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Becker Lab Members


Lewis C Becker, MD, is Robert L Levy Professor of Cardiology, and Director of the Program Project Grant on Myocardial Injury and Repair. He has been engaged in studies of myocardial ischemic injury and inflammation and has directed the laboratory for over 30 years. He is a renowned cardiovascular investigator with an outstanding national and international reputation. He graduated from Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in 1966, was an Intern and Resident in Medicine at the Massachusetts General Hospital, and a Fellow in Cardiology at Hopkins. He subsequently did a postdoctoral research Fellowship at the Hammersmith Hospital in London, was a faculty member in Cardiology at the University of North Carolina, and returned to Hopkins in 1974, where he has been ever since. In addition to his work in the basic science laboratory, he is Director of Nuclear Cardiology Imaging and is co-director of a large program in the genetics of premature coronary artery disease (GeneSTAR). He was also an IRB Chair for many years.

Associate Director:

Zheqin (Paul) Cai, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor of Medicine. Dr. Cai received his MD degree from Beijing Medical University and was practicing as an academic cardiovascular surgeon in China before emigrating to the US in 1996. He received a PhD in Pharmacology from the Medical College of Georgia in 2001, studying nitric oxide production in inner medullary collecting duct cells, and winning an award from the American Society of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics for this work. He then came to Hopkins as a postdoctoral fellow in Gregg Semenza’s laboratory and was promoted to Instructor and then Assistant Professor after joining the Becker laboratory. His major interest is defining the mechanisms responsible for ischemic preconditioning, particularly the role of the protein phosphatase PTEN. He has applied his surgical skills to set up a state of the art in vivo mouse infarction model in the laboratory which serves as a core resource for investigators interested in studies of myocardial infarct size.

Faculty Member:

Xiao Ping Yang, MD, PhD, Research Associate in Medicine. She received her graduate education at Guangxi Medical University in China, and at Kanazawa University in Japan, receiving her PhD there in 2000. She was a visiting scientist for 3 years at the Molecular Diseases Branch of the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute in Bethesda, and then moved to Hopkins, where she has been ever since. Her interests are in molecular biology, inherited molecular disorders and dyslipidemia, and myocardial inflammation.


Ling-Yun (Lisa) Zu is a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory. She received her MD in 2004 from Peking University in Beijing, where she studied the effect of angiopoietin-1 and VEGF gene therapy for ischemia. At Hopkins, she has developed expertise in the in-vivo mouse model of myocardial ischemia/infarction. She is currently studying the role of PTEN in diabetic cardiomyopathy and diabetes-related heart failure in a murine model of insulin deficient diabetes.

Yuan Yuan is an PhD student from Xi’an China. She received her MD in 2006 and has been involved in studies of cardiac microvascular endothelial cells in ischemic myocardium. She is using the in-vivo mouse infarction model and molecular biology techniques to examine the role of PTEN inhibition in cardioprotection against ischemia-reperfusion injury.

Selected Alumni of the Laboratory

Bodh Jugdutt (MD, Research Fellow in Cardiology, 1974-1976). Professor Emeritus of Medicine, University of Alberta, Canada

Jacques Melin (MD, Research Fellow in Cardiology and Nuclear Medicine, 1980-1982). Chief of Medicine and CEO, University of Saint-Luc, Brussels, Belgium

Giuseppe Ambrosio (M.D., Ph.D., Research Fellow in Cardiology, 1984-1986). Director, Division of Cardiology, University of Perugia SOM, Perugia, Italy

Thomas R. Aversano (M.D., Postdoctoral Fellow in Cardiology, 1985-1989). Associate Professor of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University

Richmond R. Jeremy (M.D., Ph.D., Research Fellow in Cardiology, 1987-1989). Professor of Medicine, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia

Kaname Matsumura (M.D., Research Fellow in Cardiology, 1988-1990). Associate Professor of Radiology, Mie University SOM, Japan

Katsuya Akashi (M.D., Research Fellow in Cardiology, 1989-1990). Chairman of the Board, Professor of Medicine, St. Mariana University School of Medicine, Kawasaki, Japan

John Boehmer (M.D., Postdoctoral Fellow in Cardiology, 1989-1992). Professor of Medicine, Pennsylvania State University, Hershey Medical Center, Hershey, Pennsylvania

Carlos M. Duncker (M.D., Ph.D., Research Fellow in Nuclear Med., 1990-1991). Head, Molecular Nuclear Medicine, Children’s Hospital of Mexico, Mexico City

Hisato Takatsu (M.D., Research Fellow in Cardiology, 1990-1992). Assistant Professor, Internal Medicine, Gifu University Graduate SOM, Gifu, Japan

Masazumi Arai (M.D., Research Fellow in Cardiology, 1991-1994). Assistant Professor of Cardiology, Regeneration Medicine and Bioethics,Gifu University Graduate SOM, Gifu, Japan

Naoki Matsumoto (M.D., Ph.D., Research Fellow in Cardiology, 1991-1992). Professor of Pharmacology, St. Marianna University SOM, Japan

David J. Lefer (Ph.D., Research Fellow in Cardiology, 1991-1993). Professor of Cardiovascular Surgery, Emory University SOM, Atlanta, Georgia

Jeffrey Rade (M.D., Postdoctoral Fellow in Cardiology, 1992-1998). Associate Professor of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University

Kai Y. Xu (Ph.D., Research Fellow in Cardiology, 1992-1995). Associate Professor of Surgery, University of Maryland SOM, Baltimore, Maryland

Raymond J. Kim (M.D., Postdoctoral Fellow in Cardiology, 1993-1997). Associate Professor of Medicine and Radiology, Duke University SOM, Durham, North Carolina

Carlo Duilio (M.D., Research Fellow in Cardiology, 1994). Assistant Professor, Federico II School of Medicine, Naples, Italy

Bao Gui Sun (M.D., Ph.D., Research Fellow in Cardiology, 1995-1997). Professor and Director, Division of Cardiology, Shanghai 1st People’s Hospital, China

Buncha Sunsaneewitayakul (M.D., Research Fellow in Cardiology, 1995-1996). Cardiologist, Bumrungrad International Hospital, Bangkok, Thailand

Haiying Fan (M.D., Research Fellow in Cardiology, 1998-2000). Faculty, University of North Carolina, Department of Pediatrics, Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Qiuping Gu (M.D., Ph.D., Research Associate in Cardiology, 2000-2002). Investigator, NHANES, National Center for Health Statistics, Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Hyattsville, MD

Hui-San Chung (Medical Student, Sarnoff Fellow, 2001-2003). Cardiology Fellow, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington

Subhendra N. Mattagajasingh (Ph.D., Instructor in Medicine, 2004-2006). Assistant Professor of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh

Brian Kral (M.D., Postdoctoral Fellow in Cardiology; Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine; 2005-2009). Assistant Professor of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University