Center for Hypertension and Precision Medicine


A word of great appreciation to all the faculty and students who attended and presented their research work at the Experimental Biology meeting held in Philadelphia last week. Dr. Sailaja Paruchuri, Dr. Jasenka Zubcevic and myself lead three different sessions. Drs. Charles Thodeti, Dr. Jasenka Zubcevic and Dr. Tao Yang were invited speakers for the American Physiological Society (APS).  Dr. Lauren Koch lead the trainee session of the Pre-meeting of the Physiological Genomics Group. Dr. Elliott Dirr from Dr. Zubcevic’s laboratory and Ms. Xue Mei from my laboratory also presented invited talks. Finally, I was awarded the Ernest Starling Distinguished Lecturership of the APS. Congratulations to all for their excellence at this important meeting pertinent to our Department.  Next year, the various societies will hold their own meetings and the APS meeting, called as the American Physiological Summit will be held at Long Beach, California. 

Dr. Bina Joe was elected to serve a three year term as Councilor of the Association of Chairs of Departments of Physiology (ACDP). Congratulations!

This is an editorial that Dr. Bina Joe had the privilege to write along with Dr. Kent E. Vrana. It is a reflection of teaching pharmacology in medical schools, published by the ASPET Publication- The Pharmacologist

A hearty congratulations to Dr. Yang! Several media outlets are highlighting his research work that was accepted and presented as part of the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics (ASPET) annual Experimental Biology.
Please view the articles below:
Medical Press Gut bacteria may contribute to blood pressure medicine resistance (
Philly Voice Gut bacteria may explain why hypertension drugs don't work for everyone with high blood pressure | PhillyVoice
SciTechDaily Gut Bacteria May Be an Important Factor in Blood Pressure Medicine Resistance (
Medical News Today High blood pressure: Gut bacteria may contribute to drug resistance (


A very hearty congratulations to Dr. Ritu Chakravarti!

She recently became a section editor of Immunobiology, an Elsevier publication.

She is also the recipient of the AAI Early Career Travel Grant for the upcoming Immunobiology 2022 meeting to be held in Portland, Oregon.

We are extremely proud of Dr. Ritu Chakravarti and Rachel Golonka, trainee of Dr. Vijay Kumar! They were both featured for their research in the University's Presidential State of the University Address. Keep up the good work!

A warm PhysPharm welcome to our newest faculty member, Dr. Islam Osman! He comes to us from Augusta University where his focus was in Clinical and Administrative Pharmacy; he is an experienced and skilled  University teacher and researcher. Welcome!

Congratulations to the Chakravarti laboratory for 2 publications emanating from her collaborations with faculty in the Departments of Microbiology and Medicine.  

K. Chawla, G. Subramanian, T. Rahman, S. Fan, S. Chakravarty, S. Gujja, H. Demchak, R. Chakravarti & S. Chattopadhyay. 2022. Autophagy in virus infection: A race between host immune response and viral antagonism. Immuno, 2 (1): 153-169.


H. Okonta, X. Cheng, R. Chakravarti & J. Duggan. 2022. Effects of antibiotic treatment on the microbiota, viral transmission, and viral pathogenesis of MoMuLV ts1 infected BALB/c mice. PLoS One, 17(1): e0261689.

Congratulations to the Yang laboratory for having their manuscript accepted to Hypertension Research!

Title: Depletion of gut microbiota enhances blood pressure-lowering effect of captopril: implication of gut microbiota in resistant hypertension
Authors: Jun Kyoung, Tao Yang

Congratulations to Dr. Ritu Chakravarti! Her research has been highlighted by UT's Discovery Site. Please see the video here:   

Congratulations, Dr. Vijay Kumar! He has obtained a new provisional patent, "Rapid Screening for Elevated Bile Acids Using Whole Blood."

Dr. Piu Saha has been selected to receive the 2022 AAI Early Career Faculty Travel Grant for the AAI Annual Meeting - Immunology 2022. Congratulations!

Dr. Bina Joe has been asked to participate in National Library Week (April 3-9, 2022). In 1985, the American Library Association created "READ" - a poster campaign featuring celebrities posing with their favorite books. She has been asked to take part in the poster campaign for UT along with others from around the University. Just like the READ campaign, they will be posing with their favorite books.  The posters selected will be displayed in both Carlson and Mulford Libraries. 

Congratulations to Dr. Piu Saha! She has been invited as an international reviewer for evaluation of research projects within the FRM call for proposals "Equipes FRM 2022".
The Fondation pour la Recherche Médicale (Foundation for Medical Research), France,  selects and supports innovative research projects that promise to advance knowledge of all diseases.

A hearty congratulations to Dr. Tao Yang! He was recently approved to serve on the Topical Advisory Panel of the journal Antioxidants.

Dr. Matam Vijay-Kumar has been invited to speak at a workshop, “Indo-US workshop on Molecular Epidemiology of Infectious Disease: Translational Research from Bench to Bedside to the Field”, organized by JSS Medical College, JSS Academy of Higher Education & Research (JSS AHER), in association with Public Health Research Institute of India (PHRII), Mysore, Karnataka, India; University of California Berkeley, University of Arizona and University of Toledo. 

The goal of this workshop is to introduce principles and practices of molecular epidemiology that are applied to infectious diseases of global importance. This workshop will cover general principles and practical approaches to the use of molecular biology techniques to address infectious diseases’ epidemiology problems.

It will be held March 21st to 25th.

Congratulations to Dr. Tao Yang whose recent NIH R21 application received a 7% percentile and an impact score of 28! Well done!

Congratulations to Dr. Matam Vijay-Kumar! He is the recipient of the Mario Toppo Distinguished Scientist Award from the Association of Scientists of Indian Origin in America. This award is presented to those who have made outstanding contributions to the sciences. Dr. Vijay-Kumar was awarded for his excellent contributions to Biomedical Research. 

Rachel Golonka, trainee of Dr. Matam Vijay Kumar, was featured in the UT News for her fellowship from the National Cancer Institute. Read the full article here:

As part of our sustained outreach efforts, several of our faculty, postdoctoral fellows and graduate students served as Judges for the Ottawa Hills High School Science Fair. Thanks to all those who participated!


Congratulations to Dr. Bina Joe and colleagues! Their manuscript was accepted for publication by AJP-Heart and Circulatory Physiology!

AJP-Heart and Circulatory Physiology 2022 Feb 11. Low dose 1,3-butanediol reverses age-associated vascular dysfunction independent of ketone body β-hydroxybutyrate.

Cameron G McCarthy, Emily W Waigi , Beng San Yeoh, Blair Mell, Matam Vijay-Kumar, Camilla F Wenceslau, Bina Joe

Dr. Sailaja Paruchuri was a guest speaker (virtually) for Tulane University's Department of Pharmacology on January 28th. Her presentation was titled, "Bioactive lipid signaling in inflammation and cancer."

Dr. Ritu Chakravarti was interviewed by BBC World Radio News on her laboratory’s findings of a potential new ‘vaccine’ for Arthritis. As you may recall, this work was published in PNAS last year. Congratulations Dr. Chakravarti! Following is the link to her segment featured at ~ 8.23 min 

Dr. Jasenka Zubcevic has been invited to serve as a Regular Member by the Scientific Review Officer of the Integrative Vascular Physiology and Pathology (IVPP) Study Section of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Dr. Zubcevic is currently serving on IVPP as an Adhoc Reviewer.

Congratulations Dr. Zubcevic for this recognition of your excellence in service to the NIH!

Congratulations to Dr. Ritu Chakravarti! She has obtained $250,000 NSF grant funding as Co-PI to Dr. Dong Shik-Kim (COE). The title of the grant is “A hand-held device for rapid and accurate determination of cancerous tumor margins during surgical resections”. It is a 2-year grant, commencing from February 1, 2022.

The success of a scientific article is not only gauged by the Impact factor of where it is published, but also by the number of citations. As an example, here is an article published by Dr. Vijay-Kumar, which has been cited 1,000 times in less than 7 years. Although this particular article was published prior to Dr. Vijay-Kumar’s arrival at UT, its sustained success is impressive. Well done!

A manuscript Dr. Tao Yang and Dr. Bina Joe worked on with their collaborators from the University of Florida, has been accepted for publication in Pulmonary Circulation.

"Fecal matter transplant from Ace2 overexpressing mice counteracts chronic hypoxia-induced pulmonary hypertension."

Aline C. Oliveira,Tao Yang,Jing Li,Ravindra K. Sharma,Marianthi K. Karas,Andrew J. Bryant,Annette D. de Kloet,Eric G. Krause,Bina Joe,Elaine M. Richards,Mohan K. Raizada
DOI: 10.1002/pul2.12015

View the entire article here: Fecal matter transplant from Ace2 overexpressing mice counteracts chronic hypoxia‐induced pulmonary hypertension - Oliveira - 2022 - Pulmonary Circulation - Wiley Online Library

Congratulations to Ahmed Abokor! He is a trainee of Dr. Matam Vijay-Kumar and his article was published in The Blade

Congratulations to Dr. Ritu Chakravarti! She has been invited to speak at the Vaccines Summit in Boston, MA in March. Her talk is titled, "Novel Vaccine for Inflammatory Arthritis-Are we ready?" and will be presented during the New Vaccines Developments Session. You can find more information about the summit here: Vaccines Summit Boston 2022/#VSBOSTON22 (

The NHLBI website has published a short summary of the NIH workshop that Dr. Bina Joe was invited to attend in November, 2021. The summary is a reflection of areas for potential future funding considerations.
Click here to view:
Toward Precision Medicine: Circadian Rhythm of Blood Pressure and Chronotherapy for Hypertension | NHLBI, NIH

Congratulations to Dr. Charles Thodeti! He was invited to serve on the Editorial Board of the American Journal of Physiology- Heart and Circulatory Physiology.

Dr. Bina Joe was featured as an invited International speaker at the HBPRCA meeting's symposium on Gut Microbiome and cadiovascular diseases. Other prominent international speakers include Prof Wilson Tang (Cleveland Clinic), Dr Annet Kirabo (Vanderbilt University College of Medicine), A/Prof Levi Waldron (City University of New York), and Prof Dominik Muller (Max-Delbrück-Center Berlin). 

Dr. Jasenka Zubcevic is one of the Topic Editors for "Gut Microbiota and the Nervous System" in the journal, Frontiers in Neuroscience.  This Research Topic is part of a series called, "Gut Microbiota and the Nervous System." Please see more here: Gut Microbiota and the Nervous System, Volume II | Frontiers Research Topic (

Congratulations to Dr. Charles Thodeti and team! Their manuscript has been accepted for publication in Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology.

Title: Tumor-derived extracellular vesicles induce abnormal angiogenesis via TRPV4 downregulation and subsequent activation of YAP and VEGFR2  

Authors: Brianna D. Guarino, Venkatesh Katari, Ravi K. Adapala, Neha Bhavnani, Julie A. Dougherty, Mahmood Khan, Sailaja Paruchuri, and Charles K. Thodeti 



Last Updated: 6/27/22