2019 Zweifach Student Travel Award Recipients

Bruce Corliss, University of Virginia

Bruce is researching the role of pericyte detachment in vascular destabilization in early diabetes, along with methods to quantify microvascular structure and vascular cellular recruitment.



Zachary Grunewald,University of Missouri 

My current research explores molecular mechanisms that may contribute to the development of endothelial and vascular dysfunctions associated with obesity and diabetes. My research involves the use of cell culture and animal models as well ex vivo preparations of isolated resistance arteries from mice and humans. My current research is looking at the effects of endothelial and vascular smooth muscle cell protein kinase c (PKC) activation and how vascular PKC activation can modulate vasorelaxation in isolated resistance arteries from obese/diabetic humans.

Nick Hodges, Tulane University

My current research concentrates on the effect of aging in cell therapies between donors and recipients in an ex vivo tissue culture model of angiogenesis.  Specifically my research utilizes the stromal vascular fraction of cells to increase vascular network area and investigates the effects that aging has on individual cell types and the therapeutic outcomes from transplantation.


Anurag Jamaiyar,Northeastern Ohio Medical University 

I am investigating the role of Gdf 11 in a mouse model of coronary collateral growth (CCG) induced by repetitive ischemia (RI). Additionally, I use advanced microscopy techniques and various lines of lineage tracing reporter mice to study how different cell types such as endothelial cells, smooth muscle cells, etc. contribute to CCG.

Alex Keller, University of Virginia

Alex Keller is a PhD candidate in Dr. Brant Isakson's laboratory at the University of Virginia. Alex's research within the Isakson laboratory focuses on molecular mechanisms of blood flow regulation. He is particularly interested in studying the role of endothelial hemoglobin alpha in exercise-induced hyperemia.

Asher Mendelson, University of Western Ontario

Asher Mendelson is a senior PhD candidate in Medical Biophysics at Western University and a critical care physician practicing in Kitchener, Ontario. Under the supervision of Drs. Chris Ellis and Daniel Goldman, his research focuses on the regulation and distribution of RBC flow through capillary networks using computational, experimental, and translational techniques including intravital videomicroscopy and tissue spectroscopy.

Francisco Ramirez Perez, University of Missouri

Resistance arteries play a major role in regulating tissular blood flow and systemic blood pressure. A key contributor to the regulation of vascular tone is the communication that exists between the vascular endothelium and vascular smooth muscle to regulate vessel diameter. The structural characteristics of arteries also have a significant impact on vessel function. I am interested in how changes to the components that regulate tone and the biomechanical properties of blood vessels affect the function of resistance arteries. In particular, I am interested in using my background in physics developing novel theoretical models, image analysis tools and algorithms, to further our understanding of endothelial dysfunction, inward remodeling processes and the development and/or progression of arterial stiffness in the resistance vasculature.

Claire Ruddiman, University of Virginia

I am a second-year graduate student in Dr. Brant Isakson’s Laboratory, part of the Cardiovascular Research Center at the University of Virginia. The lab focuses on heterocellular communication within the resistance vasculature, specifically within specialized signaling microdomains called the myoendothelial junction (MEJ). I am interested in MEJ formation, dynamics, and function.

Gaylene Russell McEvoy, Memorial University

My project aims to develop and validate a novel microfluidic device capable of spatially constrained in vivo manipulation of tissue microenvironment via laser machined micro-outlets.  This tool is capable of delivering vasoactive substances at constant concentrations to micro-scale regions of skeletal muscle with simultaneous intravital video imaging of microvascular blood flow.  My current work has demonstrated both the feasibility and efficacy of the device to directly affect blood flow within the tissue volume directly overlying the micro-outlets. In the future, my microfluidic device will be used to study mass transport to tissue; the testing and development of new drugs; and the interrogation of specific mechanisms of microvascular blood flow regulation in healthy and diseased states.

Congratulations to our 2019 Zweifach Student Travel Award Recipients!