Elena A. Goncharova, PhD
Associate Professor of Medicine
Director, VMI Cell Processing Core and Animal Hypoxia Core

Dr. Goncharova
Dr. Goncharova is Associate Professor of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

Office Location:
Rm E1259 BST
200 Lothrop Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15261

Contact Information:
Office Telephone: 412-648-8474
Fax: 412-648-5980
Email: eag59@pitt.edu


  • MS - 1993, Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia
  • PhD - Cardiology Research Center, Russian Academy of Science, Moscow, Russia
  • Postdoc - 2001-2005, Pulmonary, Allergy & Critical Care Division, University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine

Research Interests

The general focus of the laboratory is on the molecular mechanisms regulating cellular energy metabolism, proliferation, motility and survival as it relates to the pathogenesis of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) and pulmonary lymphangioleiomyomatosis (LAM). The current work specifically focuses on the role of mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling network in metabolism, proliferation, and survival of pulmonary vascular cells in PAH.

mTOR acts through two functionally distinct complexes, mTORC1 and mTORC2. Recent investigations at the Lab have shown that both mTORC1 and mTORC2 signaling pathways are required for proliferation of pulmonary arterial vascular smooth muscle cells under chronic hypoxia, a recognized trigger of pulmonary vascular disease, and established critical role of mTORC2 in regulating metabolism, proliferation and survival of vascular smooth muscle cells in PAH. The specific roles of mTORC1 and mTORC2 and the mechanisms of it regulation and function in human PAH continue to be explored by using a combination of human PAH specimens with conditional mouse mutants. The Lab also performs pre-clinical testing of various inhibitors using human PAH cells and rodent models of pulmonary hypertension.

Selected Publications

  1. Krymskaya VP, Snow J, Cesarone G, Khavin I, Goncharov DA, Lim PN, Veasey SC, Ihida-Stansbury K, Jones PL, Goncharova EA: mTOR is Required for Pulmonary Arterial Vascular Smooth Muscle Cell Proliferation Under Chronic Hypoxia. The FASEB Journal 25(6): 1922-1933, 2011
  2. Goncharova EA, Goncharov DA, Fehrenbach M, Khavin I, Ducka B, Hino O, Colby TV, Merrilees MJ, Haczku A, Albelda SM, Krymskaya VP: Prevention of Alveolar Destruction and Airspace Enlargement in a Mouse Model of Pulmonary Lymphangioleiomyomatosis (LAM) Science Translational Medicine 4(154): 154ra134, 2012
  3. Goncharova EA: mTOR and vascular remodeling in lung diseases: current challenges and therapeutic prospects. The FASEB Journal 27(5): 1796-1807, 2013
  4. Goncharov DA, Kudryashova TV, Ziai H, Ihida-Stansbury K, DeLisser H, Krymskaya VP, Tuder RM, Kawut SM, Goncharova EA: mTORC2 coordinates pulmonary artery smooth muscle cell metabolism, proliferation and survival in pulmonary arterial hypertension. Circulation, 129(8):864-74, 2014
  5. Goncharova EA, Goncharov DA, James ML, Atochina-Vasserman EN, Stepanova V, Hong S-B, Li H, Gonzales L, Baba M, Linehan WM, Gow AJ, Margulies S, Guttentag S, Schmidt L, Krymskaya VP: Folliculin controls lung alveolar enlargement and epiteliak cell survival through E-cadherin, LKB1, and AMPK. Cell Reports, 7(2):412-423, 2014