Isakson Lab

Welcome to the Isakson Lab

Mission Statement

Translating our discoveries in the microcirculation to tangible benefits in patients

The etiology of many cardiovascular diseases can be traced to the microcirculation, which is the primary focus of the Isakson lab. For example, high blood pressure as well as strokes or heart attacks are all due to dysfunction at some level in the microcirculation. As the name implies, the microcirculation consists of the smallest arteries and veins, and these small blood vessels are responsible for modulating blood pressure, delivery of oxygen to tissue, and regulating the inflammatory response. The Isakson lab has made important discoveries in each of these areas that includes development of genetically modified mouse models, several patented products, as well as research disclosures. Our research has shown that by altering particular proteins in the blood vessels of the microcirculation, we can drastically lower blood pressure; if we focus on a different set of proteins, we can severely reduce inflammation and damage incurred by stroke or heart attack. We have an ongoing IRB to recruit human volunteers to further test these ideas and pull our research into an eventual treatment modality.

For the most current list of Isakson Lab publications, please click here.

Currently Hiring

Accepting applications for Post-Doc positions. Please email

Professional Organizations

The Microcirculatory Society
American Heart Association
North American Vascular Biology Organization
American Society for Cell Biology
The American Physiological Society


Michael Koval, Emory University
Norbert Leitinger, University of Virginia
Dale Laird, University of Western Ontario
Kodi Ravichandran, University of Virginia
Doug Bayliss, University of Virginia
Linda Columbus, University of Virginia
Thu Le, University of Virginia
Hans Ackerman, NHLBI, NIH
Mitch Weiss, St. Judes

Associated Sites at UVa

Robert M. Berne Cardiovascular Research Center (aka CVRC)
Department of Molecular Physiology and Biological Physics
Cardiovascular Training Grant (CVTG and Facebook)
Pannexins in Health and Disease

Other Links of Interest

The Charlottesville community

Grad/Post-Doc Grants

Scott Johnstone, PhD
"Connexin 43 as a target of smooth muscle cell proliferation"

Claire Ruddiman
NIH NRSA 2019-2022
"Dynamics of myoendothlelial junctions"

Abigail Antoine
NIH NRSA 2019-2021
"Pannexin 3 in the vasculature"

Alex Keller
"Roles of alpha hemoglobin in mediating nitrate conversion in exercise"

Isola Brown, PhD
Ford Foundation Post-Doctoral Award
"Spatial and temporal roles for ZIKA virus infection of endothelium"

Miranda E Good
NIH K99/R00 2018-2023
"Endothelial Panx1 in the cerebral circulation"

TJ Steven Keller
NIH NRSA 2018-2020
"Alpha hemoglobin dynamics in the vasculature"

Leon J DeLalio
NIH NRSA 2017-2019
"Alpha1-adrenergic pannexin1 activation is mediated by SRC Family kinases"

TJ Steven Keller
American Heart Association Pre-Doctoral Award 2016-2018
"Increasing NO via an alpha globin mimetic peptide as a treatment for sickle cell induced pulmonary hypertension"

Alex Keller
American Heart Association Pre-Doctoral Award 2016-2018
"Mechanisms of ATP release from Pannexin 1 in Red Blood Cells in Response to Hypoxia"

Miranda Good
NIH NRSA 2015-2017
"Pannexin1 channels in cerebral arterial myogenic regulation"

Joshua Butcher
American Heart Association Post-Doctoral Award 2015-2017
"Alpha globin regulation of blood pressure"

Lauren Biwer
American Heart Association Pre-Doctoral Award 2014-2016
"Calreticulin as a regulator of endothelial and smooth muscle cell communication"

Alex Lohman
American Heart Association Pre-Doctoral Award 2012-2014
"Role of Pannexins in endothelium"

Adam Straub
NIH K99/R00 2012-2017
"The role of NAMPT in vasculature"

Marie Billaud
American Heart Association Post-Doctoral Award 2010-2012
"Pannexins in the Microvasculature"

Adam Straub
NIH NRSA 2011-2012
"Specific Cellular Localization and Functional Effect of eNOS In the Microvasculature"

Katie Heberlein
American Heart Association Pre-Doctoral Award 2010-2012
"Role of Plasminogen Activator Inhibitor-1 In Regulation of Myoendothelial Junctions"

Scott Johnstone
American Heart Association Post-Doctoral Award 2010-2012
"Connexin 43 Regulation of Smooth Muscle Cell Proliferation"