Pulmonary Impact of PBK

A gene that is overexpressed in some aggressive cancers also appears to be key to the excessive cell proliferation that thickens the walls of pulmonary arteries and ultimately causes the right ventricle of the heart to fail, Dr. David Fulton reports.

The Intersection

There is a bidirectional intersection of the nation’s top two killers that Dr. Weintraub and other MCG scientists want to better understand and disrupt.

New treatment targets found for blinding retinal disease

Drs. Caldwell, Huo and Liu, scientists at MCG, find new treatment targets found for blinding retinal disease.

Bernard Ogola

Welcome to the VBC!

We are pleased to announce that Dr. Benard Ogola joined our faculty as Assistant Professor on June 1, 2022. Dr. Ogola received his PhD in Pharmaceutical Sciences from Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center School of Pharmacy in Amarillo, Texas. His research interest is focused on understanding the role of sex chromosomes contribution to cardiovascular disease including arterial stiffening. We look forward to learning more of his research investigating the interplay of sex hormones and chromosomes and their impact on vascular function to identify novel targets for hormone therapy in cardiovascular disease. Take a moment to visit Dr. Ogola in his lab CB-3205. He may have a box you can unpack.


Congratulations to our 2022 Graduates!

Kareem Abdelsaid

Kareem Abdelsaid, mentored by Dr. Tohru Fukai and Dr. Masuko Ushio-Fukai, successfully defended his thesis entitled “Cu Transporter ATP7A and Extracellular SOD Function in Adaptive Angiogenesis and Regeneration of Skeletal Muscles in Response to Exercise or Injury:  Role of Exosomes”. Dr. Abdelsaid is now a postdoctoral fellow at The Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC).




Caleb Padgett

Caleb Padgett, mentored by Dr. David Stepp, successfully defended his thesis entitled “The Roles of Circadian Disruption and Reactive Oxygen Species Overproduction in the Development of Obesity-Associated Cardiovascular Disease”. Dr. Padgett will now pursue an MD beginning Fall semester at The Medical College of Georgia.

Great results from hard work. Well done!

New Students Summer 2022

Welcome, New Graduate Students!

Maria Blahove, Zach Brown, Cody Rosewater, Mitch Shivers, Josue Zambrano-Carrasco

Front Row: Josue Zambrano-Carrasco, Dr. David Stepp, Maria Blahove, Dr. Huabo Su, Mitch Shivers                                                                                                  Back Row: Zach Brown, Dr. David Fulton, Dr. Gabor Csanyi, Cody Rosewater

Qian Ma with mentor Dr. Huo

Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology and The American Heart Association Investigator in Training Award

Postdoctoral fellow Qian Ma, Dr. Yuqing Huo's lab, was selected to receive ATVB Investigators In Training Award at the Vascular Discovery: From Genes to Medicine 2022 Scientific Sessions held in Seattle, WA May 12-14, 2022.

Congratulations Dr. Ma!

AHA Cardio-Oncology Meeting 2022


American Heart Association Cardio-Oncology Strategically Focused Research Network

A prestigious group gathered on our campus for the American Heart Association Cardio-Oncology Strategically Focused Research Network Semiannual Meeting. It was last summer when the AHA announced this new network on disparities in cardio-oncology that is pursuing the intersection of heart disease and cancer, common conditions that share common risks like obesity and chronic inflammation, with the goal of better understanding the dynamics and how to better identify and address this intersection which disproportionately affects underrepresented populations. MCG, Boston University School of Medicine, the Medical College of Wisconsin and the University of Pennsylvania are the institutions selected for this important initiative.

AHA Cardio-Oncology Meeting 2022

CSRA AHA Heart Ball 2022

CSRA AHA Heart Ball 2022

In more than 150 communities across the country, Heart Ball supporters unite with a shared purpose to raise the critical funds we need to ensure our work continues. Throughout our campaign we celebrate our milestones, we thank our sponsors and we honor our heroes. We come together to achieve something bigger than ourselves. 

Reem Atawia, Benard Ogola and Caleb Padgett pose with their EB 2022 awards

Kudos Experimental Biology 2022 Awardees

  • APS Cardiovascular Section Clinical Science Young Investigator Award – Reem Atawia
  • APS Cardiovascular Section Outstanding Postdoctoral Trainee Finalist – Benard Ogola
  • APS Cardiovascular Section Research Recognition Award – Caleb Padgett

Belin de Chantemele

Congratulations Dr. Eric Belin de Chantemèle!

Dr. Belin de Chantemele received the 2021 AURI Outstanding Research, Scholarship and Creative Activity Award.

Go Red for women's Day


February 4, 2022 is the Annual American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women Day to increase women’s heart health awareness. Most heart disease and stroke deaths are preventable, cardiovascular diseases continue to be a woman’s greatest health threat.

Dr. Eric Belin de Chantemele

Congratulations Dr. Eric Belin de Chantemèle!

Dr. Belin de Chantemèle is to Present the Henry Pickering Bowditch Award Lecture during the Experimental Biology 2021 Conference held April 27-30.

This award honors early-career achievement in physiology and is given to an APS member younger than 42 or who is fewer than eight years from the start of the first faculty or staff research scientist position beyond postdoctoral training. Dr. Belin de Chantemèle’s lecture is Obesity-Associate Cardiovascular Disease: The exposed Secret of the Sexes.




GRD 2021 awards

(left to right) Qiuhua Yang, Taylor Kress, Caleb Padgett, Candee Barris, Reem Atawia & Robert Batori


Drs. Stepp and Padgett 2021 awards

Dr. David Stepp & Caleb Padgett

36th Annual Graduate Research Day

Ji Cheng Memorial & Phi Kappa Phi Award for Excellence in Research by a Biomedical Sciences student in the early years of training
– Candee Barris

The Graduate School Award for Excellence in Research by a Graduate Student – Taylor Kress

Program & Discipline Award for Excellence in Research – Vascular Biology – Caleb Padgett

Award for Excellence in Research by a Postdoctoral Fellow (poster)
- 2nd place – Robert Batori
- 3rd place – Qiuhua Yang

Award for Excellence in Research by a Postdoctoral Fellow (oral)
- 1st place – Reem Atawia


Predoctoral Fellow Awardees:  Taylor Kress

Postdoctoral Fellow Awardees:  Qiuhua Yang, and Reem Atawia


Drs. Belin with Kress, Barris and Atawia

(l to r) Dr. Eric Belin de Chantemele with students Taylor Kress, Candee Barris, & Postdoctoral Fellow Reem Atawia


Drs. Batori & Fulton

Postdoctoral fellow Robert Batori & Dr. David Fulton

Dr. Rudolf Lucas

Congratulations to Rudolf Lucas!

Rudolf Lucas, PhD received an Intramural Grants Program (IGP) award for his project entitled: Restoration of ENaC Blunts SARS-CoV2S Protein-Induced Lung Endothelial Dysfunction

Congratulations to Dr. Lucas and his team!

Caleb Padgett

Congrats to Vascular Biology PhD candidate, Caleb Padgett

PhD Student Brings Joy to Patients in the Georgia Cancer Center

Dr. Yuqing Huo

Congratulations to Dr. Yuqing Huo!

Dr. Huo was awarded the 2020 AURI Distinguished Researcher Award.

Research interests

  • Examination of metabolic effect on leukocyte recruitment and activation
  • fibroblast activation
  • activation and proliferation of vascular cells in animal models of atherosclerosis
  • thrombosis
  • diabetes/obesity
  • pulmonary hypertension
  • retinopathy
  • cardiac hypertrophy
  • renal fibrosis

Dr. Ruth Caldwell


Ruth B. Caldwell, PhD received the 2020 AURI Research Lifetime Achievement Award.

Research Interests

  • Mechanisms that control microvascular growth and permeability barrier function
  • Mechanisms that regulate the expression and signal transduction functions of VEGF (vascular endothelial growth factor) and PEDF (pigment epithelial derived factor).


Dr. Yuqing Huo





Dr. David Stepp

Congratulations to MCG Faculty Senate Awardees, Drs. Yuqing Huo & David Stepp!

Yuqing Huo, MD, PhD, Professor of Cellular Biology and Anatomy received the 2020 Basic Science Research Award




David Stepp, PhD, Professor of Physiology received the Outstanding Faculty Award

Atawia-Reem Postdoc picture


Dr. Reem Atawia, Postdoctoral Fellow in Dr. Belin de Chantemele’s lab has been awarded a one year Postdoctoral Fellowship from the American Physiological Society (APS)

“Perivascular Adipose Tissue Regulates Endothelial Function And Glucose Disposal Via Leptin-Control Of the endothelial PFKFB3-Nox1 pathway”

Jie Li, PhD 


Jie Li, PhD
Assistant Professor

Jr Faculty Award 1st Place Oral Presentation

"Ubiquitin-fold modifier 1 (Ufm1), a small protein modifier with big impact on pathological cardiac remodeling"

Academy of Cardiovascular Research Excellence (ACRE)
Acta Pharmacologica Sinica (APS)
Research Symposium 2020

Eric Belin de Cantemele, PhD 


Eric Belin de Chantmele, PhD
Associate Professor

RO1 Score of 2 percentile!!

"Ubiquitin-fold modifier 1 (Ufm1), a small protein modifier with big impact on pathological cardiac remodeling"

Head shot of Robert Batori 

AHA Postdoctoral Fellowship Award Begins January 2020

Robert Batori, PhD
Mentor: David Fulton, PhD

"Novel roles of PFKFB3 in mediating nitric oxide syntheses and endothelial dysfunction in obesity" 

Huiping Lin gets Travel Award at AHA 2019

ATVB Travel Award for Basic Science Abstracts Oral Presentation

2019 AHA Scientific Sessions in Philadelphia.

Huiping Lin
Mentor:  Gábor Csányi, PhD

"Receptor-independent Ldl Macropinocytosis By Macrophages Contributes To The Pathogenesis Of Atherosclerosis"

photo of Archita Das

Top score in Best Poster Award at AHA 2019

Archita Das
Mentors: Drs. Masuko and Tohru Fukai

“Cu Importer CTR1 is a Redox Sensor That Promotes VEGFR2 Signaling and Angiogenesis”. 


Intramural Grants Program Award (IGP)

The purpose of the IGP is to assist Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University faculty members in competing successfully for major research funding from external sponsors. This award is administered through the Division of Sponsored Program Administration on behalf of the Office of Vice President for Research.

After a rigorous application review, this year VBC has racked up the awards!

Dr. SuHuabo Su
"Novel Post-Translational Mechanisms Regulating Mitochondrial Homeostasis in the Adult Heart."


Dr. Eric Belin de ChantemeleEric Belin de Chantemele, Jennifer Sullivan & Wendy Bollag
"The Role of Aldosterone in High Fat Diet-Induced Hypertension in Males and Females.


Dr. WeintraubNeal Weintraub & Lufei Young
"Investigator-Initiated Pilot Study to Evaluate Preclinical Effects of Nicotinamide Riboside in Patients with Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm."

Dr. Brian Stansfield

Brian Stansfield Featured on WJBF

Watch the News Report on WJBF

Dr. Bruder do Nascimento  

2019 Stephanie Watts Career Development Award Finalist

Thiago Bruder do Nascimento, PhD 

As a finalist, Dr. Bruder do Nascimento will be attending the AHA Hypertension 2019 Scientific Sessions in New Orleans, LA in September to compete for this coveted award. The Stephanie Watts Career Development Award was established to honor the advocacy work of Dr. Stephanie Watts, an active member of the Council on Hypertension, who has always advocated for the needs of the many trainees associated with the Council.

Bhupesh Singla, PhD

NIH Pathway to Independence Award (K99)

Bhupesh Singla, PhD, 
Postdoctoral Fellow 
Lab: Gabor Csanyi, PhD

Submission Title: 
Regulation of Lymphangiogenesis by Thrombospondin 1

The purpose of this program is to increase and maintain a strong cohort of new and talented, NIH-supported, independent investigators. This program is designed to facilitate a timely transition of outstanding postdoctoral researchers or clinician-scientists from mentored research positions to independent, tenure-track or equivalent faculty positions, and to provide independent NIH research support during the transition that will help these individuals launch competitive, independent research careers.

Alec Davila, MD/PhDAluya Oseghale, PhDShirley Li, PhD 

VBC 2019 PHD Awardees

Alec Davila, MD/PhD
Thesis Defense “Microvascular dysfunction in heart failure with preserved ejection fraction”
Mentor, Zolt Bag, PhD

Aluya Oseghale, PhD
Thesis defense “Therapeutic reactivation of fetal hemoglobin in sickle cell disease: development of a novel prodrug AN-233”
Mentor, Betty Pace, PhD

Xueyi “Shirley” Li, PhD
Thesis defense “Dissecting the Roles of Galectin-3 in pulmonary hypertension”
Mentor, David Fulton, PhD


Vascular Biology Students Have Major Showing at Graduate Research Day
Awards Ceremony

VBC Students outperform at Graduate Research Day

(Top row L-R) 
Esraa Sosha won 2nd prize in the "postdoctoral poster presentations".
Jessica Faulkner won 2nd prize in the "postdoctoral oral presentations".
Aluya Oseghale won the "Award for Excellence in Research" – Vascular Biology.
Dipankar Ash won 1st prize in the "postdoctoral poster presentations".
Kareem Abdelsaid and Alec Davila won the "Graduate School Award for Excellence in Research by a Graduate Student".

(Bottom row L-R) 
Zsuszanna Bordan won the "Ji Cheng Memorial Award for Excellence in Research by a biomedical sciences student in the early years of training".
Thiago Bruder do Nascimento won 3rd prize in the "postdoctoral oral presentations".

Graduate Research Day 2019 Winners

Huiping Lin

ATVB Conference Finalist for the
Junior Investigator Award for Women.

Huiping Lin
Mentor: Gábor Csányi, PhD

Dr. Ralf Lucas and Lab


Peptide May Protect Kidneys From Ourselves

Dr Lucas and Team have research featured


Dr. Brian Stansfield

Dr Brian Stansfield Elected President of the Southern Society for Pediatric Research

Read the Article in JAGWIRE

Dr. Belin de Chantemele and Thiago Bruder do Nascimento, Postdoctoral Fellow

Winner of the American Heart Association - Council on Hypertension 2018 Onsite Trainee Poster Award

Thiago Bruder do Nascimento, Postdoctoral Fellow
Mentor: Eric Belin de Chantemele, PhD

"Leptin Supplementation Restores Endothelial Function And Vascular Adrenergic Tone Via Direct Endothelial Mechanisms And Sympato-activation, Respectively, In A Mouse Model Of Congenital Lipodystrophy"


American Heart Summer 2018 Predoc Award Winner

Alec Davila, MD/PhD Candidate


VBC Grad Student, Steve Haigh

Winner of  the "National Institutes of Health (NIH) F31 Fellowship Award"

Steve Haigh, Graduate Student
Mentor: David Fulton, PhD

Project Title: The hypoxia inducible factor: Galectin 3 signaling axis in pulmonary hypertension

Huiping Lin, PhD Candidate and Dr. Gabor Csanyi

American Heart Summer 2018 Predoc Award Winner

Huiping Lin, PhD Candidate
Menor: Gábor Csányi, PhD

ATVB Travel Award for Young Investigators

Ruth Caldwell, PhD.


New Target Could Help Protect Vision Following Optic Nerve Trauma.

Dr. Abdelrahman Y. Fouda, Dr. Ruth B. Caldwell and research associate Zhimin Xu's work featured in Jagwire.

Read more in Jagwire

Drs. Faulkner and Belin de Chantemele work in their lab

Drs. Eric Belin de Chantemele and Jessica Faulkner featured in Jagwire and on WJBF.

Read more in Jagwire

Watch on WJBF news

Dr. Rudolf Lucas Distinguished Researcher Award   

Congratulations Dr. Rudolf Lucas of the Vascular Biology Center

Recipient of the 2018 Distinguished Researcher Award.

Gabor Csanyi Emerging Scientist Award

Congratulations Dr. Gabor Csanyi of the Vascular Biology Center

Recipient of the 2018 Emerging Scientist Award.

Drs. Thiago Bruder do Nascimento and Eric Belin de Chantemele

Getting leptin levels “just right” may provide cardiovascular protection

Drs. Thiago Bruder do Nascimento and Eric Belin de Chantemele featured in Jagwire,

Read more in Jagwire

Dr. Ruth Caldwell

Dr. Ruth Caldwell receives RO1

National Institute of Health Research Project Grant (R01) Award
Congratulations Dr. Caldwell

Dr. Belin de Chantemele

Sex Differences in Mechanisms of Hypertension Associated with Obesity

Eric Belin de Chantemele, PhD interviewed at Joint Hypertension 2018 Scientific Sessions -
AHA Council on Hypertension | AHA Council on Kidney in Cardiovascular Disease
American Society of Hypertension

See the interview (Friday Sept 7, 2018)

Dr. Rudolf Lucas

New Target is an Apparent Triple Threat to Pneumonia

Dr. Rudolf Lucas of the VBC featured on WJBF News.

See the TV News Interview
Read more in Jagwire

Dr. Yunchao Su and  Dr. Yuqing Huo

New Pulmonary Hypertension Treatment Target in the Bull's-eye

Dr. Yunchao Su and Dr. Yuqing Huo of the VBC featured.

Read the feature on Medical Xpress
Drs.  Eric Belin de Chantemele and Faulkner

Scientists work to protect obese, younger women from cardiovascular risk

Dr. Eric Belin de Chantemele and Dr. Jessica Faulkner, postdoctoral fellow, featured in Jagwire

Read more on Jagwire

Weintraub Lab 

 Just one high-fat meal sets the perfect stage for heart disease

Dr. Neal L. Weintraub, Dr. Julia E. Brittain and doctoral Student Tyler W. Benson in Jagwire.

Read the Jagwire feature

Drs. Masuko Ushio-Fukai and Tohru Fukai

Copper excess in diabetes hinders our ability to make healthy blood vessels

Drs. Masuko Ushio-Fukai and Tohru Fukai of the VBC featured in Jagwire

Read more about the research on jagwire

Dr. Masuko Ushio-Fukai 

New target emerging for treating diabetes-related blood vessel damage

Dr. Masuko Ushio-Fukai featured in Jagwire

Read more about Dr. Ushio-Fukai's research

Dr. Bruder do Nascimento and Dr. Belin de Chantemele

Too little fat is bad for cardiovascular health and leptin therapy may help

Grant by Dr. Bruder do Nascimento and Dr. Belin de Chantemele featured in Jagwire.

Read more about their research

Dr. Liu and Dr. Huo

Likely new treatment target identified for Diabetic Retinopathy

Dr. Yuqing Huo and Dr. Zhiping Liu of VBC featured

Read about it in JagWire

Dr. Romero-Lucas

VBC's Dr. Romero-Lucas Receives 2018 Award

Maritza Romero-Lucas, MD, D. Sc, of the VBC, receives Pilot Study Research Program (PSRP) Award!

Anita Kovacs-Kasa, PhD

American Heart Postdoc Award Winner

Anita Kovacs-Kasa, PhD,
Postdoctoral Fellow

Project: "HDAC7 in MLCP-mediated endothelial barrier preservation"

Sponsor: Dr. Alexander Verin

Taysuya Aonuma, PhD

American Heart Postdoc Award Winner

Taysuya Aonuma, PhD,
Postdoctoral Fellow 

Project: "The axis of long noncoding RNA MIAT and microRNA-150 in acute myocardial infarction"

Sponsor: Il-man Kim

 Aluya Oseghale

American Society of Hematology
2017 Minority Graduate Student
Abstract Achievement Award  

Aluya Oseghale

"Novel conjugates of butyrate and δ-aminolevulinate increase γ-globin gene expression and fetal hemoglobin synthesis in erythroid progenitors"

Mentor: Petty Pace 

 The VBC Congratulates our 2018 Ph.D. Award Recipients!

Jian Peng “JP”  Teoh, PhD 

Jian Peng “JP”  Teoh, PhD

Thesis: “ß-adrenergic receptor/ß-arrestin-mediated microRNA maturation regulatory network: A new player in cardioprotective signaling.”

Mentor: Dr. Il-man Kim

Huijuan “Emily” Dou, PhD

Huijuan “Emily” Dou, PhD

Thesis: “ADAM17 and age-related vascular dysfunction”

Mentor: Dr. Zsolt Bagi

Esraa Shosha, PhD

Esraa Shosha, PhD with Distinction

Thesis: “Neurovascular Degeneration Following Retinal Ischemia Reperfusion Injury: Role of Arginase 2”

Mentor: Dr. Ruth Caldwell

Rodney Littlejohn, MD, PhD

2017 BCVS Minority Travel Award recipient

Rodney Littlejohn, MD, PhD

Student in Huabo Su’s lab received the
2017 BCVS Minority Travel Award
at the AHA Scientific Session 2017 (11/11-15 in Anaheim, CA) - Council on Basic Cardiovascular Sciences (BCVS)