Lyle cardiovascular lab

    The Lyle basic science cardiology lab focuses on understanding how inflammation, more specifically human osteopontin isoforms, and reactive oxygen species function to regulate in vascular and inflammatory cell migration and proliferation and how these effects, in turn, mediate new blood vessel formation.  The lab also focuses on how to apply this knowledge to develop future translational therapeutics and cell-based therapeutic delivery systems to treat vascular diseases, such as peripheral artery disease.

    Lyle -new formed blood vessels

    Newly formed blood vessels (red) and muscle fibers (green).

    Dr. Lyle’s research is focused on how vascular inflammation functions to regulate new vessel formation (neovascularization) and the pathogenesis of vascular disease.  Dr. Lyle has a strong interest in how inflammation influences cell proliferation and migration, both of which are required for neovascularization.  She is also interested in how reactive oxygen species regulate inflammatory cytokine expression and function.  Her lab uses molecular and cellular techniques to investigate how inflammation affects proliferation and migration in vitro and utilizes knockout and transgenic mouse models to investigate the in vivo processes that mediate collateral formation, a complex physiologic response that involves multiple cell types and mechanisms in concert.  Ongoing research is focused on how human osteopontin isoforms (a, b, and c) function to differentially regulate neovascularization by influencing cell migration and neovascularization and how to apply this knowledge to develop future translational therapeutics to treat patients with vascular disease, such as peripheral artery disease.  The lab is additionally interested in using these discoveries to improve outcomes in patient populations with accelerated cardiovascular and peripheral vascular diseases, such as patients with Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes. 

    Research Projects

    Based on previous work, there are several major areas of ongoing research in the Lyle lab:

    Defining the Role of the Human Osetopontin Isoforms (a, b, and c) in Post-Ischemic Neovascularization

    We have demonstrated that osteopontin (OPN), an inflammatory cytokine and extracellular matrix protein, is integral to the formation of collateral vessel growth and its expression is significantly upregulated in response to ischemia.  Recent evidence shows that humans express three OPN isoforms (a, b, and c), which are differentially upregulated in various disease settings and may have different functions. There is currently nothing known about how these three human OPN isoforms are regulated in the context of cardiovascular disease.  Our lab is interested in determining how the human OPN isoforms differentially affect cell migration and cell signaling and how this translates to changes in new functional blood vessel formation in models of ischemia.


    Patients with diabetes commonly experience episodes of hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia and, as a result, patients suffer consequences including accelerated cardiovascular and peripheral vascular diseases and these patients face significant morbidity and premature death from diabetic complications.  Our lab is interested in investigating the role of reactive oxygen species and abnormal angiogenesis in the development of diabetes complications and identifying the underlying molecular mechanisms and potential new therapeutic targets.  

    Improving Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSCs) to Therapeutically Treat Ischemic Tissues

    There is a growing interest in the use of stem cell technology to treat various types of disease, including cardiovascular disease.  Many labs are interested in the use of the adult stem/progenitor cells from bone marrow referred to as mesenchymal stem cells or MSCs to treat disease. MSCs are able to home to injured tissues and repair them through a variety of mechanisms, including immune modulation, suppression of inflammation, and angiogenic modulation.  Our lab is interested in the use of MSCs as a mode of therapeutic delivery to ischemic tissues and in determining the specific mechanisms by which these cells exert their therapeutic benefits through the use of primary MSCs from transgenic and knockout strains of mice.  

    Lyle research

    Contact Us

    The Lyle lab is led by Alicia N. Lyle, PhD. Alicia LyleDr. Lyle is an Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Division of Cardiology at Emory University. 

    Emory University
    Division of Cardiology
    Room 319D, Woodruff Memorial Research Building 
    101 Woodruff Circle
    Atlanta, Georgia 30322

    Lab Phone - 404-727-8760

    NOTE: Dr. Lyle is currently accepting applications for a postdoctoral fellow to join her lab.  If interested, please e-mail Dr. Lyle at

    Current Lab Members

    Lyle Lab staff

    Lyle Lab Members

    Grace Lee Hector Salazar
    Grace Sang Hee Lee, PhD
    Postdoctoral Fellow

    Hector Salazar, BS
    Research Specialist 

    Michelle Tsai
    Michele Tsai
    2016 Summer Undergraduate
    Research Experience (SURE)
    Program Participant and Work 
    Study Student 

    Not pictured: Zoe Shin Yee Lok, BS, MS, Graduate Student, Visiting Researcher from Monash University 

    Lab phone: 404-727-8760


    View full listing of publications in PubMed.

    Lyle Lab Alumni

    Courtney Caroti, BS,  Research Specialist, 2015 – 2016
    Current Affiliation and position - Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine, medical student

    Sarah Harirforoosh, BS, Honors Thesis student, summa cum laude 2013 – 2016
    Current affiliation and position - University of Tennessee Health Science Center School of Medicine, medical student

    Aaron Fan, BS, work study student 2010 – 2013 
    Current affiliation and position - Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University. MD/PhD student