Catalin Filipeanu, M.D., Ph.D.

Assistant Research Professor
COBRE Junior Investigator
Department of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics
Cardiovascular Center of Excellence
LSUHSC – New Orleans


Jeff Erickson, Ph.D.
Kurt Varner, Ph.D.
Dan Kapusta, Ph.D.

Narrative Biography:

Dr. Catalin Filipeanu obtained his MD in 1996 from the University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Iasi, Romania. Subsequently he was awarded the “Ubbo Emmius” fellowship from Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and attended Rijksuniversiteit Groningen, where in 2001 he obtained his Ph.D. in Molecular Pharmacology. The subject of his thesis was on the intracellular effects of angiotensin II. From 2001 to 2003, he worked as a Postdoctoral Fellow with Dr. Nae Dun at East Tennessee State University on the central and peripheral effects of urotensin II. In 2004, he moved to the Department of Pharmacology at LSUHSC-NO where he continued his postdoctoral training with Dr. Guangyu Wu studying the regulation of intracellular protein transport. In November 2007, he was promoted to his first faculty position, as Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, LSUHSC. Catalin Filipeanu has published 36 papers in highly ranked scientific journals.

COBRE Research Project Description:

Cold-induced constriction of arteries is a normal response contributing to preservation of body temperature. In some individuals this response is exaggerated and leads to painful discoloration of the fingers, toes and other extremities. These are manifestations of Raynaud Phenomenon. Our research focuses on understanding the role of a specific protein, the alpha2C adrenergic receptor, involved in vasospasms which occur in Raynaud Phenomenon. Our research will use a cellular and molecular biology approach to determine how this protein is transported to the surface of cells and determine if these pathways are altered by changes in temperature. Together, findings from these studies will increase our understanding of basic molecular mechanisms controlling cellular protein transport and provide a foundation for designing more effective therapeutic approaches for management of Raynaud Phenomenon.



The subcellular localization of GFP-tagged α2C-AR at 37oC and at 30oC.

HEK293T were transfected with 1 μg per 10 cm2 plate with GFP-tagged receptors and processed in the same way as for radio-ligand binding. To detect the endoplasmic reticulum and the lysosomes, the cells were co-transfected with pDsRed2-ER or DsRed2-Rab7. The plasma membrane and cis-Golgi were stained using specific markers (Na+/K+ ATP-ase and GM130 respectively) as described in Material and Methods. After cell fixation with 4% paraformaldehyde–4% sucrose mixture, the distribution of α2C-AR was analyzed by fluorescence microscopy. Blue: DNA staining by 4,6-diamidino-2-phenylindole (nuclear), green: GFP-α2C-AR, red: specific organelle indicated in the figure, yellow: co-localization of the receptor with the respective organelle marker. The images are representative from at least four different coverslips.