Dr. Dolly Mehta
Dr. Dolly Mehta is a Professor in the Department of Pharmacology at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine. Her research is focused on factors that control VEGFR2 in endothelial cells (ECs) to sustain tumor angiogenesis. Loss of lung vascular barrier leads to acute lung injury (ALI) and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), which induces about 40% mortality. Dr. Mehta’s research goal has been to identify the signaling “switches” that induce endothelial cell contraction leading to disruption of the endothelial barrier function and the signals that inactivate endothelial contraction and promote barrier repair using human endothelial cells and mice models such as genetically modified mice. Through a series of several studies conducted over past funding cycles they have identified FAK to be a key “barrier protecting switch”. Dr. Mehta’s lab showed that conditionally inducing loss of FAK in endothelium disrupted endothelial barrier function leading to increased lung vascular permeability and low grade inflammation.