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Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences

Alec Stepanian

MD, PhD Student
alec stepanian

Alec Stepanian

MD, PhD Student

Education: 
BS, Neuroscience, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD
MS, Neuroscience, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD
Research synopsis: 

Rotation Advisor: Iris Jaffe, MD, PhD

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. We are interested in the role played by the mineralocorticoid receptor (MR) in the development of atherosclerosis. I am using in vitro models to examine how aldosterone, a ligand of the MR, differentially regulates downstream transcriptional activity, and how that activity might lead to the development of cardiac disease. Some targets, like ICAM1, when activated by the MR, work to recruit leukocytes to the endothelium, encouraging plaque development. A better understanding of the various mechanisms by which MR encourages plaque formation could result in a broader array of therapeutics designed to inhibit this process.