Lisandra E. de Castro Brás, Ph.D.

Lisandra E. de Castro Brás

Assistant Professor

Department of Physiology, mail stop 634
The Brody School of Medicine
East Carolina University
600 Moye Blvd, Greenville, NC 27834

Phone: 252-744-0391

Research Interests

My group studies the mechanisms underlying scar formation post-myocardial infarction (MI) to identify triggers that lead to cardiac dysfunction and develop strategies to diagnose, slow, or reverse the progression to heart failure. Our lab uses multidimensional, translational, and proteomic approaches to investigate the mechanisms whereby tissue remodels and regenerates post injury.

We are particularly interested in the proteolytic formation of extracellular matrix (ECM) peptides that are biologically active (matricryptins) and regulate the healing cascade following myocardial injury. We have recently identified collagen-derived peptides that are generated post-MI and modulate the inflammatory, angiogenic, and fibrotic responses. Currently, we are investigating the potential therapeutical use of these peptides in settings of impaired cardiac healing, such as diabetes.


1996 - 2002 BS/Master in Biotechnology Engineering, University of Algarve, Faro, Portugal
2003 - 2005 Research assistant, Department of Agricultural Sciences, University of Azores, Portugal
2005 - 2009 PhD in Tissue Engineering, Brunel University, London, U.K.
2009 - 2011 Postdoctoral Fellow, Italian Institute of Technology, Genoa, Italy
2011 - 2013 Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio, TX, USA
2013 - 2014 Assistant Professor (research track), Univ. of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson, MS
2014 - Assistant Professor (tenure-track), East Carolina University, Greenville, NC


For a full list of Pubmed citations, click here

de Castro Brás LE, Shurey S, Sibbons PD. Evaluation of crosslinked and non-crosslinked biologic prostheses for abdominal hernia repair. Hernia. 2012 Feb;16(1):77-89. PubMed PMID: 21805341.

de Castro Brás LE, Deleon KY, Ma Y, Dai Q, Hakala K, et al. Plasma fractionation enriches post-myocardial infarction samples prior to proteomics analysis. Int J Proteomics. 2012; 2012:397103. PubMed PMID: 22778955.

de Castro Brás LE, Ramirez TA, DeLeon-Pennell KY, Chiao YA, Ma Y, et al. Texas 3-step decellularization protocol: looking at the cardiac extracellular matrix. J Proteomics. 2013 Jun 28;86:43-52. PubMed PMID: 23681174.

de Castro Brás LE, Toba H, Baicu CF, Zile MR, Weintraub ST, et al. Age and SPARC change the extracellular matrix composition of the left ventricle. Biomed Res Int. 2014;2014:810562. PubMed PMID: 24783223.

Iyer RP, de Castro Brás LE, Jin YF, Lindsey ML. Translating Koch's postulates to identify matrix metalloproteinase roles in postmyocardial infarction remodeling: cardiac metalloproteinase actions (CarMA) postulates. Circ Res. 2014 Feb 28;114(5):860-71. PubMed PMID: 24577966.

Ma Y, de Castro Brás LE, Toba H, Iyer RP, Hall ME, et al. Myofibroblasts and the extracellular matrix network in post-myocardial infarction cardiac remodeling. Pflugers Arch. 2014 Jun;466(6):1113-27. PubMed PMID: 24519465.

de Castro Brás LE, Cates CA, DeLeon-Pennell KY, Ma Y, Iyer RP, et al. Citrate synthase is a novel in vivo matrix metalloproteinase-9 substrate that regulates mitochondrial function in the postmyocardial infarction left ventricle. Antioxid Redox Signal. 2014 Nov 10;21(14):1974-85. PubMed PMID: 24382150.

Toba H, de Castro Brás LE, Baicu CF, Zile MR, Lindsey ML, Bradshaw AD. Secreted protein acidic and rich in cysteine facilitates age-related cardiac inflammation and macrophage M1 polarization. Am J Physiol Cell Physiol. 2015 doi: 10.1152/ajpcell.00402.2014, ahead or print

Honors and Awards

14SDG18860050, American Heart Association
Role: PI
MMP-9 Generated Collagen C-peptide Roles in Post-myocardial Infarction Remodeling