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Gulf Coast Vascular Research Consortium

5th Annual Gulf Coast Vascular Research Consortium 

Highlighting Vascular Disease and Remodeling 

August 4-5, 2023

2023 Award Winners PDF

Downloadable Consortium Program PDF (150 KB)

The Gulf Coast Vascular Research Consortium is the annual conference highlighting cutting edge research in Vascular Biology from world-renowned laboratories across the Gulf Coast region in Texas, Oklahoma, and Louisiana. By bringing together a critical mass of scientists, educators, clinicians, and trainees the 5th annual Gulf Coast Vascular Research Consortium held in College Station will facilitate knowledge transfer, novel insights, and new collaborations between a variety of scientists that share a common interest in vascular biology. 

For questions contact: Kayla Bayless, PhD;  Email:

Meeting Organizers: 

  • Kayla Bayless, PhD
  • Sanjukta Chakraborty, PhD
  • Christine Heaps, PhD
  • Travis Hein, PhD
  • David Zawieja, PhD
  • Feng Zhao, PhD


 We acknowledge the generosity of the following sponsors: 

  • Department of Medical Physiology
  • Michael E DeBakey Institute of Cardiovascular Science and Biomedical Devices
  • Department of Biomedical Engineering
  • Department of Cell Biology and Genetics
  • Department of Veterinary Physiology and Pharmacology

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Four trainee awards will be sponsored by the Department of Medical Physiology and NAVBO (

Preliminary Program 















Friday, August 4, 2023 

8:30 am – 5:00 pm Talks 

5:00 pm – 7:00 pm Posters 


Session 1: Lymphatics in Disease  


Michael Dellinger, PhD 

Associate Professor, Surgical Oncology, UT Southwestern Medical Center 

KrasG12D Drives Lymphatic Malformations During Development by Altering the Cellular and Molecular Landscape of Lymphatic Vessels 


Sanjukta Chakraborty, PhD 

Assistant Professor, Medical Physiology, Texas A&M Health Science Center 

Lymphatic vasculature in progression of liver disease: Targeting novel molecular regulators 


Jorge Castorena, PhD 

Assistant Professor, Department of Pharmacology, Tulane University 

Insights into mechanisms of collecting lymphatic vessel dysfunction in obesity 


Session 2: Vascular Disease and Inflammation  


Nhat-Tu Le, PhD 

Associate Professor, Houston Methodist, Weill Cornell Medical College 

Role of TNIK in modulating interferon signaling and endothelial cell response to viral infection 


Audrey Cleuren, PhD 

Assistant Member, Cardiovascular Biology Research Program, Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation 

The endothelial cell response in inflammation: friend or foe? 


Session 3: Vascular Mechanobiology 


Mabruka Alfaidi, MD, PhD 

Assistant Professor, Internal Medicine, LSU Health Shreveport 

The Interleukin-1 Receptor Mechano-Signaling Roles 


Aaron Baker, PhD 

Professor, Biomedical Engineering, University of Texas at Austin 

Biophysical Rejuvenation of Mesenchymal Stem Cells for Enhancing Vascular Regeneration 


Session 4: Vascular Disease and Therapeutics  


Norman Harris, PhD 

Professor and Chair, Molecular and Cellular Physiology, LSU Health Shreveport 

Retinal vascular pathology (diabetes or hypertension) 


Stryder Meadows, PhD 

Associate Professor, Cell and Molecular Biology, Tulane University 

Molecular Mechanisms Driving Arteriovenous Malformations (AVMs) in Hereditary Hemorrhagic Telangiectasia (HHT) 



Saturday, August 5, 2023 

9:00 am – 1:00 pm Talks 


Session 5: Cellular Bioengineering  


Yi Hong, PhD 

Distinguished Professor, Bioengineering Department, University of Texas at Arlington 

Engineering cardiac hydrogels to promote in vitro angiogenesis  


Feng Zhao, PhD 

Associate Professor, Biomedical Engineering, Texas A&M University 

Structured cell-derived extracellular matrix for vascular bioengineering 


Taci Pereira 

Chief Executive Officer, Systemic Bio 

h-VIOS: A novel human organ-on-a-chip platform using vascularized biomaterial 


Session 6: Large Vessel Remodeling  


Xinchun Pi, PhD 

Assistant Professor, Baylor College of Medicine 

The paracrine regulation of vascular remodeling response during pulmonary hypertension 


Dwight Towler, MD, PhD 

Associate Dean, Resident Research, UT Southwestern Medical Center 

Noncanonical Wnt Signaling in Arteriosclerosis and Aneurysmal Remodeling