Department of Medicine
Faculty Profiles by Division

Department of Medicine

Faculty Profiles

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photo Imad Al Ghouleh, PhD


Assistant Professor of Medicine

Director, Hypoxia Core, VMI


Office: BST 1704.1
200 Lothrop Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
Administrative Assistant:
Diane Margaria
Education and Training
PhD, McGill University, 2009
Postdoc, Pagano Lab, University of Pittsburgh, 2013
Research Interest
Dr. Al Ghouleh’s lab is focused on the study of pulmonary hypertension, a devastating disease that currently has no treatment. An area of major focus is defining the mechanisms that underlie right ventricular phenotypic changes in this disease. As the disease progresses, extensive remodeling occurs in the blood vessels that compose the pulmonary circulation which leads to progressive increases in pulmonary vascular resistance. This in turn causes pressure overload on the right ventricle (RV) of the heart which undergoes remodeling as a result. Initially, RV remodeling is adaptive, but eventually becomes maladaptive and leads to RV failure. There is very little known about the pathways that drive this process. Dr. Al Ghouleh’s lab is focused on understanding these pathways. Their preliminary findings identified a signaling cascade involving the protein ERM binding phosphoprotein 50 (EBP50), also called NHE regulatory factor 1 (NHERF1), in this process. Current research is designed to test this pathway in the RV following pressure overload challenge and to delineate upstream and downstream mechanisms involved with a long-term focus on translating mechanistic insights into potential therapeutic strategies aimed at the RV.
Educational Interest
Dr. Al Ghouleh is actively engaged in training and mentoring junior faculty, postdoctoral fellows, clinical fellows, medical residents, undergraduate, graduate and medical students.
For my complete bibliography, Click Here.
Selected Publications:
Sahoo, S., Meijles, D. N., Al Ghouleh, I., Tandon, M., Cifuentes-Pagano, E., Sembrat, J., Rojas, M., Goncharova, E., Pagano, P. J. MEF2C-MYOCD and Leiomodin1 Suppression by miRNA-214 Promotes Smooth Muscle Cell Phenotype Switching in Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension. PLoS One. 2016; 11(5).
Magder S, Parthenis D, Al Ghouleh I. Preservation of renal blood flow by the antioxidant EUK-134 in LPS treated pigs. International Journal of Molecular Science. 2015; 16(4): 6801-17.
Al Ghouleh, I., Rodríguez, A., Pagano, P. J., Csányi, G. Proteomic analysis identifies an NADPH oxidase 1 (Nox1)-mediated role for actin-related protein 2/3 complex subunit 2 (ARPC2) in promoting smooth muscle cell migration. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 2013; 14(10): 20220-35.
Al Ghouleh, I., Frazziano, G., Rodriguez, A. I., Csányi, G., Maniar, S., St Croix, C. M., Kelley, E. E., Egaña, L. A., Song, G. J., Bisello, A., Lee, Y. J., Pagano, P. J. Aquaporin 1, Nox1, and Ask1 mediate oxidant-induced smooth muscle cell hypertrophy. Cardiovascular Research. 2013; 97(1): 134-42.
Al Ghouleh, I., Magder, S. NADPH oxidase-derived superoxide destabilizes lipopolysaccharide-induced interleukin 8 mRNA via p38, extracellular signal-regulated kinase mitogen-activated protein kinase, and the destabilizing factor tristetraprolin. Shock. 2012; 37(4): 433-40.
Al Ghouleh, I., Pagano, P. J. Endosomal ClC-3 and Nox1: moving marksmen of redox signaling?. Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology. 2011; 31(2): 240-2.
Al Ghouleh, I., Khoo, N. K., Knaus, U. G., Griendling, K. K., Touyz, R. M., Thannickal, V. J., Barchowsky, A., Nauseef, W. M., Kelley, E. E., Bauer, P. M., Darley-Usmar, V., Shiva, S., Cifuentes-Pagano, E., Freeman, B. A., Gladwin, M. T., Pagano, P. J. Oxidases and peroxidases in cardiovascular and lung disease: new concepts in reactive oxygen species signaling. Free Radical Biology and Medicine. 2011; 51(7): 1271-88.
Al Ghouleh, I., Magder, S. Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (reduced form) oxidase is important for LPS-induced endothelial cell activation. Shock. 2008; 29(5): 553-9.
Frazziano G, Al Ghouleh I, Baust J, Shiva SS, Champion HC, Pagano PJ. Nox-derived ROS are acutely activated in pressure overload pulmonary hypertension: indications for a seminal role for mitochondrial Nox4. American Journal of Physiology Heart Circulation Physiology. 2014; 306: H197-205.
Sponsored Research/Activities
Title: Endothelial Reprogramming in Pulmonary Hypertension
Role: Principal Investigator
Funding Agency: National Heart, Lung, & Blood Institute
Grant Number: R01
Start Year: 2019
End Year: 2024
Title: Molecular Mechanisms of Right Ventricle Adaptation and Maladaption to Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension
Role: Principal Investigator
Funding Agency: Gilead Sciences, Inc
Start Year: 2018
End Year: 2020
Title: The Roles of Nox1, EBP50, and Ask1 in Right Ventricular Hypertrophy
Role: Principal Investigator
Funding Agency: American Heart Association-National
Start Year: 2015
End Year: 2019
Title: Role of Wnt/beta-catenin In Liver Regeneration
Role: Co-Investigator
Funding Agency: National Institute of Arthritis, Diab, Dig, & Kid Diseases
Grant Number: R01 DK062277
Start Year: 2019
End Year: 2024
Title: Therapeutic Targeting of Vascular Subphenotypes of Lung Disease (Project 3)
Role: Co-Investigator
Funding Agency: National Heart, Lung, & Blood Institute
Grant Number: P01 HL103455
Start Year: 2016
End Year: 2021
Title: Effects of the sGC Stimulator IWP-121 on Pulmonary Hypertension Induced by Hypoxia and Sugen 5416 in Rats
Role: Co-Investigator
Funding Agency: Ironwood Pharmaceuticlas
Start Year: 2016
End Year: 2018
Notable Achievements
Academic Distinction, McGill University, 2001
Alma Mater Student Travel Award, McGill University, 2004
Sarah Strathmore Award, MUHC Research Institute, 2005
J.T. Costello Memorial Fund Award, Meakins-Christie Laboratories, 2008
Gerald B. Price Memorial Travel Award, 2008
Larry Oberley Merit Award- Young Investigator Award,, 2011
Travel Award, Society for Free Radical Biology and Medicine, 2013
Best Poster Award, Pittsburgh-Munich International Lung Conference, 2014
Junior Faculty Bench Research Award,, 2015
Annual Hypertension Conference Travel Awards for New Investigators, American Heart Association, 2015