Azeez Aileru, PhD, FAHA
Interim Chair of Foundational Sciences
Division Director of Basic Sciences
4265 Ledyard E. Ross Hall
Mechanisms associated with altered neural functions during hypertension and its association with metabolic syndromes.
PhD – Physiology/Biophysics, Howard University College of Medicine
MS – Biology (Toxicology), North Carolina Central University
BS – Biology, North Carolina Central University
Dr. Azeez Aileru earned a PhD in physiology from Howard University and completed his postdoctoral training in neuropharmacology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in addition to his MS training in pulmonary toxicology from North Carolina Central University in collaboration with the US EPA. Before joining the SoDM, he served at Winston-Salem State University as faculty & director of Biomedical Research Infrastructure Center and an adjunct professor in the Department of Physiology & Pharmacology at Wake Forest University School of Medicine. Heis a member of many professional and scientific organizations, and he serves as a scientific reviewer for many journals and grant review study sections as well as directs many NIH training programs. He is a member of the Rotary International Club and holds a seat on the Board of Winston-Salem Rotary. He coordinates the teaching of basic sciences at the ECU School of Dental Medicine. He grew up in Durham but spent most of his adult life in Winston-Salem, NC, where he raised his family. He enjoys soccer, football, running and traveling.
Dr. Aileru’s Research Statement
My research activity is designed to study the neuronal control of hypertension and its association with metabolic syndromes. Over a few years, some of our work has identified the neuroanatomical and transmitter pathways sub-serving angiotensin II actions in brain areas involved in baroreceptor reflex control of the blood circulation. Some studies investigate neural and hormonal interactions in the kidney and alterations in nervous system in response to angiotensin peptides, hypertension and most recently, during obesity. The work explores the mechanistic relationship between the brain and kidney in the long-term control of blood pressure, fluid volume and how a specific peptide system interacts with cardiovascular reflexes at specific brain sites. We investigate these pathological changes using voltage clamp techniques to characterize the individual ionic currents that contribute to this activity. We study the biophysics of the synaptic transmission during hypertension and the role of background calcium in synaptic plasticity using Ca2+imaging. This helped to understand the mechanisms by which hypertension produces profound changes in the physiology of nerve transmission and how the neurons produce functionally coordinated increase in synaptic transmission.Analysis of these projects helped to gain an insight to the pathology of sustained pressure leading to the functional role of brain-renin-angiotensin-aldosterone systems in hypertension and in obesity during Type 2 diabetes episodes.
Grants and Contracts Support
T34GM070416 MARC U*STAR; A. Aileru PI 06/01/07-05/31/19 3.00 calendar months
Goal: The major goals of this project are to Maximize Access to Research Careers Undergraduate Student Training in Academic Research and promote academic advancement of STEM students to pursue advanced research careers in biomedical science and to increase the pool of talented students for graduate programs leading to the PhD degree in disciplines important for biomedical or behavioral research.
R25GM113774 NIH/NIGMS-RISE; A. Aileru PI 03/01/10 – 02/29/20; 3.00 calendar months
Goal: The major goals of this project are to enhance Research Initiative for Scientific and promote academic advancement in biomedical science and to increase the pool of students who are well prepared academically and sufficiently experienced in research to be competitive for graduate programs leading to the PhD degree in biomedical or behavioral research.
P20MD002303 NIH; Flack PI; A. Aileru Co-PI; 09/30/07 – 05/31/12; 3.00 calendar monthsNIMHD/NIH EXPORT Project; Goal: To establish a center of research to improve minority health and eliminate health disparities.
P20 NCRR-11583-10 NIH; Martin, Harold PI; Aileru, A. PD; 3.00 calendar months;A. Aileru PI-subproject 2: 10/01/97 – 09/30/07; 3.00 calendar months:Mechanisms of Alteration in Sympathetic Transmission and Hypertension. Goal: To elucidate the role sympathetic synaptic transmission in sustained blood pressure.
S06 GM 08040 NIH; A. Aileru, Subproject 1; PI 06/07/99 – 06/30/02; Modulation of Synaptic Transmission in mREN Transgenic Rat. Goal:To determine the neural elements and Molecular fingerprint of Renin-Angiotensin-Aldosterone system in the genetic form of hypertension.
K01 HL 67700 NIH; A. Aileru PI; Mentor D. Diz; NHLBI Mentored Minority Faculty Development Award: Activity-Dependent Synaptic Plasticity; Goal: Elucidate and compare patterns of neuroplastic behavior in activity dependent vs independent synaptic transmission.
T34GM070416 NIH/NIGMS MARC U*STAR; A. Aileru PI; $309,000; 06/2009 – 5/2011 NIH/NIGMS MARC U*STAR Recovery Act (ARRA). Goal: Administrative Supplements, American Recovery and Reenactment Act (ARRA).
R25NS065778 NIH/NIGMS; W. Silver PI; A. Aileru Co-PI 09/2009 – 8/2014; Goal: To establish Undergraduate Neuroscience Training Cooperation between Wake Forest University and Winston-Salem State University.
1990-Present – American Physiological Society
1995-Present – Society for Neuroscience
1998-Present – Association for Ethnic Diversity in the Neuroscience (AEON) The National Institute for Neurological Disorders & Stroke (NINDS)
2004-Present – American Heart Association, Council for High Blood Pressure Research, Member
2000-Present – Consortium for Southeastern Hypertension Control
Honors and Awards
- Fellow American Heart Association (FAHA) ·American Heart Association (2015)
- Top 20 Science & Technology Professors in North Carolina ·SateStats.org and online Schools (2013)
- Piedmont Triad Biotechnology Excellence in Research & Development Award ·NC Biotechnology Institute (2012)
- Thurgood Marshall Distinguished Faculty Award ·College Foundation (2008)
- Martin Luther King Jr. “Building the Dream” Award ·Wake Forest University/Winston-Salem State University (2013)
- Wilveria B. Atkinson Distinguished Research Award ·Winston-Salem State University (2007)
- John Fountain Master Teacher Excellence Award ·Winston-Salem State University (2007)
- Wilma Lassita Master Teacher Award ·Winston-Salem State University (2002)
- Cedric S. Rodney Service Award ·Winston-Salem State University (2013)
- Scholarship Award – Cardinal Principle ·Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. (2010, 2012)
- Top 10 Research Award School of Graduate Studies & Research ·Winston-Salem State University (2008)
- Silver Award in Recognition of Exceptional Achievements in Sponsored Programs, School of Graduate Studies & Research ·Winston-Salem State University (2010)
- Induction in the Million Dollar Club Award for the FY 2006/07, 2008/09, School of Graduate Studies & Research ·Winston-Salem State University (2010)
- Minority Faculty Development Research (K01) Award ·National Heart Lung Blood Institute, NIH (2001 – 2006)
- MARC-FASEB Travel Award ·American Physiological Society (2004)
- “One in a Million” Achievement Award ·School of Graduate Studies & Research, Winston-Salem State University (2000, 2001)
- Porter Physiology Research Fellowship Award ·National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney diseases (NIDDK), (1991 – 1993).
Aileru, A. A. Ph.D., Diz, D. I. Ph.D.; Jeffers, A. B. MS; Pulgar, Victor M. Ph.D.; Rashad, H. M. MS. (2013) Increased Constrictor Tone Induced by Ouabain-Treatment in Rats J Cardiovasc Pharmacol. 62:174183. PMID: 23615157.
Aileru, A. A., Diz, D. I., Jeffers, A. B., Pulgar, V. M. (2012) Enhanced Engothelin-1 Response in Mesenteric Arteries in Acquired & Inherited Forms of Hypertension. FASEB J. 26:872.29.
Aileru, A. A., Diz, D. I., Jeffers, A. B., Pulgar, V. M., Rae-Dickenson, S., Rashad, H. (2012) Na-K-ATPase Isoform Profile in Acquired & Genetic Forms of Hypertension Favors the Hypertensive Phenotype. FASEB J. 26:872.30.
Aileru, A. A., David B. A., Diz, D. I., Exazevia M. L., and Hossam A. S. (2011) “The Functional Role of PI3K in Maintenance of Blood Pressure & Baroreflex Suppression in (mRen2)27 & mRen2.Lewis Rat; J Cardiovasc Pharmacol.” 58(4):367 73. PMID: 21697727.
Aileru, A. A., Diz, D. I., Jeffers, A. B., Pulgar, V. M. (2011) Vascular Na-K-ATPase in Acquired & Genetic Forms of Hypertension. Hypertension 58(5) e34: P211.
Aileru, A. A., Bhat, M. B., Chappell, M. C., Lindsey, S. H. (2011) GPR30 Attenautes Functional AT1 Receptor Expression in Rat Mesenteric Smooth Muscle Cells. FASEB J. 25, 1088.8.
Aileru, A. A., Diz, D. I., Johnson, A., Logan, E. (2010) Pressor & Baroreflex Effects of Ouabain in (mRen2) 27 & mRen2.Lewis Rats. FASEB J. 24:977.5.
Aileru, A. A., Callahan, M. F., Diz, D. I., Ferrario, C. M., Ganten, D., Logan, E. M. (2004) “Alterations in Sympathetic Ganglionic Transmission in Response to Angiotensin II in (mRen-2)27 Transgenic Rats. Hypertension.” 43:270-75 PMID: 14732737.Aileru,
Aileru, A. A., Albuquerque, M., Hamlyn, J. M., Manunta, P., Shah, M. H., Weinreich, D. (2001) Synaptic Plasticity in Sympathetic Ganglia from Acquired & Inherited Forms of Ouabain-dependent Hypertension. Am. J. Physiol. Regulatory Integrative Comp Physiol.” 281: R635-R644. PMID: 11448869.
Watkinson WP, Wiester MJ, Highfill JW, Aileru AA, Campen MJ, Tepper JS, Costa DL. Thermoregulatory Considerations Affecting Both Acute and Prolonged Exposures to Ozone in Rodents. In: Thermal Balance in Health and Disease. (E. Zeisberger, E. Schonbaum, and P. Lomax, eds.), pp. 509-514, Birkhauser-Verlag, Berlin, 1994.
Selected Published Abstracts
(from Over 100 abstracts with students)
- Aileru AA, Jeffers AB, Rashad HM, Diz DI, Pulgar VM. Mechanisms of increased peripheral resistance in an inheritable form of hypertension. 13th Research Center in Minority Institutions Program International Symposium, San Juan, Puerto Rico, December 10-13, 2012
- Janai Gaston, Chongben Zhang, PhD, Azeez Aileru, PhD. Impairment of insulin signaling in rat hepatocytes that overexpress glycerol-3-phosphate acyltransferase-1. WSSU University Day April, 2018
- Guy Blackmon,Azeez Aileru. Expression of Ren-2 Gene on Blood Pressure and the expression Angiotensin Receptor Sub-Type 1 (AT-1) in the Superior Cervical Ganglia During Hypertension. 16thAnnual Biomedical Research for Minority Students, Tampa, Florida, November 14, 2016
- Ghafari B, Pulgar VM, Aileru A. Effects of Ouabain treatment on mesenteric vascular reactivity. Excellence in Cardiovascular Sciences Meeting, Wake Forest School of Medicine, July 2011
- Joshua Waller, Serguei Sidach, and Azeez Aileru. Voltage-Activated Calcium Channels in Vascular Smooth Muscle: An Electrophysiological Approach to Study Calcium Handling in the Aorta During Hypertension. 16thAnnual Biomedical Research for Minority Students, Tampa, Florida, November 14, 2016
- Thomas Fair; Guy Blackmon; Exazevia Logan, Ph.D.; and Azeez Aileru, Ph.D. Effects of Cardiac Glycosides on the Electrocardiogram of an Overexpressed Renin-Angiotensin System Rodents. 17thAnnual Biomedical Research for Minority Students, November 2017
- Pulgar V, Jeffers A, Diz D, and Aileru AA. Vascular Na-K-ATPase in Acquired and Genetic Forms of Hypertension. Hypertension 58(5) e34: P211, 2011
- Pulgar VM, Jeffers AB, Diz DI, Aileru AA. Enhanced endothelin-1 response in mesenteric arteries in acquired and inherited forms of hypertension. FASEB J. 26:872.29, 2012
- Pulgar VM, Rashad H, Jeffers AB, Rae-Dickenson S, Diz DI, Aileru AA. Na-K-ATPase isoform profile in acquired and genetic forms of hypertension favors the hypertensive phenotype. FASEB J. 26:872.30, 2012
- Lindsey SH, Bhat MB, Aileru AA, and Chappell MC. (2011) GPR30 Attenuates Functional AT1 Receptor Expression in Rat Mesenteric Smooth Muscle Cells. FASEB J. 25, 1088.8, 2011
- Logan E, Johnson A, Diz DI, Aileru A. Pressor and baroreflex effects of Ouabain in (mRen2)27 and mRen2.Lewis rats. FASEB J. 2010; 24:977.5.
- Logan E, Johnson A, Diz DI, Aileru A. Nicotinic and AT1 receptors show enhanced responsiveness in the superior cervical ganglia of (mRen2)27 versus Sprague-Dawley rats. Hypertension. 2009; 54(4): e85. P276.
- Logan EM, Diz DI, Ferrario CM, Ganten D, Aileru AA. Differences in ganglionic transmission between (mRen) 27 and mRen2.Lewis models of hypertension. Hypertension 2008 Oct; 52(4); E65 [P045].
- Logan EM, Averill DB, Ferrario CM, Ganten D, Diz DI, Aileru AA. Effect of angiotensin II on ganglionic neuroplasticity: Peripheral neuroplastic differences between (mRen2)27 and mRen2.Lewis models of hypertension. Hypertension 44(4); 523[P43], 2004.
- Davis A, Aileru A, Logan E, Diz D. The Effect of Angiotensin II on Ganglionic Neuroplasticity: A Comparative Study between (mRen2)27 Transgenic and mRen2x.Lewis Congenic Models of Hypertension. Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students. B94; 2003.
- Frye N, Aschner J, Aileru A. The Role of K+ Channel Subtypes in the Regulation of Resting Pulmonary Vascular Tone (PVT) in the Newborn. Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students C90; 2003.
- Logan EM, Diz DI, Averill DB, Ferrario CM, +Ganten D, Aileru AA, Neuroplastic Behavior at the Ganglion Level: Comparative Studies Between (mRen-2)27 and mRen2x Models of Hypertension. Faseb J, 2002. A642.; 2002
- Hughes D, Westwood B, Averill D, Aileru AA, Chappell M. Evidence for Angiotensin (1-7) in the Renal Interstitial Fluid of the Rat Kidney. Faseb J, A614; 2002.
- Claytor R, Diz DI, Ferrario CM, Ganten D, Aileru A. Pharmacological Assessment of Nicotinic Synaptic Transmission in the Superior Cervical Ganglia Isolated from (mRen-2) 27 Transgenic Rat. FASEB J, 2001; 15 ((4 Pt I): A474.