Dr. Fulton and Dr. Belin de Chantemèle
VBC Faculty Receive 2016 Augusta University Research Institute Awards

Dr. David Fulton (L) receives the Distinguished Research Award

Dr. Eric Belin De Chantemèle receives the
Virendra B. Mahesh Award

JP TeohJian Peng "JP" Teoh

Receives the Predoctoral Fellowship Award for his project

"Beta-adrenergic Receptor/beta-arrestin-mediated microRNA Regulatory Network:  A New Player in Carido-Protective Signaling."

Won a Graduate Faculty Assembly Award for Excellence in Research from Graduate School.

Teoh JP* and Kim IM. β-Arrestin-Biased Agonism of β-Adrenergic Receptor Regulates Dicer-Mediated MicroRNA Maturation.

Excellence in Research Awards

The 32th Annual Graduate Research Day, College of Graduate Studies, Augusta University. March, 2016.


Zuzana Broskova recieves Travel AwardZuzana Broskova, Ph.D.
Winner of the Best Postdoctoral Oral Presentation Award: Excellence in Postdoctoral Research Award from Research Administration.  

Broskova Z*, Park KM, Wang Y and Kim IM. MicroRNA-125a/b-5p Protect the Mouse Heart from Ischemic Injury by Regulating Cardiomyocyte Apoptosis

Ahmed Bayoumi receives Travel AwardAhmed Bayoumi, Ph.D.
Winner of the Best Postdoctoral Oral Presentation Award: Excellence in Postdoctoral Research Award from Research Administration.

Bayoumi AS*, Teoh JP and Kim IM. MicroRNA-532-5p Protects the Mouse Heart against Myocardial Infarction by Regulating Cardiac Endothelial Cell Function.

Josh Butcher, Ph.D.
Winner of the Excellence in Research (poster presentation) from Vascular Biology

Graduate Students:

Esraa Shosha
Winner of the Excellence in Research from Vascular Biology.

Dr. Jennifer Thompson - Stepp LabDr. Jennifer Thompson, from Stepp Lab,
receives $1 million grant

How gestational diabetes puts babies at lifelong risk for cardiovascular disease.

Read about it in JagWire

David Stepp, PhDDr. David W. Stepp Honored

Congratulations to Dr. David Stepp who was named
Leon Henri Charbonnier Endowed Chair for Physiology

Yao Liang Tang, MD, PhD

Congratulations Yao Liang Tang, MD, PhD.

on receiving the American Heart Association
Grant-in-Aid Award for his project

Dr. Neal WeintraubVBC's Dr. Neal Weintraub Featured in the Augusta Chronicle

Obesity puts stress on fat cells, AU research finds.

Read the Article in the Augusta Chronicle
Dr. Tang
Dr. Yaoliang Tang featured

Scientists take aging cardiac stem cells out of semiretirement to improve stem cell therapy

Read about it in Jagwire!

Dr. Barman and Dr. FultonDr. Fulton and Dr. Barman Featured in the Augusta Chronicle.

Augusta University researchers seek cause of high lung pressure.

Read about it in Jagwire!
See article in the Augusta Chronicle
Dr. Brian Stansfield
Stansfield honored by Southern Society for Pediatric Research

Recipient of the 2016 Clinical Science Young Investigator Award.

Read about it in Jagwire

Dr. Il-Man Kim
Dr. Il-man Kim receives Award.

Dr. Kim was selected as the recipient of the 2016 Shih-Chun Wang Young Investigator Award. The award, established in 1998 in memory of Shih-Chun Wang, recognizes an individual demonstrating outstanding promise in the field of physiological sciences research. Dr. Kim will be recognized April 5, 2016, during the Experimental Biology,

 Dr. LucasCongratulations Dr. Rudolph Lucas

American Diabetes Association 3 year Awardee.

 “Increased pneumonia-associated pulmonary barrier dysfunction in type 2 diabetes”

Featured VBC Faculty: Lucas and Romero

New target, potential treatment found for unhealthy levels of fat that can occur in type 1 diabetes

AUGUSTA, Ga. – Researchers have new insight into the complex interchange that can raise blood levels of unhealthy lipids, or fat, in type 1 diabetes, and early evidence that a drug under study to block cancer cell growth can restore healthier levels. Too much glucose and fat circulating in the blood – and consequently damaging the vascular system and major organs – help make cardiovascular disease the leading cause of death and disability in people with type 1 diabetes, said Dr. Maritza J. Romero, vascular biologist in the Vascular Biology Center at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University.

Read more in Jagwire

Dr. Neal WeintraubCONGRATULATIONS Dr. Neal Weintraub

Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology
(ATVB) Top Ten Reviewer for 2015

Maritza Romero-Lucas, M.D.Dr. Maritza Romero-Lucas Awarded!

Intramural Grants Program (IGP)

Pilot Study Research Program  (PSRP)

“Antagonizing GHRH signaling as a Novel Approach Toward Dyslipidemia in Type 1 Diabetes"

Dr. Brian StansfieldCONGRATULATIONS Dr. Brian Stansfield!

Southeast Affiliate of the American Heart Association

Scientist Development Grant
“Dissecting Neurofibromatosis Type 1 Vasculopathy"

Dr. Ha Won Kim

Dr. Ha Won-Kim Awarded

Council on Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology

ATVB 2015 Early Career Networking Reception for Top-Rated Abstract

“Prostaglandin D2 Receptor Antagonism Prevents Angiotensin Ii-induced Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Formation:
Implications For Niacin Therapy”

Fat mice bred to have more muscle give insight, new targets for
battling obesity’s cardiovascular risk

Dr. Stepp and Dr. FultonEven without losing fat, more muscle appears to go a long way in fighting off the bad cardiovascular effects of obesity.

That emerging evidence has scientists looking hard for new targets to uncouple the unhealthy relationship between fat and cardiovascular disease.

“If you look at the exercise literature, we understand very well that if you exercise, things get better. What we don’t really understand is what about exercise is good; what does it tell us about physiology andhow disease starts, and how can you customize it to different populations?” said Dr. David Stepp, vascular biologist in the Vascular Biology Center at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University.

Stepp and his colleagues have evidence that an increase in muscle mass – a huge consumer of glucose, a natural energy source that is often elevated in obesity – could mean a healthier ticket for some.

While fat has the unhealthy habit of storing fuel, “muscle is a much more metabolically active tissue, even when it’s just sitting there,” Stepp said. “It burns more oxygen at rest; it burns more energy at rest; so it burns more calories at rest.” Some of things scientists don’t know is if muscles secrete something that improves glucose metabolism or if just having more glucose-consuming muscle is the apparent magic.

Stepp and Fulton were authors on a 2014 study in the Journal of the American Heart Association that showed the benefits of adding muscle when fat is monopolizing the body. They looked at normal mice and mice genetically altered to be obese – mice with voracious appetites that soon doubled their normal weight – as examples of a healthy and unhealthy human. When they deleted myostatin, a natural, negative regulator of muscle growth, from both, both groups developed bigger muscles. The normal mice also had less fat tissue.

Read more in Jagwire

Huabo Su, PhD, Receives Award
Dr. Huabo Su presented his research at the 2nd ACRE/APS Symposium and received the Outstanding Junior Faculty Award. The symposium was held at the site of 2015 AHA BCVS, New Orleans, LA on July 12, 2015.Certificate Dr. Su
Award goes to Joyce N. Gonzales, MD

PTSD and heart diseaseDr. Gonzales, Assistant Professor in the Vascular Biology Center and in the Department of Medicine is the NHLBI Hemoglobinopathy Translational Research Skills Core Program Awardee.  
Potential therapeutic roll of 2-O, 3-O desulfated heparin in acute chest syndrome"

Esraa Shosha Yiming Xu Shirley Li Jennifer Thompson
Esraa Shosha

AHA Predoctoral Fellowship

Yiming Xu, PhD.

ATVB 2015 Poster Presentation in TOP 10 Percent!

Shirley Li

Best Journal Club Presentation Awardee

Jennifer Thompson,
Postdoctoral Fellow

American Heart Association Greater Southeast Affiliate Postdoctoral Fellowship Awardee 2015

Best Journal Club Presentation Awardee


Stepp Named Chair of NIH Study Section

Dr. David SteppDavid Stepp, Ph.D. a member of the Vascular Biology Center and Professor of Physiology has been appointed Chair of the Vascular Cell and Molecular Biology (VCMB) study section.  Dr. Stepp joined MCG/Augusta University in 2001 and is member of the American Physiological Society and the Microcirculatory Society and is recognized for his expertise in obesity, metabolism, and physiology of the macro and micro circulation.  His research seeks to identify novel links between changes in metabolism and dysfunction of organ systems and how they alter the function of the circulatory system.  

VCMB reviews NIH grant applications in the area of cardiovascular disease, the leading cause of death in the USA ,with a focus on the biology of blood vessels and vascular cells including endothelial and vascular smooth muscle cells, as well as adventitial fibroblasts, immune cells and pericytes. Proposals are evaluated on topics ranging from vascular development, inflammation, proliferation/death, injury/repair, coagulation and the molecular biology of vascular cells. The Chair of VCMB is a 2 year appointment that not only requires leadership in research but the ability to guide panel discussion on the merits of cutting edge research ideas and projects.


Shirley Li

Yong Wang

Yiming Xu

Shirley Li
Graduate Student

Augusta University 31st Annual Graduate Research Day
March 2015

Excellence in Research in Vascular Biology Awardee

“Epigenetic Mechanisms of Galectin-3 Regulation in Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension”

Yong Wang, PhD.
Postdoctoral Fellow

Council on Peripheral Vascular Disease

ATVB 2015 Travel Award for Young Investigators

Pfkfb3 Mediated Glycolysis In Vascular Smooth Muscle Cells Is Essential For Arterial Neointima Formation


Yiming Xu, PhD.
Postdoctoral Fellowship

Council on Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology

ATVB 2015 Travel Award for Young Investigators

Endothelial Intracellular Adenosine Epigenetically Regulates Angiogenesis

May 2015 - Dr. Zsolt Bagi, as lead author, has article featured in AJP Heart and Circulatory Physiology.

"Caveolin-1 prevents sustained angiotensin II-induced resistance artery constriction and obesity-induced high blood pressure"

Listen to the Podcast:


Emily Dou

MCS Annual Meeting at Experimental Biology 2015

CONGRATULATIONS to Huijuan "Emily" Dou - Vascular Biology Graduate Student .
for winning the Microcirculatory Society’s Zweifach Student Awardee Travel Award

“Caveolin-1 is a negative regulator of Adam17 in Adipose Tissue Vascular Endothelium”

December 2014 - CONGRATULATIONS American Heart Association Southeast Affiliate Awardees:

Istvan Czikora

Yiming Xu

Nicole Yiew

Istvan Czikora – Postdoctoral Fellowship

“Regulation of Expression and Function of Epithelial Sodium Channels by Lectin-like Domain of TNF Alpha”

Yiming Xu – Postdoctoral Fellowship

The Role of Myeloid PFKFB3 in Atherosclerosis


Nicole Yiew – Pre-doctoral Fellowship

Epigenetic Regulation of Histone Deacetylase 9 in Obesity and Atherosclerosis

 August 1, 2014, The Augusta Chronicle,

Lucas Lab

Dr. Rudolf Lucas' research is featured in The Augusta Chronicle.
Read the article:

"Drug Could be Pneumonia Therapy"

July 2014

Il-man Kim finalist

Science News from BCVS 2014, LAS VEGAS, NV -

Dr. Il-man Kim was selected as an Outstanding Early Career Investigator Award Finalist at BCVS 2014.

Read more Science News from BCVS 2014

November 2013, Augusta University NEWS, AUGUSTA, GA 

Dr. Neal Weintraub has been named an Eminent Scholar of the Georgia Research Alliance.

GRA, MCG Foundation establish Eminent Scholar Chair in Cardiovascular Medicine

December 2012, Augusta University NEWS, AUGUSTA, GA

Dr. Rudolph Lucas and  Dr. Ruth Caldwell are part of a newly formed research team watching a vicious cycle where elevated glucose increases production of inflammatory factors like cytokines and reactive oxygen species which in turn elevate arginase and IDO.

Enzymes may point toward better therapies for prediabetes


Shuiging Qiu

Shuiqing Qiu, from the Stepp Lab, was awarded an AHA-Greater Southeast predoctoral fellowship for her project titled:

“Increasing Muscle Mass Improves Vascular Function in Obesity"


Christine M. GrossChristine M. Gross, was awarded an AHA-Greater Southeast Affiliate Predoctoral Fellowship for her project titled:

"Sox18 and the regulation of endothelial barrier function in acute lung injury."

October 17, 2012, The Augusta Chronicle, 

Dr. Il-man Kim  is quoted in an article in The Augusta Chronicle"GHSU researchers look to build on Nobel winners' work"

October 2012

Dr. Lucas and colleagues make cover

Dr. Rudolph Lucas et al make the cover of


See the cover


VBCTeam VBC for AHA "Heart Walk 2012"

Team VBC. The VBC and DODI teamed up to participate in the 2012 CSRA Heartwalk and raised $2,301 for the American Heart Association.