Julie Phillippi, PhD
Assistant Professor of Cardiothoracic Surgery and Bioengineering


Dr. Phillippi is Director, Post-Doctoral Research, Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery

Office Location:
450 Technology Drive
Suite 300
Pittsburgh, PA 15219
Contact Information:
Office Telephone: (412) 624-6704
Email: phillippija@upmc.edu

Research Interests

Dr. Phillippi's research scope broadly encompasses cell-extracellular matrix (ECM) dynamics using tissue-engineered approaches to study, diagnose and treat cardiovascular disease. Of primary interest is the presence of local stem cells within distinct microenvironments of the aorta and their contribution to the development and progression of aortic aneurysm. Dr. Phillippi's projects are carried out using human aortic tissue specimens and cell populations isolated from surgical patients of the Center for Thoracic Aortic Disease at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Dr. Phillippi and her colleagues within the Thoracic Aortic Disease Research Laboratory are working to understand what factors dictate onset and progression and aneurysmal disease. A specific focus of Dr. Phillippi's research is the role of the ECM in the adventitia, the outermost layer of the aortic wall in disease progression. Her team is developing ECM-based biomaterials as human aortic disease models to understand how ECM signals influence function of the vasa vasorum, a microvascular network of the aorta. The ultimate goal of her work is to establish novel diagnostics and risk mitigation for patients affected by thoracic aortic disease and to develop new less-invasive treatment options that aim to prevent dilatation and/or invoke reverse remodeling of the aortic wall. Dr. Phillippi is affiliated faculty of the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine and the Center for Vascular Remodeling and Regeneration. More information can be found here.

Selected Publications

  1. Billaud M, Hill JC, Richards TR, Gleason TG, and Phillippi JA. Medial Hypoxia and Adventitial Vasa Vasorum Remodeling in Human Ascending Aortic Aneurysm. Frontiers in Cardiovascular Medicine. Published online 17 Sept 2018. PubMed PMID: 30276199
  2. Billaud M, Donnenberg VS, Ellis BW, Meyer EM, Donnenberg AD, Hill JC, Richards TD, Gleason TG, and Phillippi JA. Classification and Functional Characterization of Vasa Vasorum-Associated Perivascular Progenitor Cells in Human Aorta. Stem Cell Reports. 2017. 9 (1): 292-303. PubMed PMID: 28552602
  3. Fercana GR*, Yerneni S*, Billaud M, Hill JC, VanRyzin P, Richards TD, Sicari B, Badylak SF, Johnson S, Campbell PG, Gleason TG, and Phillippi JA. Perivascular Extracellular Matrix Hydrogels Mimic Native Matrix Microarchitecture and Promote Angiogenesis via Basic Fibroblast Growth Factor. Biomaterials. 2017 Apr;123: 142-154. *Equal contribution. PubMed PMID: 28167392
  4. Billaud M*, Phillippi JA*, Kotlarczyk MP, Hill JC, Ellis BW, St. Croix CM, Cantu-Medellin N, Kelley EE, and Gleason TG. Elevated Oxidative Stress in the Aortic Media of Bicuspid Aortic Valve Patients. J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2017. 154 (5): 1756-1762. *Equal contribution. PubMed PMID: 28651938.