Ailawadi and Salmon Lab
Our laboratory research focuses on the roles of different cell types during aortic aneurysm formation and possible rupture. First, we aim to define cellular and molecular mechanisms of aortic aneurysm formation to identify potential novel therapeutic targets. Here we are currently exploring the role of IL-1 pathway activation, IL-6 pathway activation, and resolution of inflammation chemicals known as resolvins. Our current focus is also on the role of non-coding RNAs molecules, such as microRNAs and long non-coding RNAs on immune cell activation, smooth muscle and endothelial cell dysfunction. We have also developed a number of recently murine and porcine models to study the role of rupture in abdominal and thoracic aortic aneurysm formation and we aim to develop a novel, noninvasive method to identify potential rupture risk in patients using SPECT/CT imaging. We are also exploring novel models to couple aortic aneurysm formation to valvular diseases in the ascending aorta. Our overall goal as a lab is to develop a pharmacologic treatment therapy to slow or cause regress of aortic aneurysms and to track that regress through noninvasive means.
Our laboratory uses a wide variety of research models including murine models of abdominal, descending thoracic, and ascending aortic aneurysms, porcine models of abdominal and thoracic aortic aneurysms and in vitro models using immune, endothelial, smooth muscle, and epithelial cells. Laboratory techniques utilized include flow cytometry, multiplex-ELISA, immunofluorescence, confocal microscopy, Western blot, real-time qPCR, primary cell isolations, zymography, and a variety of molecular and biochemical assays. Murine techniques include transgenic mice, bone marrow transplantation, adoptive transfer of cells, in vivo immune cell ablation, histology, and molecular imaging.
All of our research residents have been quite productive with many laboratory and clinical publications as well as many presentations at national or international conferences. We foster collaborations with other residents and faculty both within and outside of Surgery, and we encourage our research residents to have multiple research projects (laboratory or clinical) ongoing to gain maximal opportunity for success.