Text Box: Rolando Juan José Ramirez, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor,Dept. of Biology
ASEC 179 , Univ. of Akron
Ph: (330) 972-2753 
E-mail: rjr@uakron.edu
Text Box: WHO I AM AND WHAT I DO
Hi, welcome to the web page!  My name is Rolando (Jay Jay) Ramirez, and I’m an assistant professor in the Department of Biology at the University of Akron.   My training is in Physiology with an emphasis in the cardiovascular system.   My research work has dealt mainly with changes in the cardiovascular system as a result of pregnancy, and the detrimental changes that can occur during pregnancy (i.e. pregnancy-induced hypertension, preeclampsia, gestational diabetes).  If I would have to classify my work I would rather classify it as integrative physiology.  Throughout my career I have chosen keep adopt an integrative approach to my work by studying the cardiovascular system from the whole animal all the way down to the cellular level.   I have particularly been interested in the influence of oxidative stress on these cardiovascular changes, and have been using a variety of different animal models of oxidative stress (both rats and mice).

CLASSES THAT I HAVE TAUGHT OR WILL BE TEACHING

 

Human Anatomy and Physiology I (Fall ‘05; ‘06)
Human Anatomy and Physiology II  (Spring ‘06; ‘07)

Natural Sciences Biology ( Summer III ‘07)

RESEARCH INTERESTS

 

My research interests include:

 

-Cardiovascular physiology,

-Maternal adaptation to pregnancy,

-Vasoactive agents

-Endothelial derived factors

-Hypertension

-Intrauterine growth retardation (IUGR)

-Preeclampsia

 

The term that best describes the type of science that I practice is Integrative Physiology.  It is purely hypothesis driven; therefore, my science is not limited by techniques.  In doing so, a wide range of techniques are used to address very specific scientific questions.   These techniques include:  chronically instrumented animals, isolated blood vessels, in vitro assays, and some molecular biology.  This allows me to examine a question on many different levels ranging from the whole animal to mRNA.  I am a student of Integrative Physiology, therefore I am always seeking to learn and use new techniques to answer specific questions.

One of my areas of interest includes diseases that occur during pregnancy, in particular, preeclampsia. Preeclampsia is a severe hypertensive disease that only develops during pregnancy and is the leading cause of maternal and fetal morbidity and mortality.  I have been investigating this disease by studying an animal model in which uterine perfusion pressure (RUPP) is reduced through surgical manipulation.  It is believed that RUPP is a central component in the etiology of preeclampsia and IUGR. Our group, along with others, has shown that this surgical manipulation produces a phenotype similar to preeclampsia and includes hypertension and fetal growth retardation.  We have generated exciting data characterizing detrimental alterations in maternal blood vessel function during RUPP. 

One of my other areas of interest is oxidative stress, which is an imbalance in anti- and pro-oxidants that favors pro-oxidation.  This imbalance can lead to tissue damage leading to an increased risk of disease, in particular cardiovascular disease. We have therefore used a variety of animal models to investigate different facets of oxidative stress.  On one project, we have been focusing on the impact of reduced anti-oxidant (ascorbic acid) intake on pregnancy-induced cardiovascular changes using a mutant rat model that lacks the ability to produce ascorbate.

Hyperlipidemia is another factor that we have been studying as something that may detrimentally shift the balance towards pro-oxidation during pregnancy.  Past work by our group has demonstrated that poloxamer-induced hyperlipidemia caused detrimental alterations in vascular regulation as well as causing retarded fetal growth. Recently we have focused on studying the effects of hypertriglyceridemia on pregnancy-related cardiovascular changes using a mouse model in which lipoprotein lipase has been knocked out.

Although most of my research has focused on pregnancy the impact of these studies goes well beyond pregnancy. For example, increased understanding of the normal and pathological changes that occur during pregnancy can help: clarify hormonal changes that occur as a result of menopause, increase understanding of cardiovascular sex differences, and may help in the development of future therapies for hypertension.

EDUCATION

 

Undergraduate

 

Dates Attended           Name and Location of          Degree Received           Major Subject

                                       Institution                               and Year                                            

1987-1991                      West Virginia University,          B.A., 1991                    Biology             

                                       Morgantown, WV

 

Graduate

 

Dates Attended           Name and Location of        Degree Received         Major Advisor

                                       Institution                             and Year                     and Discipline 

1992-1997                      West Virginia University,       Ph.D., 1997                  Stanley Einzig, MD,Ph.D.

                                       Morgantown, WV                                                       Physiology

 

Post-graduate

 

Dates Attended        Name and Location of                                        Name    of Program Director and

                                    Institution                                                          Discipline                

1997—2005               Magee-Womens Research                                     Margaret K. McLaughlin, Ph.D.

                                Institute, University of Pittsburgh,                          Integrative Physiology                        Depts. of Ob/ Gyn and Reproductive sciences                   

                              

APPOINTMENTS and POSITIONS

Years Inclusive       Name and Location                                     Rank/Title

                                 of Institution

                                  

2002-2005                Magee-Womens                             Research Assistant Professor

                                Research Institute,

                                University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA                                                                                

 

2005-2006               University of Akron, Dept. of Biology   Visiting Res. Asst. Professor

                                Akron, OH

 

2006-present           University of Akron, Dept. of Biology   Assistant Professor

                               Akron, OH

Interested In Graduate School???

If you are an undergrad/graduate student interested in the above topics or even feel your interests may be related please contact me!!!! I am always looking for prospective graduate students to help advance existing research projects, as well as developing their own!

 

Here in the University of Biology one could further their scientific career by entering our Masters of Science Program http://www.uakron.edu/colleges/artsci/depts/biology/grad.php , or the new Integrative Biology Ph.D. Programhttp://www.uakron.edu/inter-disciplinary/integrated-bioscience/index.php

Please contact the Department websites or myself for further information!!!

Recent Publications

· Novak J, Danielson LA, Kerchner LJ, Sherwood OD,  Ramirez RJ, Moalli PA, and Conrad KP.  Relaxin is the “elusive” renal vasodilator of pregnancy. J Clin Invest. 107(11):1469-75, 2001.

· Ramirez RJJ, Novak J, Gandley RE, Johnston TP, McLaughlin MK, and Hubel CA.  Endothelial functionand myogenic reactivity in small mesenteric arteries of P-407-induced hyperlipidemic rats. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physio.;281(4):R1330-7, 2001.

 

· Novak J ,Ramirez RJJ, Gandley RE,  Sherwood OD and  Conrad KP.   Myogenic reactivity is reduced in small renal arteries isolated from relaxin-treated rats. Am J. Physiol Regul Inter Comp Physiol , 283(2):R349-55, 2002.

 

· Ramirez RJJ, Hubel CA, Novak J, and Gandley RE.   Moderate Ascorbic Acid Deficiency                    increases myogenic reactivity of mesenteric arteries from pregnant but not virgin ascorbate-dependent rats.  Hypertension 47:454-460, 2005.

 

· Debrah DO, Novak J, Matthews JE, Ramirez RJ, Shroff SG, and Conrad KP. Relaxin is Essential for Systemic Vasodilation and Increased Global Arterial Compliance During Early Pregnancy in Conscious Rats. Endocrinology 147 (11) 5126-31, 2006.

Interested In Graduate School???

If you are an undergrad/graduate student interested in the above topics or even feel your interests may be related please contact me!!!! I am always looking for prospective graduate students to help advance existing research projects, as well as developing their own!

 

Here in the University of Biology one could further their scientific career by entering our Masters of Science Program http://www.uakron.edu/colleges/artsci/depts/biology/grad.php

 , or the new Integrative Biology Ph.D. Programhttp://www.uakron.edu/inter-disciplinary/integrated-bioscience/index.php

Please contact the Department websites for further information!!!