Faculty A-Z

Anil Zechariah

Assistant Professor of Cardiovascular Sciences PhD (University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany)

BioMedical Sciences Cardiovascular and Renal Science

709 864 6411



Research Interests:

Blood vessels match energy demand with blood flow delivery and consequently are key regulators of tissue homeostasis. Neural cells are critically dependent on an integrated vascular network for sustaining energy intensive brain activity. Blood flow regulation in the brain becomes critically important during medical emergencies such as stroke, and dysregulation of blood flow is regarded as an early sign of other neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's disease. Our previous investigations have unraveled specialized mechanisms that control and coordinate changes in brain blood flow, through intercellular communication between vascular cells. Building on these foundational evidence we will explore the therapeutic potential of targeting these mechanisms during neurovascular, neurodegenerative and cardiovascular diseases.
Vascular diseases as such, and stroke in particular is highly prevalent in the elderly population and disproportionately affects women, as more women die of stroke and have poorer prognosis compared to men. Paradoxically, most of the preclinical studies are done in young and otherwise healthy, male animals. Our research will investigate these intriguing questions using blood vessel function assays, molecular biological techniques, conventional and immunohistochemistry, in vivo imaging and by using animal models that better reflect clinical situations. Translationally, this will impact on our understanding of vascular and neuronal physiology and will answer key questions in pathophysiology leading to the development of new treatment strategies that will promote restoration and recovery in the diseased brain.

Students interested in joining our research group may contact the principal investigator ( azechariah@mun.ca) with their CV and a brief statement of their research interest.

Selected, relevant publications:

Zechariah A, Tran CH, Hald BO, Sandow Sl, Sancho M, Kim MSM, Fabris S, Tuor UI, Gordon G.R.J, Welsh DG. Intercellular Conduction Optimizes Arterial Network Function and Conserves Blood Flow Homeostasis during Cerebrovascular Challenges. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2020; 40(3):733-750. Epub 2019 Dec 12. PMID: 31826653

Mufti RE, Zechariah A, Sancho M, Mazumdar N, Brett SE, Welsh DG. Implications of αvβ3 Integrin Signaling in the Regulation of Ca 2+ Waves and Myogenic Tone in Cerebral Arteries. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2015; 35(12):2571-8. PMID: 26494230

Hermann DM *, Zechariah A*, Kaltwasser B, Bosche B, Caglayan AB, Kilic E, Doeppner TR. Sustained neurological recovery induced by resveratrol is associated with angioneurogenesis rather than neuroprotection after focal cerebral ischemia. Neurobiol Dis. 2015; 83:16-25. ( * Equal contribution) PMID: 26316359

Harraz OF, Brett SE, Zechariah A, Romero M, Puglisi JL, Wilson SM, Welsh DG. Genetic ablation of CaV3.2 channels enhances the arterial myogenic response by modulating the RyR-BKCa axis.Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2015; 35(8):1843-51. PMID: 26069238

Harraz OF, Visser F, Brett SE, Goldman D, Zechariah A, Hashad AM, Menon BK, Watson T, Starreveld Y, Welsh DG. CaV1.2/CaV3.x channels mediate divergent vasomotor responses in human cerebral arteries. J Gen Physiol. 2015; 145(5):405-18. PMID: 25918359

Zechariah A, ElAli A, Doeppner TR, Jin F, Hasan MR, Helfrich I, Mies G, Hermann DM. VEGF promotes pericyte coverage of brain capillaries, improves cerebral blood flow during subsequent focal cerebral ischemia, and preserves the metabolic penumbra. Stroke. 2013; 44(6):1690-7. PMID: 23632977

Zechariah A, ElAli A, Hagemann N, Jin F, Doeppner TR, Schäfer ST, Helfrich I, Mies G, Hermann DM. Hyperlipidemia attenuates VEGF-induced angiogenesis, impairs cerebral blood flow and disturbs stroke recovery via decreased pericyte coverage of brain. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2013; 33(7):1561-7. PMID: 23559636

Ma Y *, Zechariah A*, Qu Y, Hermann DM. Effects of vascular endothelial growth factor in ischemic stroke. J Neurosci Res. 2012; 90(10):1873-82. (Review). ( * Equal contribution) PMID: 22714747

Reitmeir R, Kilic E, Reinboth BS, Guo Z, ElAli A, Zechariah A, Kilic U, Hermann DM (2012) Vascular endothelial growth factor induces contralesional corticobulbar plasticity and functional neurological recovery in the ischemic brain. Acta Neuropathol. 2012; 123(2):273-84. PMID: 22109109

Zechariah A, ElAli A, Hermann DM. Combination of tissue-plasminogen activator with erythropoietin induces blood-brain barrier permeability, extracellular matrix disaggregation, and DNA fragmentation after focal cerebral ischemia in mice. Stroke. 2010; 41(5):1008-12. PMID: 20360548

Hermann DM, Zechariah A. Implications of vascular endothelial growth factor for postischemic neurovascular remodeling. J Cereb Blood Flow Metab. 2009; 29(10):1620-43. (Review). PMID: 19654590