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Julie A. Phillippi, Ph.D.

Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery and McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine
University of Pittsbugh
Pittsburgh, PA

Primary Research:

The Phillippi Laboratory is focused on two primary objectives 1) Understanding the role of the microvasculature in cardiovascular pathologies; and 2) Developing novel technologies that therapeutically preserve or regenerate microvasculature. Active projects in the lab focus on the role of vasa vasorum in human aortic disease. Experimental approaches include development of extracellular matrix (ECM) bioscaffolds as disease models and biomaterial-based therapies. We are interested in how the ECM influences the prevalence and function of progenitor cells in the adventitia and how they could be therapeutically harnessed for microvascular regeneration and tissue repair. Some of our key findings include functional characterization of vasa vasorum-associated progenitor cells in human adventitia (Billaud et al., Stem Cell Reports 2017) and development of adventitia-derived ECM hydrogels as pro-angiogenic biomaterials (Fercana, et al., 2017). We also identified microvascular remodeling of vasa vasorum associated with medial hypoxia in patients with aneurysmal disease (Billaud et al., Front Cardiovasc Med 2018), thus shaping a premise that strategies aiming to improve microvascular function may prevent or attenuate aortic disease.

Members of the laboratory: 

Jen Hill (Research Specialist)
Tara Richards (Research Specialist)
Kailyn Wintruba (Undergraduate Researcher)
YOUR NAME HERE (post-doctoral fellow) <<Positions available!
YOUR NAME HERE (graduate student) <<Positions available!  

 Phillippi Lab photo

Recent Publications:

  • Billaud M, Hill JC, Richards TR, Gleason TG, and Phillippi JA. Medial Hypoxia and Adventitial Vasa Vasorum Remodeling in Human Ascending Aortic Aneurysm. Frontiers in Cardiovascular Medicine. Published online 17 Sept 2018. 5:124. PubMed PMID: 30276199
  • Billaud M, Donnenberg VS, Ellis BW, Meyer EM, Donnenberg AD, Hill JC, Richards TD, Gleason TG, and Phillippi JA. Classification and Functional Characterization of Vasa Vasorum-Associated Perivascular Progenitor Cells in Human Aorta. Stem Cell Reports. 2017. 9 (1): 292-303. PubMed PMID: 28552602
  • Fercana GR*, Yerneni S*, Billaud M, Hill JC, VanRyzin P, Richards TD, Sicari B, Badylak SF, Johnson S, Campbell PG, Gleason TG, and Phillippi JA. Perivascular Extracellular Matrix Hydrogels Mimic Native Matrix Microarchitecture and Promote Angiogenesis via Basic Fibroblast Growth Factor. Biomaterials. 2017 Apr;123: 142-154. *Equal contribution. PubMed PMID: 28167392

Lab Motto:

Keep calm and research on