What We Do:

The long-standing scientific focus of the Romer laboratory is molecular signaling in vascular injury, repair, and regeneration, with a special emphasis on post-translational modification by phosphorylation. Care has been taken over the past two decades to build a multidisciplinary team that incorporates expertise in the biochemistry, molecular biology, and mechanochemical signaling of cell adhesion, the cell biology of cytoskeletal organization, matrix biology, and regenerative medicine. A strong network of international and local collaboration and the outstanding efforts of students from the Biomedical Engineering, and Cell and Molecular Medicine programs at Johns Hopkins have supported a rich intellectually and ethnically diverse environment that has helped the lab to thrive.

Current and recent work includes the definition of mechanotransduction pathways in matrix assembly and cellular responses to microenvironmental geometry (separate grants funded by the Division of Materials Science Research, and by the Division of Chemical, Bioengineering, Environmental, and Transport Systems, both at the National Science Foundation), molecular mechanisms of NO dysregulation and vascular dysfunction in cardiovascular disease (funded by NHLBI, the American Heart Association, the MedImmune Corporation, a T32 postdoctoral fellowship from the JHU Children’s Center, Gilead Sciences Research Scholars Program in Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension, Pearl M. Stetler Research Fund for Women, and Pulmonary Hypertension Association), and microvascular tissue engineering and biomimetic vascular grafts (funded by the Posen Foundation, Kley Dom Biomimetics, and NICHD).

Our multi-level studies focus on vasculopathy in development, pulmonary hypertension, and atherogenesis, and range from transcriptional regulation, to the biochemistry of post-translational modification (phosphorylation, neddylation, and ubiquitination), and proteasomal degradation, to real time imaging of subcellular trafficking, to whole tissue and organism work with a novel transgenic mouse line with human HDAC2 expression that is specific to the vascular endothelium.