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Guillermo Garcia-Cardena

2017 NAVBO Judah Folkman Award in Vascular Biology -
Guillermo García-Cardeña, Brigham & Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School

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The NAVBO Meritorious Awards Committee, the Scientific Advisory Board, and the NAVBO Council announce with pleasure the selection of Guillermo García-Cardeña, Ph.D., as the recipient of the 2017 Judah Folkman Award in Vascular Biology. This award recognizes outstanding contributions from vascular biologists who are at mid-career (within fifteen years of their first faculty appointment). Dr. García-Cardeña will present the Folkman Award Lecture and receive the award at Vascular Biology 2017 in Pacific Grove, California (October 15-19, 2017).

Dr. García-Cardeña received his Ph.D. in Molecular Medicine and Pharmacological Sciences at Yale University in 1997, under the tutelage of Dr. William Sessa. Following post-doctoral studies in the laboratory of Dr. Michael Gimbrone at Harvard Medical School, he joined the faculty of Harvard’s Department of Pathology, rising to the rank of Associate Professor in 2010. He currently holds additional appointments as Scientist in the Center for Excellence in Vascular Biology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Director of the Laboratory for Systems Mechanobiology in the Center for Excellence in Vascular Biology, Affiliated Faculty Member in the Harvard Stem Cell Institute, and Associate Member of the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT.

During his doctoral work, Dr. García-Cardeña characterized multiple mechanisms, including covalent modification and subcellular distribution of key proteins, crucial for the regulation of endothelial nitric oxide synthase. These studies identified several novel targets for the regulation of NO production in the vascular system. As a postdoctoral trainee, he undertook investigation of endothelial cell responsiveness to various forms of biomechanical perturbation and their functional consequences for endothelial phenotype. These studies involved the development of high-throughput transcriptional profiling platforms to analyze global gene expression patterns in endothelial cells, as well as the creation of novel devices to simulate in vitro the endothelium under shearing blood flow.

As an independent investigator, Dr. García-Cardeña’s laboratory has continued to investigate mechano-activated signaling in the endothelium, focusing on transcriptional elements Kruppel-like factors 2 and 4 as integrators of the response to flow and as potential targets for novel cardioprotective therapeutics. Other research in his lab examines the role of blood flow initiation as a developmental trigger, demonstrating that hemodynamic forces present in the arterial tree are capable of changing venous endothelial specification to an arterial endothelial fate. His research group has begun to use induced-pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) as a tool to better understand endothelial cell plasticity and for modeling human disease. Dr. García-Cardeña has earned strong support from the NIH for his research and has published more than 60 peer-reviewed papers, many in top-tier journals.

Dr. García-Cardeña’s award nominations describe his scientific studies as “impactful and unique” and “paramount in the field as they have been able to integrate environmental forces with differentiation…” and “…have started a subfield in vascular biology.” “Over his short career, Dr. Garcia-Cardeña has been able to effectively bridge multiple fields and provide clear integration between physical forces, transcriptional regulation and cell biology.”

Dr. García-Cardeña’s award lecture is entitled, "Insights into the Mechanobiology of the Endothelium" and will be presented on Wednesday, October 18 at 2:30pm.  Please join us for VB2017 at the Asilomar Conference Grounds this October to honor Dr. García-Cardeña as he receives this award in recognition of his accomplishments and bright future as a vascular biologist.


Compiled by William R. Huckle,
NAVBO Editor

Read more about the Judah Folkman Award