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Faculty Detail    
Campus Address MCLM 992 Zip 0005
Phone  (205) 934-2411
Other websites

Faculty Appointment(s)
Appointment Type Department Division Rank
Primary  Cell, Developmntl, & Integrative Biology  Cell, Developmntl, & Integrative Biology Professor Emeritus

Graduate Biomedical Sciences Affiliations
Integrative Biomedical Sciences 
Medical Scientist Training Program 
Neuroscience Graduate Program 

Biographical Sketch 
Dr. Berecek received her Ph.D. from the Department of Physiology and Biophysics at the University of Michigan in 1976 and subsequently was a postdoctoral scholar at the University of Michigan (1976-1977), the University of Heidelberg, Germany (1977-1979) and the University of Iowa (1979-1981). Dr. Berecek came to UAB in 1981 as an Assistant Professor and was promoted to Full Professor in 1991. She is also an Associate Scientist in the Vascular Biology and Hypertension Program and a Senior Scientist at the Cell Adhesion and Matrix Center. Dr. Berecek has served on grant review panels for the NIH, NASA, and the AHA as well as on numerous editorial boards. She is currently Section Editor for Current Hypertension Reports. Dr. Berecek is an elected Fellow of the AHA, the AHA Council for High Blood Pressure Research, the AHA Council for Atherosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology, and the APS Cardiovascular Section.

Society Memberships
Organization Name Position Held Org Link
AHA Council for Atherosclerosis, Thrombosis and vascular biology  fellow   
AHA Council for High Blood Pressure Research  fellow of aha-CHBP Research   
American Heart Association,   fellow of the American Heart Association AHA   
American Physiological Society  membership committee, fellow of the cardiovascular section   

Research/Clinical Interest
The Role of Brain and Cardiac Renin-Angiotensin II System
Dr. Berecek’s research is aimed at determining the role of brain and cardiac renin-angiotensin II system in the development of hypertension and subsequent target organ damage. She combines cellular, molecular, and physiological strategies to analyze the effects of pharmacological and genetic blockade of this system on the expression of hypertension and target organ damage. She has found that a highly unique aspect of angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (as compared to other antihypertensive agents) is that early, short-term treatment of young, spontaneously hypertensive rats (a genetic model of hypertension) prevents the development of hypertension and target organ damage. Moreover, the reduction in blood pressure was passed on to the offspring of these rats. These data suggested that the presence of a hypertensive genetic background alone was not sufficient to lead to expression of the morbid phenotype and angiotensin II was a necessary factor for expression of hypertension. These hypotheses were further supported by work done in collaboration with M.K. Raizada and colleagues at the University of Florida-Gainesville, which has shown that a single intracardiac injection of an angiotensin AT1 subtype receptor antisense cDNA by a retrovirally-mediated delivery system in young SHR not only prevented the development of hypertension and its sequelae, but its effects extended to their offspring as well. We are currently analyzing the prolonged anti-hypertensive, anti-organ damage effect of early blockade of the renin angiotensin system. These studies should help to define new strategies not only for the treatment of hypertension, but its prevention as well. These studies offer excellent opportunities for research projects for pre- and postdoctoral trainees.

Selected Publications 
Publication PUBMEDID
Zhou Y, Poczatek M, Berecek KH and Ullrich JE. Thrombospondin-1 mediates angiotensin II induction of TGF-beta activation by cardiac and renal cells under both high and low glucose conditions. Biochem Biophys Res Commun 13/339:633-641, 2006.  16310163 
Berecek KH, Reaves P, Raizada M. Effects of early perturbation of the renin-angiotensin system on cardiovascular remodeling in spontaneously hypertensive rats. Vasc. Pharmacology 42:93-98, 2005.  15792926 
Veerasingham SJ, Yamazato M, Berecek KH, Wyss JM, Raizada MK. Increased PI3-kinase in presympathetic brain areas of the spontaneously hypertensive rat. Circ Res 96(3):277-279, 2005.  15662030 
Gardon M, Raizada MK, Katovich MJ, Berecek KH and Gelband CH. Gene therapy for hypertension and restenosis. JRAAS 1/3:211-216, 2000.  11881028 
Francis SC, Raizada MK, Mangi AA, Melo LG, Dzau VJ, Vale PR, Isner JM, Losordo DW, Chao J, Katovich MJ, Berecek KH. Genetic targeting for cardiovascular therapeutics: Are we near the summit or just beginning the climb? Physiological Genomics 7:79-94, 2001.  11773594 
Carley DW, Berecek KH, Videnovic A and Radulovacki M. Sleep-disordered respiration in phenotypically normotensive, genetically hypertensive rats. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 162:1474-1479, 2000.  11029364 

hypertension, diabetes, cardiac remodeling, the renin-angiotensin II system, TGF-beta