barrier integrity and tight junction proteins

Carl Tong, M.D., PhD 
Assistant Professor 
Department of Medical Physiology 
Phone: 254.931.1552 
Email: CTong@medicine.tamhsc.edu 
Contractile proteins, diastolic dysfunction, contractility, cardiomyopathy, calcium to cross-bridge relationship

Andreea Trache, PhD 
Associate Professor 
Department of Medical Physiology 
Phone: 979.845.7990 
Email: trache@tamu.edu 
Development and integration of novel microscopy techniques applied to monitoring molecular dynamics in live cells

Jerome P. Trzeciakowski, PhD 
Professor 
Department of Medical Physiology 
Phone: 979.845.2847 
Email: jpt@tamu.edu 
Biomathematics; nonlinear dynamics, signal processing techniques and time series analysis; theoretical analysis of signal transduction mechanisms; chaotic mapping and genomic patterns.

Vincent VanBuren, PhD 
Assistant Professor 
Department of Medical Physiology 
Phone:254.742.7005 
Email: vanburen@tamu.edu 
Biocomputing; biological network reconstruction from high-throughput data; microarray analysis; Monte Carlo simulations; biological sequence analysis

Fen Wang, PhD 
Professor 
Center for Cancer Biology and Nutrition 
Institute of Biosciences and Technology 
Phone: 713.677.7520 
Email: fwang@ibt.tamhsc.edu 
The role of fibroblast growth factor (FGF) and FGF receptor (FGFR) in liver, cardiovascular, wound healing and prostate disease.

Jeremy S. Wasser, PhD 
Professor 
Department of Veterinary Physiology and Pharmacology 
Phone: 979.862.4655 
Email: j-wasser@tamu.edu 
Comparative cardiovascular physiology; biological applications of magnetic resonance spectroscopy; mechanisms of hypoxia tolerance in turtle heart.

Emily Wilson, PhD 
Professor 
Department of Medical Physiology 
Phone: 979.862.8673 
Email: emilyw@tamu.edu 
Mechanical forces as regulators of smooth-muscle phenotype; signal transduction through integrin-extracellular matrix system; regulation of integrin expression in endothelial cells.

Christopher R. Woodman, PhD 
Associate Professor 
Department of Health and Kinesiology 
Phone: 979.845.0515 
Email: woodmanc@hlkn.tamu.edu 
Vascular physiology, exercise physiology; interactive effects of aging and exercise training on skeletal muscle vascular beds; adaptation of endothelial and vascular smooth muscle cells to aging

Steven M. Wright, PhD 
Professor 
Department of Electrical Engineering 
Phone: 979.845.9413 
Email: wright@ee.tamu.edu 
Theory and application of array coils in magnetic resonance spectroscopy; NMR spectroscopy for monitoring cardiac energetics in vivo.

Guoyao Wu, PhD 
Distinguished Professor 
Department of Animal Science 
Phone: 979.845.2714 
Email: g-wu@tamu.edu 
Arginine metabolism and vascular function; regulation of vascular cell proliferation by nitric oxide, glutamine, and polyamines.

Xin Wu, MD 
Research Assistant Professor 
Department of Neuroscience & Experimental Therapeutics 
Phone: 979.845.9771 
Email: xinwu@tamu.edu 
Functional studies in cardiovascular system using electrophysiology, atomic force microscopy, immunofluorescence and force measurements etc; integrin-dependent regulation of ion channels; mechanosensitive ion channels.

David C. Zawieja, PhD 
Regents Professor 
Department of Medical Physiology 
Phone: 979.845.7465 
Email: dcz@tamu.edu 
Microvascular exchange; lymphatic microcirculation; lymphangiogenesis; regulation of calcium within vascular cells.

Shenyuan Zhang, PhD 
Assistant Professor 
Department of Medical Physiology 
Phone: 254.742.7066 
Email: shenyuan.zhang@medicine.tamhsc.edu 
Calcium channels, calcium signaling, immune disease

Warren E. Zimmer, PhD 
Professor 
Department of Medical Physiology 
Phone: 979.845.2896 
Email: wezimmer@medicine.tamhsc.edu 
Smooth muscle differentiation; gene expression and transcription factors; transgenic mouse models; stem cell biology