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Research & Initiatives

Our research focuses on molecular mechanisms of vascular and neuronal adaptations to physiological stimuli. Our goal is to provide novel insights into identifying molecular targets in the prevention of cardiovascular disease and neurodegeneration. Our Innovative transdisciplinary approaches include bioinformatics, molecular physiology, cell biology, genetics, and AI-based machine learning. Our research platforms include in vitro and in vivo models of fluid shear stress, primary cell culture, transgenic mouse, mitochondrial respirometry, site-directed mutagenesis, random DNA mutation capture, flowcytometry-based extracellular vesicle analysis, Digital ELISA, RNAseq, metabolomic profiling and multiomics technologies.

Our ongoing projects include: 


  • Fluid shear stress-induced mitochondrial remodeling in the vessel wall

  • EV-linked biomarkers for chronic traumatic encephalopathy and sports-related concussion

  • Cell-to-cell communication between muscle, vessel, and fat cell

  • Cellular mechanism of muscle memory and mitochondrial adaptation

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Federal/National Grants


NIH R01NS102157                                                                                                                    2017-2023

Title: Behavioral- and Biomarkers of subconcussion with controlled human head impact

Role: MPI

The overall goals of this project are to assess the short-term consequences of mild mechanical impact.

We seek to introduce novel behavioral and biochemical markers of brain injury and repair caused by mild mechanical stress.


Korean National Research Foundation                                                                                    2021-2025

Title: Validation study for the effectiveness of CES-D-10-customized exercise program and its association with genome-wide polymorphism in individuals with mild to moderate depression

Role: Consultant (in-kind)

The overall goal of this project is to develop a digital health platform to mitigate post-COVID mental health pandemic. We seek to find the interaction between genetic background and physical activity in the context of personalized medicine.

NIH R01HL126952                                                                                                                      2015-2021

Title: Functional Implications of Fluid Shear Stress-Induced Mitochondrial Remodeling

Role: PI

The goal of this project is to determine the functional effects of targeted endothelial mitochondrial remodeling on vascular dysfunction and hypertension

NIH R01HL133248                                                                                                                   2016-2020

Title: Mechanism of Hypertensive Vascular Remodeling and End-Organ Damage

Role: Co-I (PI, Eguchi)

The overall goals of this project are to test the hypothesis that activation of membrane receptor signal transduction leading to enhanced vascular remodeling and end-organ damage in animal models of hypertension to seek alternative treatments against hypertensive complications.

NIH R01HL129120                                                                                                                  2016-2020*

Title: Follistatin-like protein 1 in cardiac and systemic metabolism

Role: Co-I (MPI, Recchia and Walsh)

The overall goals of this project are to test the hypothesis that the relative production of Fstl1 by heart and skeletal muscle varies in response to physiological and pathological conditions and contributes to the regulation of cardiac and systemic energy metabolism.


NIH T34 GM087239      MARC U*STAR PROGRAM                                                              2017-2019

Role: Primary Faculty Mentor/Advisor

To maximize access to research experience for underrepresented undergraduate students in science and technology majors preparing them for applying to biomedical sciences (PhD or MD/PhD) graduate programs


AHA SDG 12070327                                                                                                                2012-2016

Title: Flow Shear Stress-Induced Mitochondrial Biogenesis in Endothelial Cells

Role: PI

The goal of this project is to determine the molecular mechanism whereby high flow induces mitochondrial biogenesis in vascular endothelial cells.

AHA PRE041544U, American Heart Association                                                                  2004-2006

Title: Functional Analysis of NFKB1 Gene Variation in Hypertensives: Exercise Training Intervention and Human Endothelial Cell Shear Studies

Role: PI

The goal of this project was to investigate how NFKB1 I/D polymorphism affects vascular adaptations to exercise training in hypertensive individuals by conducting an in vivo exercise intervention and an in vitro laminar shear stress study on Human Umbilical Vein Endothelial Cells.

Funded Training Grants Served As Primary Faculty Mentor


The Barry Goldwater Foundation           Goldwater Scholarship                                         2020-2021

Title: p53 Pro72Arg polymorphism mediates HIF-dependent changes in proliferation and p21 expression in endothelial cells

Role: Primary Faculty Mentor/Advisor (Student, Daniel Jovin)

To investigate the role of p53 P72R on the cell survival and functional response in endothelial cells under hypoxia to identify potential risk factors and pathways of vascular disease.

AHA 19POST34450157            Postdoctoral Fellowship Grant                                             2019-2021

Title: PHD2-dependent regulation of physiological angiogenesis in skeletal muscle

Role: Primary Faculty Mentor/Advisor (Postdoctoral trainee, Junchul Shin, PhD)

The objective of this study is to determine the role of muscle PHD2 in endothelial mitochondrial adaptations under flow conditions, and to test the working hypothesis that the improved mitochondrial integrity within endothelial cells will promote the induction of physiological angiogenesis in adult skeletal muscle.


Temple University Graduate School, CPH Visionary Research Fund                                   2021

Title: Evaluation of lymphatic biomarker response following sport-related concussion in collegiate contact sport athletes

Role: Primary Faculty Mentor/Advisor (Student, Meghan Rath)

The long-term goal of this study is to develop objective detection parameters to identify incidence of SRC, its underlying mechanisms that influence long-term neurodegeneration, and the subsequent development of preventative treatment strategies.

Temple University Graduate School, CPH Visionary Research Fund                                   2020

Title: Molecular mechanism of Drp1-mediated mitochondrial fission on disturbed flow-induced atheroprone endothelial phenotype: Preventive effect of exercise on atherosclerosis

Role: Primary Faculty Mentor/Advisor (Student, Soon-Gook Hong)

The overarching hypothesis is that Drp1-dependent mitochondrial fragmentation under DF would regulate endothelial metabolism and activation status by altering the retrograde signaling.

Temple University Graduate School, Summer Research Grant                                            2019

Title: Utilization of digital ELISA technology to detect novel blood biomarkers for sport-related mild traumatic brain injury

Role: Primary Faculty Mentor/Advisor (Student, Meghan Rath)

The objective of this study is to identify novel serological biomarkers for traumatic brain injury using a cutting-edge Digital ELISA technology. This grant will support Dr. Park’s PhD student during summer (June through August).


PATS 290119, Pennsylvania Athletic Trainer Society                                                            2015-2016

Title: Effect of subconcussive head impact on blood-brain barrier derived microparticle

Role: Primary Faculty Mentor/Advisor (Student, Keisuke Kawata)


AHA PRE11960049, American Heart Association                                                                2012-2014

Title: Effects of Laminar Shear Stress on Mitochondrial DNA Integrity in Endothelial Cells

Role: Primary Faculty Mentor/Advisor (Student, Boa Kim)

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