Suellen D`Arc dos Santos Oliveira, Ph.D

Suellen D`Arc dos Santos Oliveira, Ph.D

Institution: University of Illinois at Chicago

Project: Role of Caveolin-1 and BMPRII Short Form in Pulmonary Vascular Homeostasis

Grant(s): Catalyst Award

Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is a life-threatening disease characterized by progressive narrowing of the lung blood vessels. It becomes harder for blood to flow through them, which raises blood pressure in the lungs. The heart has to work harder to pump blood through the arteries, and the heart muscle weakens. This can eventually lead to death from heart failure. PAH can emerge from different conditions, including genetic mutations or infection, but in some cases the cause is unknown. We study the role of inflammation and oxidative stress (an excess of free radicals in the body’s cells) in promoting abnormal changes to cells lining the lung’s blood vessels called endothelial cells, and how these changes lead to the onset and progression of PAH. We anticipate this project will allow for the development of possible novel therapies to treat PAH.

The James & Marlene Ryan Catalyst Award


We found that secreted vesicles​ from the endothelium are altered in clinical and experimental PAH samples. In particular, we observed that PAH-associated endothelial cells show reduced expression of the anti-proliferative and anti-inflammatory signaling proteins BMPR2 and Caveolin-1 (Cav-1). Our long-term goal is to understand how injury-induced release of damage-associated endothelial cell signals and depletion of Cav-1 and BMPR2 promotes vascular remodeling and PAH.

Asthma Educator Institute
, | Jul 11, 2022
Freedom From Smoking Clinic
, | Aug 30, 2022