Romer Gonzalez, MD, PhD

Research Scientist, Biomedical Sciences
Phone:(310) 423-0551

Academic Appointments

Assistant Professor, Biomedical Sciences

Awards and Activities

Harry Goldblatt New Investigator Award (Finalist)2011
Best Poster Presentation, Angiotensin II Gordon Conference2010
New Investigator Travel Award, American Society of Hypertension2008
Tulane University Award for Excellence in Research2008
Warren Trust Cardiovascular Research Fellow Award2007
New Merck Investigator Award2005
Ad-Hoc Reviewer: American Journal of Physiology - Cell PhysiologyCurrent
Ad-Hoc Reviewer: American Journal of Physiology - Renal PhysiologyCurrent
Ad-Hoc Reviewer: Hypertension JournalCurrent
Venezuelan Federation of Physicians1998
American Physiological Society2004
American Heart Association2005

Research Focus

My research concerns the importance of angiotensin (Ang) II production within the kidneys in hypertension. This question rose from initial experiments in which we observed that the intrarenal renin-angiotensin system (RAS) becomes activated during chronic Ang II infusion, a common experimental model of hypertension. Because the angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) is responsible for most Ang II synthesis in vivo, we use mice carrying manipulations of the ACE gene to study the importance and the specific effects of renal Ang II synthesis for long-term blood pressure control.

Research Contributions

Our research has led to a broader conceptualization of the regulation of the peptide angiotensin (Ang) II in the kidneys and its impact on blood pressure control. We first identified novel pathways for renal Ang II degradation. We also demonstrated the capability of ACE-derived Ang II formation within the kidneys to generate hypertension in the absence of any systemic influences.

Current investigations include:

Our current research focuses in the identification of the specific effects of renal ACE-derived angiotensin II. Special emphasis is placed on the regulation of sodium reabsorption and its long-term consequences for the blood pressure regulation. In our research, we perform in vivo experiments in gene-targeted mice including hemodynamic monitoring by telemetry, renal function studies, molecular biology techniques, flow cytometry and fluorescence microscopy.

Selected Publications

  1. Navar LG, Satou R, Gonzalez-Villalobos RA: The increasing complexity of the intratubular Renin-Angiotensin system. J. Am. Soc. Nephrol., 23(7): 1130-2, 2012
  2. Navar LG, Kobori H, Prieto MC, Gonzalez-Villalobos RA: Intratubular renin-angiotensin system in hypertension. Hypertension, 57(3): 355-62, 2011
  3. Matrougui K, Abd Elmageed Z, Zakaria AE, Kassan M, Choi S, Nair D, Gonzalez-Villalobos RA, Chentoufi AA, Kadowitz P, Belmadani S, Partyka M: Natural regulatory T cells control coronary arteriolar endothelial dysfunction in hypertensive mice. Am. J. Pathol., 178(1): 434-41, 2010
  4. Gonzalez-Villalobos RA, Billet S, Kim C, Satou R, Fuchs S, Bernstein KE, Navar LG: Intrarenal angiotensin-converting enzyme induces hypertension in response to angiotensin I infusion. J. Am. Soc. Nephrol., 22(3): 449-59, 2010
  5. Gonzalez-Villalobos RA, Satou R, Ohashi N, Semprun-Prieto LC, Katsurada A, Kim C, Upchurch GM, Prieto MC, Kobori H, Navar LG: Intrarenal mouse renin-angiotensin system during ANG II-induced hypertension and ACE inhibition. Am. J. Physiol. Renal Physiol., 298(1): F150-7, 2009
  6. Gonzalez-Villalobos RA, Satou R, Seth DM, Semprun-Prieto LC, Katsurada A, Kobori H, Navar LG: Angiotensin-converting enzyme-derived angiotensin II formation during angiotensin II-induced hypertension. Hypertension, 53(2): 351-5, 2008

Lab Information