The Subramanian Lab’s research is dedicated to identifying efficient therapeutic targets for the complex life-threatening sexually dimorphic aortic vascular disease: abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAA). AAA is an asymptomatic, permanent dilation of abdominal aorta which can cause death by aortic rupture. The current available therapy is restricted to surgical repair, highlighting the need to explore the mechanics and pathogenesis of AAA to develop effective, non-surgical therapeutics.

To fulfil this goal, the primary focus of our research is to study the functional contribution of the following areas to aortic structural wall integrity during AAA development:

  • Cytoskeletal structural proteins
  • Smooth muscle cell (SMC) homeostasis
  • Extracellular matrix protein stability

Lab Members

Venkateswaran Subramanian, PhD

Dr. Subramanian’s research interests are focused on investigating cardiovascular conditions, including the effect of diabetes on collagen modifications in the heart; the role of osteopontin on diabetic cardiomyopathy; and the role of nuclear receptor PPAR gamma on aortic aneurysms and atherosclerosis.

As an early independent researcher, he examined the role of intracellular protease calpain on aortic aneurysms, earning multiple career development funds from the American Heart Association and National Medical Fellowships. Dr. Subramanian has been awarded two R01 grants from the National Institutes of Health, the latest for his efforts to examine the role of RNA gene miR-146a on aortic aneurysms.

Ana Clara Frony, PhD

Postdoctoral Fellow

Dr. Frony
Ana Clara Frony, PhD

Dr. Frony’s research interests are focused on inflammation in sepsis, cancer and vascular diseases and the importance of extracellular vesicles in these processes. Specifically, in vascular disease, she was interested in understanding the effect of angiotensin II (Ang II) and the role of extracellular vesicles on vascular disease development. She currently wants to comprehend the aspects of aortic aneurysm development induced by Ang II. 

Dr. Frony graduated with her Masters (Biological Science) and PhD (Biosciences) from Rio de Janeiro State University in Brazil. Under the supervision of Dr. Christina Barja-Fidalgo and Dr. João Alfredo de Moraes, Clara participated in studies focusing on the role of inflammation in sepsis, cancer and vascular diseases and the importance of extracellular vesicles in these processes. In July 2022, she initiated her first postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Kentucky under the mentorship of Dr. Subramanian and followed him to the University of Missouri School of Medicine in September of the same year.

Join the Subramanian Lab

We are currently seeking lab technicians and postdoctoral fellows interested in studying the mechanism of aortic aneurysms using novel genetic mouse models. These are fully funded positions. Recent or soon-to-be PhDs preferred. Please contact Dr. Subramanian at directly if interested.

Training Environment

The Subramanian lab is composed of individuals with diverse backgrounds and experiences, all committed to objective study to understand the mechanisms of aortic aneurysmal pathology. Our overall goal is to foster an inclusive, respectful, exciting and intellectually enriching environment that can help everyone succeed and reach their full potential as a researcher.

Our lab mentoring culture provides constant, extensive feedback, and focuses on intense attention to the research literature and the use of hypotheses and working models to monitor the design and interpretation of individual experiments. The importance of effective oral and written communication skills is heavily emphasized. Dr. Subramanian encourages everyone to present their work at national and international meetings and works with lab members to describe finished results in high-quality, first-author publications.