Alan Dardik MD-PhD, FACS

Professor of Surgery (Vascular); Chief, Vascular Surgery, VA Connecticut Healthcare Systems, West Haven, CT

Research Interests

Vein graft adaptation; Fistula adaptation; Markers of blood vessel identity during vein graft and AVF adaptation; How understanding the mechanisms of vein graft adaptation lead to improved tissue engineering; Effects of aging on vein graft adaptation; Bioengineering a "better" blood vessel

Current Projects

  • Dr. Clinton Protack is currently examining the role of Eph-B4 phosphorylation and downstream signaling in vein graft adaptation and AVF maturation.
  • Dr. Kirstyn Brownson is examining the function of Eph-B4 in human vein grafts and AVF.
  • Dr. Michael Hall is currently examining the role of the extracellular matrix in vein graft adaptation and AVF maturation.
  • Dr. Roland Assi is currently understanding the role of flow in Eph-B4 activation and working on the Yale-UCL engineering collaboration.
  • Dr. Kota Yamamoto is currently examining the role of Eph-B4 and eNOS expression in AVF maturation.
  • Dr. Go Kuwahara is currently examining the role of CD44 in vein graft adaptation and AVF maturation.
  • Dr. Hualong Bai is currently examining stem cell infiltration into percardial patches.
  • Dr. Mo Wang is currently examining AVF maturation.

Research Summary

Dr. Dardik is a surgeon-scientist who seeks to use the power of molecular biology to achieve a modern understanding of vascular disease, and to use the basic science laboratory to perform cutting edge research to ultimately benefit patients with vascular disease. The Dardik laboratory studies the healing and function of blood vessels and synthetic blood vessel substitutes that are used in patients having vascular bypass surgery. We are currently trying to understand the fundamental molecular mechanisms by which vein graft adaptation results in successful adaptation to the arterial environment, yet often proceeds, in the long-term, to graft failure.

Extensive Research Description

We previously published that Eph-B4, a determinant of venous identity during embryonic development that persists as a venous marker, decreases expression and immunodetectable protein during vein graft adaptation in both humans and aged rats. We have extended our findings to a mouse model and have found similar results. Based on this work we hypothesize that Eph-B4 is a critical negative regulator of multiple SMC layer development.

We are currently manipulating Eph-B4 in vivo to test our hypothesis that Eph-B4 remains functional during adult life and is a regulator of vein graft identity and adaptation to the arterial environment. We are collaborating with the Sessa laboratory to test the importance of caveolin-1 binding and phosphorylation to Eph-B4 activation. We are collaborating with several other laboratories in the VBT program to assess both vein grafts as well as arteriovenous fistulae (AVF).

Honors & Awards for Dardik Laboratory Trainees:

  • 2002 Masae Haga: Eastern Vascular Society, the William J. von Liebig Foundation Second Place Poster Award
  • 2002 Jacek Paszkowiak: Connecticut Chapter of the American College of Surgeons, 2nd place prize for best poster, resident’s competition
  • 2003 Jacek Paszkowiak: Connecticut Chapter of the American College of Surgeons, 1st place prize for best talk, resident’s competition
  • 2004 Desarom Teso: Society for Clinical Vascular Surgery, Allastair Karmody Award
  • 2004 Desarom Teso: New England Surgical Society, 2nd place prize for best talk, resident’s competition
  • 2006 Tamara Fitzgerald: Ohse award, Dept. of Surgery, Yale University School of Medicine
  • 2006 Tamara Fitzgerald: NIH F32 Research Fellowship Award
  • 2007 Jose Pimiento: New England Surgical Society’s Surgical Resident and Fellow Research Presentation Day, 2nd place prize for best talk, resident’s competition
  • 2007 Dania Magri: Lifeline Student Research Fellowship, American Vascular Association
  • 2008 Tiffany Fancher: Connecticut Chapter of the American College of Surgeons, 1st place Resident Research Prize
  • 2008 Tormod Westvik: American Vascular Association, Lifeline Resident Research Prize
  • 2009 Akihito Muto: International Academic Encouragement Award, Nagoya Surgery Support Organization, Nagoya, Japan
  • 2009 Amanda Feigel: American College of Surgeons, Surgical Forum Excellence in Research Award
  • 2009 Amanda Feigel: Connecticut Chapter of the American College of Surgeons, 1st place Resident Research Prize
  • 2009 Kenneth Ziegler: New England Society for Vascular Surgery – Attendance Grant: Student Initiative Program
  • 2010 Akihito Muto: Society for Vascular Surgery Travel Scholarship to Research Initiatives / ATVB conference
  • 2010 Sammy Eghbalieh: Society for Vascular Surgery Travel Scholarship to 2010 Vascular Annual conference
  • 2010 Amanda Feigel: Society for Vascular Surgery Travel Scholarship to 2010 Vascular Annual conference
  • 2010 Lynn Model: Society for Vascular Surgery Travel Scholarship to 2010 Vascular Annual conference
  • 2010 Kenneth Ziegler: New England Society for Vascular Surgery – Attendance Grant: Student Initiative Program
  • 2010 Lynn Model: New England Society for Vascular Surgery – Attendance Grant: Student Initiative Program
  • 2011 Clay Quint: American Vascular Association, Lifeline Resident Research Prize
  • 2011 Kenneth Ziegler: Society for Vascular Surgery Travel Scholarship to 2011 Vascular Annual conference
  • 2011 Sammy Eghbalieh: Society for Vascular Surgery Travel Scholarship to 2011 Vascular Annual Conference
  • 2011 Caroline Jadlowiec: American College of Surgeons, Surgical Forum Excellence in Research Award
  • 2011 Mike Collins: New England Surgical Society’s Surgical Resident and Fellow Research Presentation Day, 2nd place prize, basic science
  • 2011 Robert Brenes: Waterbury Resident Research Day, 1st place Poster Presentation
  • 2011 Sammy Eghbalieh: Society for Vascular Surgery Basic Science Poster competition winner, 2011 Vascular Annual Meeting
  • 2011 Lynn Model: Research Resident of the Year award, Dept. of Surgery, Yale University School of Medicine
  • 2011 Clinton Protack: Ohse award, Dept. of Surgery, Yale University School of Medicine
  • 2012 Robert Brenes: Society for Vascular Surgery Foundation, Resident Research Prize
  • 2012 Michael Collins: 36th annual symposium of the Association of VA Surgeons, 1st place Basic Science Presentation
  • 2013 Kirstyn Brownson: Society for Vascular Surgery Travel Scholarship to 2013 Vascular Annual conference


Selected Publications

  • Kondo Y, Jadlowiec CC, Muto A, Yi T, Protack C, Collins MJ, Tellides G, Sessa WC, Dardik A. The Nogo-B-PirB axis controls macrophage-mediated vascular remodeling. PLoS ONE 8(11):e81019 (2013).
  • Muto A, Yi T, Harrison KD, Dávalos A, Fancher TT, Ziegler KR, Feigel A, Kondo Y, Nishibe T, Sessa WC, Dardik A. Eph-B4 prevents venous adaptive remodeling in the adult arterial environment. Journal of Experimental Medicine 208(3):561-575 (2011).
  • Dardik A and Gaunt M. Outpatient Surgery. Clinical decision making and board review. Radcliffe Publishing, London (2012).
  • Li X, Jadlowiec C, Guo Y, Protack C, Ziegler K, Lv W, Yang C, Shu C, Dardik A. Pericardial patch angioplasty heals via an Ephrin-B2 and CD34 positive cell mediated mechanism. PLoS ONE 7(6):e38844 (2012)
  • Eghbalieh SDD, Chowdhary P, Muto A, Ziegler KR, Kudo FA, Pimiento JM, Mirmehdi I, Model LS, Kondo Y, Nishibe T, Dardik A. Age-related neointimal hyperplasia is associated with monocyte infiltration after balloon angioplasty. Journal of Gerontology Series A: Biological Sciences 67(2):109-117 (2012)
  • Muto A, Model L, Ziegler K, Eghbalieh SDD, Dardik A. Mechanisms of vein graft adaptation to the arterial circulation: Insights into the neointimal algorithm and management strategies. Circulation Journal 74(8):1501-1512 (2010).

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