UPMC HEART AND VASCULAR INSTITUTE | UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH | FIND PEOPLE
VMI
 


Vascular Medicine Institute
University of Pittsburgh
BST E1240
200 Lothrop Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15261
Phone: 412-383-5853
Fax: 412-648-5980

Al Ghouleh Laboratory

 

Contact

Lab phone: 412-624-4114

Lab address: 1704 Biomedical Science Tower (Starzl BST), 200 Lothrop Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15261


Available Position(s): LABORATORY SPECIALIST


Research

Dr. Al Ghouleh’s lab is focused on the study of pulmonary hypertension, a devastating disease that currently has no treatment. An area of major focus is defining the mechanisms that underlie right ventricular phenotypic changes in this disease. As the disease progresses, extensive remodeling occurs in the blood vessels that compose the pulmonary circulation which leads to progressive increases in pulmonary vascular resistance. This in turn causes pressure overload on the right ventricle (RV) of the heart which undergoes remodeling as a result. Initially, RV remodeling is adaptive, but eventually becomes maladaptive and leads to RV failure. There is very little known about the pathways that drive this process. Dr. Al Ghouleh’s lab is focused on understanding these pathways. Their preliminary findings identified a signaling cascade involving the protein ERM binding phosphoprotein 50 (EBP50), also called NHE regulatory factor 1 (NHERF1), in this process. Current research is designed to test this pathway in the RV following pressure overload challenge and to delineate upstream and downstream molecules involved with a long-term focus on translating mechanistic insights into potential therapeutic strategies aimed at the RV.

 

People

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR
 

IMAD al GHOULEH, PhD

Assistant Professor of Medicine, Cardiology
Co-Director, Hypoxia Core

ima6@pitt.edu | 412-624-4114

Dr. Al Ghouleh received his PhD from McGill University in Montreal studying the role of NADPH oxidase in endothelial dysfunction during sepsis. Endothelial cells undergo changes, collectively referred to as activation, during this disease process. Dr. Al Ghouleh demonstrated a role for reactive oxygen species (ROS) derived from endothelial NADPH oxidase in LPS-induced endothelial activation. He also showed a role for the oxidase in post-transcriptional gene regulation of inflammatory markers such as IL-6, IL-8 and ICAM-1 in response to LPS treatment at the level of modulation of mRNA stability. NADPH oxidase-dependent ROS are implicated in many physiological and pathophysiological situations, and their role as secondary signaling molecules is well accepted. An emerging area of research is the action of these ROS as paracrine modulators. Dr. Al Ghouleh is interested in studying the paracrine effects of adventitial NADPH oxidase-dependent ROS on medial smooth muscle cell hypertrophy and in elucidating the mechanism by which this action occurs. This will involve investigating the ROS that activates medial NADPH oxidase and identifying new redox targets downstream of this medial NAPDH oxidase-ROS signaling pathway. Dr. Al Ghouleh completed his postdoctoral training in the Pagano lab at the University of Pittsburgh in 2013 where his work focused on studying the role of NADPH oxidases in the cardiovascular system and identified new functions for the Nox1 and Nox4 isoforms of the enzyme in endothelial cells, vascular smooth muscle cells and cardiac cells in systemic and pulmonary hypertension.

 

 

RESEARCH ASSOCIATES
 

MOAAZ BAGHAL, MD

Visiting Scholar

baghalm@pitt.edu

     
 

MARYAM SHARIFI-SANJANI, PhD

Visiting Scholar

sanjani@pitt.edu

 

GRADUATE STUDENTS
 

ANASTASIA GORELOVA

Predoctoral Fellow

ang123@pitt.edu

 

UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS
 

KYLE CHANG

Student Research Assistant

 

     
 

MAZIN RAHMAN

Student Research Assistant

 

 

Former lab members:

DR. MOHAMMAD ALHAMAYDEH, currently pursuing medical residency

NEIL KELLY, PhD, currently pursuing medical residency

ALEXANDER HOYT, recently graduated

ANAS ALSURAIMI, medical student in summer research rotation

JACOB DUBNER, undergraduate summer student

JAMES KEARNEY, research staff