Our lab focuses on understanding the molecular mechanism of pulmonary arterial hypertension and coronary vascular development. We are interested in how arteries and veins are specified and how vessels develop normal and pathologic smooth muscle cell investment.
Current Project Titles
The role of Notch3 signaling in pulmonary arterial hypertension
ERG-APJ signaling influences the development of pulmonary veno-occlusive disease in humans and mice
Molecular signals controlling coronary artery and venous development
Dr. Patricia A. Thistlethwaite is a cardiothoracic surgeon and researcher who specializes in adult cardiac surgery and molecular biology. She performs the full range of cardiothoracic surgeries including heart and lung transplantation, coronary artery bypass surgery, valve repair and replacement, and general thoracic operations.
Dr. Thistlethwaite is head of a molecular biology laboratory in the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery. Her research focuses on molecular causes of pulmonary hypertension, mechanisms of coronary arterial and venous differentiation and angiogenesis, and the genetics of cardiac development. She leads a number of major investigations including several National Institutes of Health-funded studies and a Center for Medical Research and Education Fund (CMREF) project studying the causes, prevention, and treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension.
Dr. Thistlethwaite also collaborates with Dr. Jason Yuan of the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine in the UC San Diego Department of Medicine in two NIH basic science studies, one on the genetic basis of idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension and one on the molecular biology of the lung. In addition, she collaborates with Dr. Paul Insel in the Department of Pharmacology in investigating caveolae expression in pulmonary vascular remodeling.
As Program Director of the UC San Diego Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery Residency Program, Dr. Thistlethwaite is the first woman in the United States to be a cardiothoracic surgery program director. She was elected as a member of the American Association for Thoracic Surgery, the most prestigious society for cardiothoracic surgeons, in April 2006