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Ongoing Research Projects

Regulation of nitric oxide production and functions: We are presently interested in eNOS interactomics and eNOS trafficking using state of art techniques. In addition, we have projects examining the physiological regulation of eNOS by phosphorylation by using mice with knock-in mutations at key phosphorylation sites.

Caveolin and endothelial function: Current projects are examining the role of caveolin in lipid droplet formation and as a potential signaling scaffold independent of caveolae assembly. We are also interested in developing potential therapeutics based on the caveolin scaffolding domain.

Akt signaling and protein phosphorylation: We are studying the unique substrates for Akt isoforms in vascular cells and developing conditional knockout approaches for Akt isoforms in relevant vascular cells.

Reticulon and NgBR control of ER and cellular functions: We are interested in the cell intrinsic (ER tubulation) and cell extrinsic functions (paracrine) of reticulon 4b (aka Nogo-B) in diseases such as inflammation, pulmonary hypertension and vascular remodeling. In addition, we are studying the actions of NgBR as an interface between cholesterol trafficking and protein N-glycosylation. NgBR is an evolutionary conserved core component of the enzyme cis-prenyltransferase and protein chemistry and genetic studies are being conducted to explore this pathway in yeast and human cells.

miRNAs as regulators of vascular function: Projects include miR 29 regulation of vascular function in haploinsufficient diseases and miR 17-92 cluster regulation of arteriogenesis.

Novel portals of entry for native LDL into and across the endothelium: We have discovered several genes via functional genomics that regulate the uptake of LDL in endothelial cells. Studies to validate and decipher the mechanisms of newly identified proteins are underway.