External Advisory Committee (EAC): The EAC consists of internationally recognized scientists who have expertise in cardiovascular biology and research areas related to the projects of our COBRE investigators. Each of these distinguished scientists also has broad experience in program and faculty development. The EAC has been instrumental in advising the Program Leadership about the progress of the COBRE program and have provided invaluable evaluations of all scientific proposals and core facilities.

The four members of the COBRE EAC are:

David G. Harrison, MD, Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Dr. Harrison is the Betty and Jack Bailey Professor of Medicine, the Director, Division of Clinical Pharmacology, and Director of the Center for Vascular Biology at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee. Dr. Harrison is an internationally recognized investigator in the research area of vascular biology and hypertension. He has received the Novartis Award for outstanding research in hypertension, the Distinguished Scientist Award from the AHA, and the Irvine Page Distinguished Award from the American Society of Hypertension. Dr. Harrison has been a key member of our COBRE EAC for the past 10 years.

Kafait U. Malik, Ph.D., D.Sc., University of Tennessee Health Sciences Center. Dr. Malik is a Professor in the Department of Pharmacology and is an established investigator in the neurohormonal control of vascular tone. His research focuses on understanding the factors controlling the production and cellular mechanisms of action of bioactive substances in vascular smooth muscle, which is also a critical area of our COBRE investigators. Dr. Malik has extensive experience at faculty development and he is the recipient of a MERIT Award from NIH. He has served on study sections at NIH and review panels for the AHA. Dr. Malik has been a key member of our COBRE EAC for the past 10 years.

Pamela Lucchesi, Ph.D., Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital. Dr. Lucchesi is the Director, Center for Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Research at the Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. She is a nationally recognized cardiovascular scientist whose research focuses on cellular signaling mechanisms that control coronary artery remodeling in type II diabetes and heart failure progression in response to volume overload. Prior to her position at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Dr. Lucchesi was a faculty member at LSUHSC (Pharmacology) and served as the Co-Director of this COBRE grant as well as the Co-Director of the LSUHSC Cardiovascular Center of Excellence.  She serves on the editorial board of five leading cardiovascular journals, and as Chair of the Nominating Committee and member of the Steering Committee of the American Physiological Society’s Cardiovascular Section.  She served as a member of the Research Council of the Southeast Affiliate of the American Heart Association and served as a Chair of the AHA Molecular Signaling Study Section, and was a permanent member of the NIH Experimental Cardiovascular Sciences and Cardiac Hypertrophy and Heart Failure Study Sections.

Alan Kim Johnson, Ph.D., University of Iowa. Dr. Johnson is the F. Wendell Miller Distinguished Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Iowa. Dr. Johnson is an internationally recognized investigator in the central neurobehavioral control of body fluid balance and blood pressure regulation has been an EAC member the start of program year 5 (July 2008). His current research focuses on the role of aldosterone in the generation of psychological depression that is highly co-morbid with heart failure, and the protective role of estrogen receptors alpha and beta in the CNS against experimental hypertension. Dr. Johnson also studies how mineralocorticoid receptors and angiotensin type 1 receptors in structures of the lamina terminalis activate reactive oxygen species to mediate mineralocorticoid-induced hypertension. Dr. Johnson has published over 360 papers and has a long list of esteemed accomplishments.