PHA/ATS Fellow Career Development in Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension Grant Winner 2012

Andrew Bryant HeadshotAndrew Bryant, MD

Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine
Vanderbilt University School of Medicine
Title: "Role of Hypoxia-Inducible Factor in the Development of Secondary Pulmonary Hypertension"
Term: January 15, 2013 through January 14, 2014

Summary of Research Project:

Development of secondary pulmonary hypertension in the setting of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is associated with worsening symptoms of dyspnea, quality of life, and poorer prognosis. Hypoxic-inducible factor (HIF) is a primordial regulator of the cellular response to lack of oxygen. Our research project evaluates the role of HIF in the development of secondary pulmonary hypertension utilizing a mouse model with specific deletion of HIF in vascular endothelial cells. We hypothesize that upon development of experimentally induced lung fibrosis, mice without expression of HIF within the vascular endothelium will be protected against the development of pulmonary hypertension. Furthermore, we hope to demonstrate decreased right ventricular remodeling in these mice under chronic hypoxic conditions, providing another mechanism of protection that bears further evaluation.

There are currently few available disease-modifying therapies to offer patients with COPD and IPF, with the exception of tobacco cessation and lung transplantation, which itself carries a limited long-term prognosis. Efforts to treat pulmonary hypertension in patient populations of both COPD and IPF, mainly with oral phosphodiesterase inhibitor sildenafil, have proven unsuccessful. Thus, there is a serious need for alternatively acting agents to help these patients. Our studies indicate novel pathways that are active in the development and sustainment of pulmonary vascular disease pathology, specifically activation of conserved responses to local and global hypoxia – the hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF) pathway. With further study, it is our hope to uncover more details of this pathway, allowing downstream targets to be discovered that may be amenable to pharmaceutical treatment.

Curriculum Vitae 

NAME: Andrew Bryant, MD
POSITION TITLE: Postdoctoral Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine Clinical Fellow


Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, N.C. BS 1999-2003 Chemistry
Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, N.C. MD 2003-2007 Medicine
Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, Tenn. Residency 2007-2010 Internal Medicine
Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, Tenn. Fellowship 2010-present Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine



Positions and Employment

2007-2010, Resident, Internal Medicine, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, Tennessee

2010-present, Postdoctoral Clinical Fellow, Division of Allergy, Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Department of Medicine, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, Tennessee


Alpha Omega Alpha, 2006

IPF Summit Conference Travel Award, 2011

Professional Memberships

American Thoracic Society

American College of Chest Physicians

Society for Critical Care Medicine

(Published and submitted in chronological order)

  1. Zvara DA, Bryant A, Veal M, Dull B, Hillegass G, McCoy TP, Kon ND. The degree of atherosclerosis in the descending aorta does not predict poor in-hospital outcome after surgery requiring cardiopulmonary bypass.  J Cardiothorac Vasc Anes. 20:49-55, 2006.
  2. Zvara DA, Bryant AJ, Deal DD, DeMarco MP, Campos KM, Mansfield CM, Tytell M. Anesthetic preconditioning with sevoflurane does not protect the spinal cord after an ischemic-reperfusion injury in the rat.  Anesth Analg. 102:1341-1347, 2006.
  3. Bryant AJ. Through a glass darkly. Archives of Internal Medicine. 172:985-6, 2012.
  4. Bryant AJ, Newman JH. Prostaglandin-mediated alcohol intolerance associated with Hodgkin’s lymphoma. CMAJ. In publication, 2012.
  5. Tanjore H, Degryse AL, Crossno PF, Xu XC, Jones BR, Polosukhin VV, Bryant AJ, McConaha ME, McMahon FB, Gleaves LA, Blackwell TS, Lawson WE. Beta-catenin in the alveolar epithelium protects from lung fibrosis following intratracheal bleomycin. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. Accepted for publication, 2013.


T32 HL086638 (Bernard), 04/01/2007–06/30/2014
“Clinical and Translational Research Training Program in Pulmonary Medicine”
Role: Postdoctoral Fellow
This training grant is designed to train and mentor researchers in all aspects of clinical and translational research necessary to prepare them for the unique challenges associated with advancing science in Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine. Dr. Bryant started on the training grant on July 1, 2012.

Departmental Funds (Blackwell/Lawson), 07/01/11-present
“The Role of Hypoxia-inducible Factor in the Development of Pulmonary Hypertension and Lung Fibrosis”
Role: Research Fellow
In this study we are using multiple mouse models to characterize hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF) in lung fibrosis and pulmonary hypertension. From these investigations, we will gain better understanding of the role, regulation and downstream mechanisms of chronic lung hypoxic responses.

Research Grant (Bryant), 01/15/13–01/14/14
American Thoracic Society $50,000
Hypoxia Inducible Factor Regulation of Secondary Pulmonary Hypertension”
Role: Principal Investigator
In this study we are using a mouse model of pulmonary fibrosis to characterize hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF) in development of secondary pulmonary hypertension. We plan to gain understanding of the role of hypoxic signaling in response to chronic lung disease, specifically pulmonary fibrosis.

There is no scientific or budgetary overlap among active or pending research grants.

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