Job Description

Mission Statement:

The mission of the Cardiac Research Laboratory is to leverage cell-matrix mechanisms in normal physiology for the development of new and less invasive treatments for cardiovascular pathologies. To achieve this mission, our laboratory partners with cardiothoracic surgeons to leverage an abundance of clinical and surgical expertise to shape and execute clinically-relevant inquiries through basic science experimental designs. Our team of vascular cell and matrix biologists, cardiothoracic surgeons, research coordinators, physician assistants, and nurses strives to provide a dynamic interdisciplinary training environment at an important clinical, basic science, and bioengineering intersection. These facets will enable impactful basic science discoveries that translate toward innovative clinical decision making in the management of patients affected by cardiovascular disease. In this lab, we believe that science is real, love is love, immigrants are welcome, diversity is essential, black lives matter, and blood vessels are cool.

Projects in the Cardiac Research Laboratory have two primary goals:

  1. Define the underlying cellular and molecular pathophysiology of cardiopulmonary diseases
  2. Leverage new knowledge in disease pathophysiology to guide clinical decision making for surgical intervention and through the development of new and/or less invasive surgical treatment options

A large focus of the team for the past 16 years has been elucidating the distinct mechanisms governing thoracic aortic disease and specifically leverage a large human aortic tissue and cell bank of >1,000 unique patient specimens.

About Dr. Phillippi:

Dr. Julie Phillippi is the UPMC Pellegrini Chair in Cardiothoracic Surgery and an Associate Professor of Cardiothoracic Surgery at the Pittsburgh School of Medicine. Dr. Phillippi received her Bachelor of Science degree in Microbiology from Penn State University and earned her PhD in Biological Sciences from Carnegie Mellon University. She completed her post-doctoral training through the Pittsburgh Tissue Engineering Initiative at the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University. Dr. Phillippi is wholly committed to research mentoring of surgeon scientists, basic scientists, and bioengineers. She has mentored or co-mentored 5 early career surgeon scientists and 6 PhD post-doctoral fellows, 35 undergraduates, and 15 high school students, many of whom continued in academic roles or were inspired to pursue advanced degrees.


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