Brant Isakson


Primary Appointment

Professor, Molecular Physiology and Biological Physics


  • PhD, University of Wyoming

Research Disciplines

Biotechnology, Cardiovascular Biology, Metabolism, Molecular Pharmacology, Physiology, Translational Science

Research Interests

Translating our discoveries in the microcirculation to tangible benefits in patients.

Research Description

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.

Personal Statement

My lab focuses on the mechanisms by which cells in the microcirculation coordinate their actions via cellular communication.


  • Basic Cardiovascular Research Training Grant
  • Biotechnology Training Grant
  • Training in Cell and Molecular Biology
  • Training in Molecular Biophysics
  • Training in the Pharmacological Sciences

Selected Publications

Hong K, Cope EL, DeLalio LJ, Marziano C, Isakson BE, Sonkusare SK, TRPV4 (Transient Receptor Potential Vanilloid 4) Channel-Dependent Negative Feedback Mechanism Regulates Gq Protein-Coupled Receptor-Induced Vasoconstriction., 2018; Arteriosclerosis, thrombosis, and vascular biology. () . PMID: 29301784 | PMCID: PMC5823749

Good ME, Chiu YH, Poon IK, Medina CB, Butcher JT, Mendu SK, DeLalio LJ, Lohman AW, Leitinger N, Barrett EJ, Lorenz UM, Desai BN, Jaffe IZ, Bayliss D, Isakson BE, Ravichandran KS, Pannexin 1 Channels as an Unexpected New Target of the Anti-Hypertensive Drug Spironolactone., 2017; Circulation research. () . PMID: 29237722 | PMCID: PMC5815904

Begandt D, Good ME, Keller AS, DeLalio LJ, Rowley C, Isakson BE, Figueroa XF, Pannexin channel and connexin hemichannel expression in vascular function and inflammation., 2017; BMC cell biology. 18(0) 2. PMID: 28124621 | PMCID: PMC5267334

Keller AS, Isakson BE, The Evolving Role of Diverse Gaseous Transmitters Mediating Heterocellular Communication Within the Vasculature., 2017; Antioxidants & redox signaling. 26(16) 881-885. PMID: 28288516 | PMCID: PMC5455213

Keller AS, Diederich L, Panknin C, DeLalio LJ, Drake JC, Sherman R, Jackson EK, Yan Z, Kelm M, Cortese-Krott MM, Isakson BE, Possible roles for ATP release from RBCs exclude the cAMP-mediated Panx1 pathway., 2017; American journal of physiology. Cell physiology. 313(6) C593-C603. PMID: 28855161

Biwer LA, Lechauve C, Vanhoose S, Weiss MJ, Isakson BE, A Cell Culture Model of Resistance Arteries., 2017; Journal of visualized experiments : JoVE. (127) . PMID: 28930992

Nyberg M, Piil P, Kiehn OT, Maagaard C, Jørgensen TS, Egelund J, Isakson BE, Nielsen MS, Gliemann L, Hellsten Y, Probenecid Inhibits α-Adrenergic Receptor-Mediated Vasoconstriction in the Human Leg Vasculature., 2017; Hypertension (Dallas, Tex. : 1979). 71(1) 151-159. PMID: 29084879

Biwer LA, Good ME, Hong K, Patel RK, Agrawal N, Looft-Wilson R, Sonkusare SK, Isakson BE, Non-Endoplasmic Reticulum-Based Calr (Calreticulin) Can Coordinate Heterocellular Calcium Signaling and Vascular Function., 2017; Arteriosclerosis, thrombosis, and vascular biology. 38(1) 120-130. PMID: 29122814 | PMCID: PMC5746467

Marziano C, Hong K, Cope EL, Kotlikoff MI, Isakson BE, Sonkusare SK, Nitric Oxide-Dependent Feedback Loop Regulates Transient Receptor Potential Vanilloid 4 (TRPV4) Channel Cooperativity and Endothelial Function in Small Pulmonary Arteries., 2017; Journal of the American Heart Association. 6(12) . PMID: 29275372

DeLalio LJ, Isakson BE, ZP1609/danegaptide and mitochondrial connexin hemichannels: a harbinger for peptide drug design., 2017; British journal of pharmacology. 174(15) 2606-2607. PMID: 28567717 | PMCID: PMC5513857

Liu S, DeLalio LJ, Isakson BE, Wang TT, AXL-Mediated Productive Infection of Human Endothelial Cells by Zika Virus., 2016; Circulation research. 119(11) 1183-1189. PMID: 27650556 | PMCID: PMC5215127

Billaud M, Lohman AW, Johnstone SR, Biwer LA, Mutchler S, Isakson BE, Regulation of cellular communication by signaling microdomains in the blood vessel wall., 2014; Pharmacological reviews. 66(2) 513-69. PMID: 24671377 | PMCID: PMC3973613

Cechova S, Zeng Q, Billaud M, Mutchler S, Rudy CK, Straub AC, Chi L, Chan FR, Hu J, Griffiths R, Howell NL, Madsen K, Jensen BL, Palmer LA, Carey RM, Sung SS, Malakauskas SM, Isakson BE, Le TH, Loss of collectrin, an angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 homolog, uncouples endothelial nitric oxide synthase and causes hypertension and vascular dysfunction., 2013; Circulation. 128(16) 1770-80. PMID: 24048198

Lohman AW, Weaver JL, Billaud M, Sandilos JK, Griffiths R, Straub AC, Penuela S, Leitinger N, Laird DW, Bayliss DA, Isakson BE, S-nitrosylation inhibits pannexin 1 channel function., 2012; The Journal of biological chemistry. 287(47) 39602-12. PMID: 23033481 | PMCID: PMC3501028

Straub AC, Lohman AW, Billaud M, Johnstone SR, Dwyer ST, Lee MY, Bortz PS, Best AK, Columbus L, Gaston B, Isakson BE, Endothelial cell expression of haemoglobin α regulates nitric oxide signalling., 2012; Nature. 491(7424) 473-7. PMID: 23123858 | PMCID: PMC3531883

Lohman AW, Billaud M, Isakson BE, Mechanisms of ATP release and signalling in the blood vessel wall., 2012; Cardiovascular research. 95(3) 269-80. PMID: 22678409 | PMCID: PMC3400358

Billaud M, Lohman AW, Straub AC, Looft-Wilson R, Johnstone SR, Araj CA, Best AK, Chekeni FB, Ravichandran KS, Penuela S, Laird DW, Isakson BE, Pannexin1 regulates α1-adrenergic receptor- mediated vasoconstriction., 2011; Circulation research. 109(1) 80-5. PMID: 21546608 | PMCID: PMC3135971

Chekeni FB, Elliott MR, Sandilos JK, Walk SF, Kinchen JM, Lazarowski ER, Armstrong AJ, Penuela S, Laird DW, Salvesen GS, Isakson BE, Bayliss DA, Ravichandran KS, Pannexin 1 channels mediate 'find-me' signal release and membrane permeability during apoptosis., 2010; Nature. 467(7317) 863-7. PMID: 20944749 | PMCID: PMC3006164