Searles cardiovascular lab

    The Searles lab has been focused on molecular mechanisms by which different physiologic and pathophysiologic stimuli modulate vascular gene expression. The recognition of miRNAs as important posttranscriptional regulators of gene expression has led to an exciting avenue of research for our lab, and we were among the first to show the effect of mechanical forces on expression of miRNAs and their target genes in endothelial cells. Since the discovery of extracellular miRNAs, we have broadened our research program through in vitro, in vivo, and clinical studies aimed at identifying mechanisms responsible for extracellular miRNA release, the impact of extracellular miRNA signaling on cardiovascular disease, and the clinical utility of extracellular miRNAs as biomarkers for disease activity. Furthermore, our group has now gained considerable expertise in microvesicle biology and extracellular miRNA transport. Our recent work has taught us valuable lessons in the complexity of intra- and extracellular RNA studies, which we continue to pursue through a variety of projects.

    Research Projects

    MicroRNA and Metabolomic Profiles Associated with Social and Environmental Risk Factors in Blacks. This is the Basic Science Project for the Morehouse/Emory Cardiovascular (MECA) Center for Health Equity, a member of the AHA Strategically Focused Disparities Research Network. MECA  includes Population and Clinical projects. The Basic Science project will examine circulating molecular profiles that are associated with resiliency to adverse cardiovascular outcomes in blacks.

    Searles lab The Release and Transfer of Microparticle-Encapsulated miRNAs to Endothelial Cells. The goal of this project is to determine mechanisms by which MP-encapsulated miRNAs, originating from endothelial cells, red blood cells, platelets and immune cells are taken up by recipient endothelial cells and alter recipient cell phenotype and function.

    Image-based Analysis of miRNA Delivery. The overall goal of this project is to create synthetic vesicles that mimic natural exosomes and microparticles for the delivery of miRNA and locked nucleic acids to endothelial cells, based on analysis of natural vesicles and imaging-based assessments of delivery.

    Modulation of Endothelial Cell Function by the Shear Stress-Responsive miRNAs. 
    The purpose of this project is to define the influence of microRNA (miRNA) expression on specific changes in endothelial cell (EC) function that occur in response to shear stress forces. Using cultured endothelial cells and a mouse model that introduces a pseudo-coarctation in the abdominal aorta, we are attempting to define the impact of shear stress-responsive miRNAs on EC apoptosis, inflammation, monolayer permeability and migration.
    Searles lab
    Searles lab Molecular beacons for detection of circulating miRNAs. This project aims to develop; nanotechnologies for diagnosis and monitoring of disease progression and regression, with an emphasis on translating the innovative nanotechnology-based approaches to clinical utility.

    Lab team

    Lab Team

    Charles Searles

    Charles D. Searles Jr, MD

    The Searles Lab is led by Charles D. Searles, Jr, MD. He is an associate professor of medicine at the Emory University School of Medicine. Dr. Searles is a staff Cardiologist and Director of the CICU at the Atlanta VA Medical Center.  

    • Amanda Marie James, PhD
    • Adam J. Mitchell, MD
    • Kimberly Ann Rooney, BS
    • Appesh Mohandas, MD
    • Islam Mohamed, B.Pharm, MS, PhD
    • Sheena Thomas, BS
    • Mariam Dvalishvili, BS


    Contact Us

    Charles SearlesThe Searles Lab is led by Charles D. Searles, Jr, MD. He is an associate professor of medicine at the Emory University School of Medicine. Dr. Searles is a staff Cardiologist and Director of the CICU at the Atlanta VA Medical Center Atlanta VA Medical Center.

    Section of Cardiology
    Atlanta VA Medical Center
    Mailstop 111/CD
    1670 Clairmont Road
    Decatur, GA 30033