Projects and Funding


Current Projects

  • Gender differences in experimental aneurysm formation.
    • The role of sex hormones & its receptors in aneurysm formation
    • Effect of bone marrow transplant & aortic transplant during aneurysm formation.
    • Gender differences of inflammatory cytokines & angiogenesis in AAA.
  • Stem cell application in the treatment of experimental aortic aneurysm.
  • Effects of dietary phytoestrogen in aneurysm formation.
  • Role of B2 cell-dependent differention of regulatory T cell in aortic aneurysm.
  • Role of neutrophil extracellulat traps in AAA pathogenesis.
  • Smooth muscle cell phenotypic switching during experimental aneurysm formation
  • The Effects of KLF4 & KLF2 in experimental aortic aneurysm formation
  • Effect of resolvins in the treatment of experimental aortic aneurysm.
  • Anti-aneurysm drug screening.


Current funding:

Dr. Upchurch:

  • 2014-2019 NIH (RO1), PI: G.U. Gender /estrogen differences in AAA formation
  • 2014-2019 NIH (RO1), PI: G.U. The role of neutrophil extracellular traps in AAA pathogenesis
  • 2013- 2018 NIH Co-Investigator, Reuse of ZD4054 for patients with symptomatic PAD
  • 2014-2017 AHA Scientist Development Grant, Mentor,  Role of KLF2 in aortic aneurysm formation

Dr. Ailawadi:

  • 2015-2020 NIH (RO1), PI: G.A. Role of IL-1R1 in cell transitions in aortic aneurysm Pathogenesis
  • 2014-2018 NIH R01, Co-Investigator, Gender differences in experimental aortic aneurysms
  • 2014-2018 AHA grant, PI (A.M.), mentor (G.A.), Role of B2 cell-dependent differentiation of regulatory T cell in aortic aneurysm.
  • 2014- 2016 TSFRE Braunwald Fellowship, Mentor, Anisotropic Reinforcement of Acute Right  Ventricular Dysfunction
  • 2010 – 2015 Matching Funds for K08, PI (G.A.) Thoracic Surgery Foundation for Research and Education

Completed funding:

Dr. Upchurch:

  • 2011 – 2014 Astra Zeneca, Pl (G.U.), Novel systemic targets to inhibit experimental aneurysm formation.
  • 2009-2013 NIH (RO1), PI (G.U.), Gender differences in aortic aneurysm
  • 2007-2012 NIH (RO1), PI (G.U.), Gender differences in aortic aneurysm
  • 2001-2006   NIH Mentored Clinical Scientist Development Award (KO8), PI (G.U.)
  • 2001-2006   Lifeline Foundation® Research Award, PI (G.U.)

Dr. Ailawadi:

  • 2010-2014 NIH (NHLBI), PI (G.A.) The Effects of KLF4 in Experimental Aortic Aneurysm Formation
  • 2012-2014, , R21 HL111546, Co-PI (G.A), Anisotropic Reinforcement to improve post-infarction LV Function
  • 2013-2014, University of Virginia Research & Design Award,(G.A.) Development of a Novel Anisotropic Patch to Treat Acute RV Failure
  • 2010 – 2014 Astra Zeneca Collaboration, PI (G.A), Novel Systemic Targets to Inhibit Experimental Aneurysm Formation.
  • 2011 – 2013 American Heart Association/ Innovation Grant, PI(G.A.), Use of microbubbles to deliver nanoparticles to aortic aneurysms.
  • 2008 – 2011 Coulter Translational Research Program, University of Virginia. PI (G.A.), Therapeutic Modification of Myocardial Infarct Anisotropy.
  • 2008 – 2010 Coulter Translational Research Program, University of Virginia. Co-PI (G.A.), A novel device to determine the cause of coagulopathy after cardiac surgery.
  • 2008 – 2010 Thoracic Surgery Foundation for Research & Education, PI (G.A.), The Effects of IL-1β on smooth muscle cell phenotype during experimental aortic aneurysm formation.
  • 2007 – 2008, Partner’s Fund, University of Virginia. PI (G.A.), Effects of IL-1B on smooth muscle cell phenotypic switching in experimental aortic aneurysm formation.
  • 2001 – 2003 Resident Research Scholarship, PI (G.A.), American College of Surgeons. The effects of gender and estrogen on experimental aneurysm formation.

Joining Us?

For training and working opportunities in our lab, please contact:
For research collaboration and technical assistance, please contact our faculty and staff at the following address: