Yujun Cai, Ph.D.

Yujun Cai, Ph.D.

Contact Information

Aab Cardiovascular Research Institute
211 Bailey Road
West Henrietta, NY 14586

Research Bio

Dr. Cai's research is focused on in vivo and in vitro studying the functions and underlying mechanisms of phosphodiesterases (PDEs) in regulating pathogenesis of vascular diseases, including vein bypass graft disease, restenosis after percutaneous intervention (PCI), thoracic aortic aneurysms (TAAs) and abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAAs), utilizing multiple experimental approaches from biochemical and pharmacological analysis to mouse surgical models. PDEs are capable of degrading second messenger cyclic nucleotides (cAMP and cGMP), therefore, regulating many signaling pathways in pathogenesis of vascular diseases.

To date, more than 60 different PDE isozymes derived from 22 genes are identified and grouped into 11 families. Each PDE isoform acts as controlling particular pools of cAMP and cGMP and regulates unique cellular function. Currently, PDEs have been proven as drug targets and several family specific PDE inhibitors are used in treatment of various diseases. For example, PDE5 inhibitor Viagra is well known for treating erectile dysfunction and pulmonary hypertension. Dr. Cai's findings will provide important insights toward understanding PDEs as potential therapeutic target for vascular diseases.

Awards & Honors (National)

Scientist Development Grant | American Heart Association 2013 - 2017
Postdoctoral Fellowship | China Postdoctoral Science Foundation | China 2004

Awards & Honors (Local)

Excellent Graduate Student Award | Lanzhou University | China 2001 - 2002

Recent Journal Articles

Showing the 5 most recent journal articles. 29 available »

2013 Nov
Oikawa M, Wu M, Lim S, Knight WE, Miller CL, Cai Y, Lu Y, Blaxall BC, Takeishi Y, Abe JI, Yan C. "Cyclic nucleotide phosphodiesterase 3A1 protects the heart against ischemia-reperfusion injury." Journal of molecular and cellular cardiology. 2013 Nov; 64:11-9. Epub 2013 Aug 27.
2013 May 10
Cai Y, Li JD, Yan C. "Vinpocetine attenuates lipid accumulation and atherosclerosis formation." Biochemical and biophysical research communications. 2013 May 10; 434(3):439-43. Epub 2013 Apr 10.
2012 Nov
Cai Y, Knight WE, Guo S, Li JD, Knight PA, Yan C. "Vinpocetine suppresses pathological vascular remodeling by inhibiting vascular smooth muscle cell proliferation and migration." The Journal of pharmacology and experimental therapeutics. 2012 Nov; 343(2):479-88. Epub 2012 Aug 22.
2012 Jan
Lu JJ, Cai YJ, Ding J. "The short-time treatment with curcumin sufficiently decreases cell viability, induces apoptosis and copper enhances these effects in multidrug-resistant K562/A02 cells." Molecular and cellular biochemistry. 2012 Jan; 360(1-2):253-60. Epub 2011 Sep 22.
2011 Nov
Miller CL, Cai Y, Oikawa M, Thomas T, Dostmann WR, Zaccolo M, Fujiwara K, Yan C. "Cyclic nucleotide phosphodiesterase 1A: a key regulator of cardiac fibroblast activation and extracellular matrix remodeling in the heart." Basic research in cardiology. 2011 Nov; 106(6):1023-39. Epub 2011 Oct 20.


PhD | Biochemistry | Lanzhou University2003
MS | Pharmacology | Medical collage of Lanzhou University1999

Post-Doctoral Training & Residency

Postdoctoral Research Associate, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY 2012
Postdoctoral Fellow, Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai, China 2006