Lab Members


Pedro JosePedro A. Jose, MD, PhD
Professor of Medicine and Pharmacology and Physiology

Dr. Jose is a nephrologist and basic sciences and translational researcher. He is known for his research in the pathogenesis, genetics, and pharmacogenetics of hypertension. He has more than 380 scientific publications which are cited more than 9,000 times, with 53 articles cited 50 or more times, 19 of which are cited more than 100 times. Four of his publications are covers of scientific journals, six are the subject of editorial commentaries, and one is a featured article. His Hirsch index is 51. Dr. Jose has received several academic and research awards, including the 2003 Lewis K. Dahl Memorial Lecture (American Heart Association), 2007 Ernest H. Starling Distinguished Lecture (American Physiological Society), a 2007 MERIT award (National Institutes of Health), and 2015 Excellence Award for Hypertension Research (American Heart Association).


Ines Armando

Ines Armando, PhD
Associate Professor

Dr. Armando‘s primary research interest involves the renal dopaminergic system. She has conducted and published many studies on several aspects of the function and regulation of the renal dopaminergic system and its role in hypertension, salt sensitivity, and renal injury. She was a senior investigator of the National Research Council (Argentina), leading her own research team with funding by national and international organizations. Her research on the D2 dopamine receptor is funded by the NIDDK. She has 118 articles listed in PubMed.


Laureano AsicoLaureano D. Asico, DVM
Assistant Professor

Laureano D. Asico, DVM, is an assistant professor. Dr. Asico studies the role of dopamine in the kidney and gastrointestinal tract in the regulation of blood pressure. He developed techniques to study the role of the dopamine receptors expressed in the kidney and the gastrointestinal tract, independent of other organs in the regulation of blood pressure. These include the arterial infusion of siRNA of the gene of interest into the renal, celiac, or mesenteric artery to study the role of genes in the kidney, stomach, duodenum, or small intestines in the regulation of sodium balance and blood pressure. He also developed the unique technique of silencing the gene of interest in specific segments of the renal tubule by the infusion of siRNA underneath the renal capsule or the retrograde ureteral infusion of adeno-associated virus carrying the gene of interest, the latter can be used for renal tubule segment-specific gene rescue. He can also perform renal cross-transplantation to determine the role of the genes in the kidney in the regulation of blood pressure. Dr. Asico has mastered surgical techniques in crustaceans, rodents, and bigger mammals. He has 78 articles listed in PubMed.


George Washington University Placeholder

Nicholas Ayvazian, BS
Research Assistant

Mr. Ayvazian studies the genetic causes of salt sensitivity and hypertension. He has expertise in molecular and cell biology techniques such as cell culture, western blotting, real time PCR, and immunohistochemistry.


George Washington University PlaceholderSantiago Cuevas, PhD
Research Scientist

Dr. Cuevas studies the role of renal dopamine receptors and the pathways involved in the regulation of oxidative stress and inflammation in the pathogenesis of renal diseases and hypertension. He has expertise in proteomics, genomics, and cell biological techniques, such as immunohistochemistry, and tissue, fixed-cell, and live-cell imaging. He has expertise in the culture of human and mouse cell lines and techniques for the isolation and immortalization of cells from different segments of the nephron. He has 11 articles listed in PubMed.


Prasad Konkalmatt

Prasad Konkalmatt, PhD
Assistant Professor

Dr. Konkalmatt is a molecular physiologist with molecular biology background and special expertise in the development and use of adeno-associated viral (AAV) vectors for in vivo gene delivery. Dr. Konkalmatt’s research interest deals with the molecular mechanisms by which dopamine receptors and GPR37L1 regulate renal function, blood pressure, and AAV vectors for renal-specific gene delivery and renal-segment specific gene expression and silencing. He also developed therapeutic applications of AAV-mediated cardiac-specific gene expression in a mouse model of cardiac ischemia and reperfusion injury, and hind-limb ischemia. He has a U.S. patent on the use of AAV vectors for gene delivery. He has 30 articles listed in PubMed. One of his publications is the cover of a scientific journal, and another is the subject of an editorial commentary.


George Washington University PlaceholderHai Lin, BS
Research Assistant

Hai Lin, BS, is a research assistant. He studies ion currents in isolated cells.


George Washington University PlaceholderXiaobo Ma, MD
Research Scientist

Dr. Ma is a surgeon who performs microsurgery, including the isolation and transplantation of cells in hepatic portal vein or underneath the renal capsule in rodents and bigger mammals. He can also perform whole organ transplantation. He is currently extending his expertise on renal microsurgery. He has 14 articles listed in PubMed.


George Washington University Placeholder

Aruna R. Natarajan, MD, PhD
Guest Scientist

Dr. Natarajan studies the interaction between the renin-angiotensin and dopaminergic systems in humans. She has six articles listed in PubMed.


Van Villar

Van Anthony Villar, MD, PhD
Assistant Professor

Dr. Villar studies the genetic causes of essential hypertension and salt sensitivity, using new molecular biological and biophysical approaches on appropriate cell, tissue, and animal models. He has excellent training and expertise on various molecular and cell biological techniques and advanced microscopy, including confocal, FRET, FLIM, and super resolution microscopy. He is actively evaluating the dynamics of the interactions among the dopamine receptors, specifically the D1, D3, and D5 dopamine receptors, adrenergic receptors, neuropeptide receptors, insulin receptors, leptin receptors, and sorting nexins. One of his immunofluorescence images is on the cover of a scientific journal, another image was used as cover art for the Children's Research Institute Annual Report, and one of his papers is the subject of an editorial commentary. He has 41 articles listed in PubMed.


Xiaoyan WangXiaoyan Wang, MD, PhD
Assistant Professor

Dr. Wang studies the molecular and cellular mechanisms, especially those related to renal sodium transport, involved in salt-sensitive hypertension and aldosterone escape. She also studies mitochondrial function in renal epithelial cells. She has designed, characterized, and validated antibodies against many G protein-coupled receptors, sodium transporters, and reactive oxygen species-related proteins. She has 37 articles listed in PubMed.


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Xiaoxu Zheng, MD, PhD
Research Scientist

Xiaoxu Zheng, MD, PhD, is a research scientist. He is involved in studies related to the genetics of salt sensitivity. He has expertise in basic cell biology, including cell culture, molecular and cell biological studies, gene transfection, western blotting, conventional and real-time PCR, immunohistochemistry, and confocal microscopy. He also studies vascular function (mesenteric artery and aorta) using myography in mice and rats. He has surgical skills to study cardiac ischemia by ligation of left anterior descending coronary artery, remote ischemic preconditioning by femoral artery ligation, mesenteric artery flow modification, and renal ischemia-reperfusion injury (mice, rats, and pigs). He has 20 articles listed in PubMed.