Zhao Laboratory

The Zhao Laboratory studies the molecular mechanisms of endothelial injury and regeneration, resolution of inflammation, and obliterative vascular remodeling in the pathogeneses of sepsis, acute lung injury (ALI)/acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH).

Recovery of endothelial barrier integrity after vascular injury is vital for endothelial homeostasis and resolution of inflammation. Endothelial dysfunction plays a critical role in the initiation and progression of vascular diseases such as ALI/ARDS and atherosclerosis. A part of the research in the lab, employing genetically modified mouse models of human diseases, endothelial progenitor cells/stem cells, and translational research approach as well as nanotechnology, is to elucidate the molecular mechanisms of endothelial regeneration and resolution of inflammatory injury and determine how aging and epigenetics regulate these processes (J. Clin. Invest. 2006, 116: 2333; J. Exp. Med. 2010, 207:1675; Circulation 2016, 133: 2447). We are also studying the role of endothelial cells in regulating macrophage functional polarization and resolving inflammatory lung injury. These studies will identify druggable targets leading to novel therapeutic strategies to activate the intrinsic endothelial regeneration program to restore endothelial barrier integrity and reverse edema formation for the prevention and treatment of ARDS in patients.

Research Topics

Endothelial Dysfunction


YouYang Zhao, PhD
225 East Chicago Ave., Box 220
Chicago, IL 60611