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Brody School of Medicine
Department of Physiology

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Dr. David Anthony Tulis, Ph.D., F.A.H.A.
Tulis, David  Associate Professor
Department of Physiology


Mailing Address:
Brody School of Medicine, 6E-108
Department of Physiology
600 Moye Blvd.
Greenville, NC 27834

Adjunct Assistant Professor
Cardiovascular Medicine Division, Department of Medicine
Duke University Medical Center
Durham, NC 27708
Education & Training
Post-doctoral Fellow, Division of Hematology and Oncology, Department of Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX

Post-doctoral Fellow, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Rice University, Houston, TX

Doctor of Philosophy, Biomedical Sciences (Cardiovascular Sciences Tract), Eastern Virginia Medical School & Old Dominion University, Norfolk, VA

Master of Science, Toxicology (major), Genetics (minor), North Carolina State University, Raleigh

Bachelor of Science, Biology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Research Interests

Cardiovascular diseases (CVD) rank as the number one killer of all Americans. The human health significance and economic impact of primary CVD and its treatment are clear. One major form of CVD is termed 'atherosclerosis' which indicates a hardening of the arteries due to inflammation, deposits of fat and cholesterol, and abnormal localized growth of vascular smooth muscle. From the mechanistic perspective, abnormal growth of vascular smooth muscle is involved not only in the pathogenesis and evolution of a primary atherosclerotic plaque but also in the iatrogenic complications that often follow therapeutic intervention.

In broad terms, the primary focus of research in Dr. Tulis' laboratory involves elucidation of the molecular, cellular, and functional mechanisms that underlie aberrant vascular smooth muscle growth. Cyclic nucleotide signaling is of particular interest in these studies as these events regulate a wide range of homeostatic and pathophysiologic actions. Specific areas of study in Dr. Tulis' lab include elucidation of cyclic GMP- versus cyclic AMP-dependent processes, identification and characterization of potential cyclic nucleotide-regulating systems, and elucidation of the functional impact of these molecular and cellular signals. Experimental approaches in these studies utilize a wide variety of functional, molecular, and genetic assays and include whole animal models, in vitro cell culture, and ex vivo tissue explants. Results from these studies are expected to shed light on some novel and promising strategies that could be used to minimize the severity of vascular growth disorders and may offer beneficial prospects for further study in basic science research and human-based clinical studies.

Publications (since 2005)

Keswani, A.N., Peyton, K.J., Durante, W., Schafer, A.I., and Tulis, D.A.  The cyclic GMP modulators YC-1 and zaprinast reduce vessel remodeling through anti-proliferative and pro-apoptotic effects.  J. Cardiovasc. Pharm. Ther. (Epub ahead of print), April 02, 2009.                          

Peyton, K.J., Ensenat, D., Azam, M.A., Keswani, A.N., Sankaranaryanan, K., Liu, X.M., Wang, H., Tulis, D.A.,and Durante, W.  Arginase promotes neointima formation in rat injured carotid arteries.  Arterioscler. Thromb. Vasc. Biol. 29(4): 488-494, 2009.                          

Mendelev, N.N., Williams, V.S., and Tulis, D.A.  Anti-growth properties of BAY 41-2272 in vascular smooth muscle cells.  J. Cardiovasc. Pharmacol. 53(2): 121-131, 2009.                          

Liu, X.M., Peyton, K.J., Mendelev, N.N., Wang, H., Tulis, D.A., and Durante, W. YC-1 stimulates the expression of gaseous monoxide-generating enzymes in vascular smooth muscle cells. Mol. Pharmacol. 75: 1-10, 2009.

Tulis, D.A. Novel therapies for cyclic GMP control of vascular smooth muscle growth. American J. Therapeutics 15:551-564, 2008.

Tulis, D.A. Rat Carotid Artery Balloon Injury Model, in Methods in Molecular Medicine: Vascular Biology Protocols, Chapter 1, pp. 1-30, Eds. J. Ren and N. Sreejayan, Series Ed. John Walker, Humana Press Inc., Totowa, NJ (in press), Sept., 2007 (Cover page of book).

Tulis, D.A. Histological and Morphometric Analyses for Rat Carotid Artery Balloon Injury Studies, in Methods in Molecular Medicine: Vascular Biology Protocols, Chapter 2, pp. 31-66, Eds. J. Ren and N. Sreejayan, Series Ed. John Walker, Humana Press Inc., Totowa, NJ (in press), Sept., 2007 (Cover page of book).

Mukhopadhyay, S. and Tulis, D.A. Invited Submission: Endocannabinoid regulation of matrix metalloproteinases: implications in ischemic stroke. Cardiovasc. Hematol. Agents Med. Chem. 5 (4), 311-318, 2007.

Jackson, E., Mukhopadhyay, S., and Tulis, D.A. Pharmacologic modulators of soluble guanylate cyclase/cyclic guanosine monophosphate in the vascular system – from benchtop to bedside. Curr. Vasc. Pharmacol. 5 (1): 1-14, 2007.

Tulis, D.A. Invited Submission: Methods for identifying cardiovascular agents: A review. Recent Patents Cardiovasc. Drug Disc. 1: 47-56, 2006.

Yang, X., Thomas, D.P., Zhang, X., Culver, B., Alexander, B.M., Murdoch, W.J., Tulis, D.A., Ren, J., and Sreejayan, N. Curcumin inhibits PDGF-stimulated vascular smooth muscle cell function and injury-induced neointima formation. Arterioscler. Thromb. Vasc. Biol. 26: 85-90, 2006.

Tulis, D.A., Keswani, A.N., Peyton, K.J., Wang, H., Schafer, A.I., Durante, W. Invited Submission (Theme issue): Local administration of carbon monoxide inhibits neointima formation in balloon injured rat carotid arteries. Cell. Mol. Biol. 51:441-446, 2005.

Bohl Masters, K.S., Lipke, E.A., Rice, E.E.H., Liel, M.S., Myler, H.A., Zygourakis, C., Tulis, D.A., and West, J.L. Nitric oxide-generating hydrogels inhibit neointima formation. J. Biomater. Sci. Polym. Ed. 16: 659-672, 2005.


R01 HL-81720 (Tulis): NO-independent cGMP regulation of vascular remodeling, NIH/NHLBI

W81XWH-07-1-0418 (Richardson and Moul, Co-PD’s; Tulis, PI, Project 5), NCCU/BBRI-Duke/Urology Partnership in Prostate Cancer Research: Endurance exercise training on cardiovascular risk factors following radical prostatectomy among African American and Caucasian American men with localized prostate cancer, Department of Defense

NIH/NHLBI Administrative Supplement for Students and Science Educators (Tulis) : NO-independent cGMP regulation of vascular remodeling


NIH/NHLBI Administrative Supplement (Tulis): NO-independent cGMP regulation of vascular remodeling

Challenge Grant 13-ES-101: Methods to evaluate the health and safety of nanomaterials (Wingard): Mast cells as mediators of cardiovascular and pulmonary biointeractions with carbon nanotubes

Past (5 years):
American Heart Association, Beginning Grant-In-Aid, Mid-Atlantic Affiliate (Tulis, PI): A salutary role for soluble guanylate cyclase and cyclic guanosine monophosphate in regulating the arterial response to injury.

American Heart Association, Beginning Grant-In-Aid, Texas Affiliate (Tulis, PI): The role of carbon monoxide as a physiologic regulator of the arterial remodeling response to endovascular injury.

Honors & Awards (past 5 years)
Invited Speaker, Department of Biological Sciences, Salisbury University, Salisbury, MD (2009); Visiting Scholar, Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, Department of Medicine, Duke University (2007-); Visiting Scholar, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Duke University (2007-); Invited Speaker, Vascular Biology 2007, Washington, DC; Invited Speaker, Department of Pharmacology, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, IL (2007); Fellow (F.A.H.A.), Council on Basic Cardiovascular Sciences, American Heart Association (2007-); Mentor, International Mentoring Program, American Heart Association (2006-); Visiting Scholar, Duke University Graduate School, Durham, NC (2005-2006); Invited Speaker, 2nd International Conference on cGMP: Generators and Effectors, Potsdam, Germany (2005); Fellow, Council on Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology, American Heart Association (2004-); Invited Speaker, School of Pharmacy, University of Wyoming, Laramie (2004); Visiting Scientist, Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB), Program for Minority Institutions, National Institute of General Medical Sciences, National Institutes of Health (2004-); Visiting Scholar, Center for Human Genetics, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC (2003-2004).
Study Section, Editorial, & Advisory Service
American Heart Association, Region II Vascular Wall Biology Study Section, 2008-.

Editorial Advisory Board, Recent Patents on Cardiovascular Drug Discovery; Bentham Science Publishers, Ltd., 2005-.

American Heart Association, Mid-Atlantic Affiliate; Vascular Wall Biology, Thrombosis, Microprotein, and Lipid Metabolism Study Section (MAT-2); 2004-2007.