MCS Featured Lab - February 2020

Julie K. Freed, M.D., Ph.D.

Assistant Professor | Director of Clinical/Translational Research
Department of Anesthesiology
Cardiovascular Center | Medical College of Wisconsin
Dr Julie Freed

Research Description:

The Freed lab primarily focuses on the role that sphingolipids have in the development, or prevention, of endothelial dysfunction in the human microcirculation. Elevated plasma levels of ceramide, a prototypical sphingolipid, is now considered an independent risk factor for major adverse cardiovascular events in otherwise healthy people. The lab aims to understand how this lipid causes endothelial dysfunction, which precedes the development of coronary artery disease (CAD). The work is highly translational as they perform their experiments in human blood vessels by collecting discarded surgical specimens from patients diagnosed with CAD, as well as healthy controls that have 0-1 Framingham risk factors for cardiovascular disease.

Lab Website:


Top lesson you have learned in your career:

It’s the people that you work with that make all the difference.

Recent Publications:

  • Schulz ME, Katunaric B, Hockenberry JC, Gutterman DD, Freed JK. Manipulation of the Sphingolipid Rheostat Influences the Mediator of Flow-Induced Dilation in the Human Microvasculature. J Am Heart Assoc. 2019 Sep 3;8(17):e013153. doi: 10.1161/JAHA.119.013153. Epub 2019 Aug 29. (PMID: 31462128)
  • Freed JK, Durand MJ, Hoffmann BR, Densmore JC, Greene AS, Gutterman DD. Mitochondria-regulated formation of endothelium-derived extracellular vesicles shifts the mediator of flow-induced vasodilation. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 2017 May 1;312(5):H1096-H1104. doi: 10.1152/ajpheart.00680.2016. Epub 2017 Feb 17. (PMID: 28213406)
  • Freed JK, Beyer AM, LoGiudice JA, Hockenberry JC, Gutterman DD. Ceramide changes the mediator of flow-induced vasodilation from nitric oxide to hydrogen peroxide in the human microcirculation. Circ Res. 2014 Aug 15;115(5):525-32. doi: 10.1161/CIRCRESAHA.115.303881. Epub 2014 Jun 11. (PMID: 24920698)