CardioPulmonary Vascular Biology COBRE

The Cell Isolation & Organ Function Core provides a unique skill set and expertise to Rhode Island vascular biologists by providing quality assurance in isolation, characterization, and propagation of vascular derived cells and fibroblasts and cardiopulmonary organ function analyses. The centralization of the cell isolation and organ function measurements will help investigators minimize the variability in sample preparation thus providing uniformity in data acquisition throughout all COBRE Projects and for other RI vascular biologists.

Studies Overview

The overall objective of the CardioPulmonary Vascular Biology COBRE is to bring together a group of investigators in the fields of pulmonary and cardiovascular diseases in a unique trans-disciplinary approach to improve understanding of the pathogenesis and treatment of vascular pathobiology in lung and heart diseases. The Specific Aims of this proposal are:

  1. Unite a group of multidisciplinary investigators in studies of vascular injury and repair in the pathogenesis of lung and heart injury.
  2. Provide research support, protected time, and mentoring to enable junior investigators to attain independent research support in an “incubator” environment, coupled with a robust program for the nurturing of career development and attainment of additional research skills.
  3. Identify and support pilot investigators who will be funded to obtain preliminary data for research grants.
  4. Support junior and pilot investigators through mentoring and support from the Cores.
  5. Establish the basis for multidisciplinary program project grant(s) for research in vascular injury and repair.

We propose a Center that includes 5 junior investigators and 1-2 pilot investigators, supported by Administrative and Cell Isolation/Organ Function Cores. Junior and pilot investigators will be mentored by accomplished scientists with a strong focus on career development. A unique feature of the CardioPulmonary Vascular Biology COBRE is the melding under a common theme of vascular biology of research done by collaborating MDs, PhDs, and MD/PhDs. An outstanding group of scientists on the External Advisory Committee will provide advice, oversight, and critique. The Center will be administered by the Ocean State Research Institute, a non-profit research and education foundation located at the Providence VA Medical Center. The junior investigators and mentors are faculty at Alpert Medical School of Brown University, and they are employed by the Providence VAMC, Rhode Island Hospital, or Brown University. Generous and sustained institutional support has been provided for this COBRE. This innovative and multidisciplinary CardioPulmonary Vascular Biology COBRE will provide an environment that fosters creative and trans-disciplinary approaches to study of pathobiology of vascular components of lung and cardiovascular diseases. As the Center develops, the COBRE will be broadened to include other components of the vascular wall. By bringing together both basic and clinical scientists from cardiovascular and pulmonary backgrounds into a vascular biology center, this COBRE will enhance understanding of pathogenesis and treatment of vascular diseases and enhance research of these diseases, prevalent in RI.

cobre structure

COBRE Studies

Qing Lu

Study 1 “Plasma adenosine”

PI: Qing Lu, PhD

COBRE Abstract
Plasma adenosine is increased in patients with sepsis-induced acute lung injury (ALI) and the levels of plasma adenosine correlate with poor survival…

Study 2 “Effects of Angiopoietins on shock/sepsis- induced acute lung injury”

PI: Joanne Lomas-Neira, PhD

COBRE Abstract
IAcute Lung Injury (ALI) is a complication of trauma characterized by increased microvascular permeability, edema, inflammation…

Ruhul Abid, MD

Study 3 “Ischemic heart disease (IHD)”

PI: Ruhul Abid, MD, PhD

COBRE Abstract
Ischemic heart disease (IHD) or myocardial ischemia is a disease characterized by tissue hypoxia due to reduced blood supply to the heart muscle…


Study 4 “Regulation of Cardiac Fibroblast Function by MicroRNAs”

PI: Peng Zhang, MD, MS

COBRE Abstract
Fibrosis is an integral feature of the structural remodeling in the heart that occurs in response to a variety of cardiopulmonary diseases…


Study 5 “Sex and haemodynamics in Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension”

PI: Corey Ventetuolo, MD

COBRE Abstract
Female sex is the best established risk factor for pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH), implying estrogen has a harmful effect on the pulmonary vasculature…