Cardiovascular Center

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The David X. Zhang Lab Members

David X. Zhang, PhD
Principal Investigator
Associate Professor
Cardiovascular Medicine, Pharmacology, Toxicology

The overall emphasis of Dr. David X. Zhang's research is to understand the cellular mechanisms by which the endothelium regulates blood vessel tone in both normal physiological conditions and disease states, such as ischemic heart disease and hypertension.

Yoshinori Nishijima
Postdoctoral Fellow

My current research is focused on understanding the transient receptor potential vanilloid 4 (TRPV4) channel to Angiotensin II-induced impairment of vasodilation in animals and humans.


  Natalya Zinkevich, PhD
Research Scientist I

My research interests are related to vascular health and disease. Specifically, I am interested in the role of endothelial cells in mediating vasodilation. Within this broad topic, I address three questions:

a) How do the mechanisms of endothelium-dependent dilation change during aging and with the onset of coronary artery disease?
b) What is the role of cellular enzymatic sources of reactive oxygen species in this process?
c) How does the transient receptor potential vanilloid 4 (TRPV4) channel superfamily contributes to vasorelaxation?

Sheng Cao
Postdoctoral Fellow

My current research is focused on determining whether arachidonic acid (AA) serves as a key upstream mediator of flow-mediated dilation (FMD) in human coronary arteriole (HCA) and define the molecular mechanisms by which AA activates the transient receptor potential vallinoid type 4 (TRPV4) channel in coronary endothelial cells.

Dawid Chabowski
Graduate Student


As a graduate student in Dr. Zhang’s lab, I am interested in the regulation of vascular tone in health and disease. Currently, my focus lays in the area of ion channel-mediated hyperpolarization and relaxation of vascular smooth muscle cells in the microcirculation which is critical in regulating myocardial perfusion. Using cannulated coronary arterioles in combination with electrophysiological and molecular techniques, I plan to examine how coronary artery disease (CAD) affects smooth muscle voltage-activated potassium channels and alters vessel reactivity.

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Page Updated 08/20/2014