Faculty

Mark W. Cunningham Jr., PhD, MBA

Instructor
Office: Guyton Building, G454
Lab: (601) 815-1402
Office: (601) 815-1402

Research interest

  • Hypertension in pregnancy and preeclampsia
  • Renal-cardiovascular physiology
  • Women's health
  • Renin Angiotensin Aldosterone (RAAS) Pathway
  • Inflammation during preeclampsia

Current research

My research interest is in the areas of renal physiology, cardiovascular physiology, pregnancy physiology, and fetal programming. It is estimated that approximately 70 million people (1 out of 3 adults) in America have hypertension, with 50% of these people having no control over their blood pressure.

Preeclampsia, pregnancy induce hypertension, is a serious disease that effects about 3-5% of all births each year in the United States. Women with preeclampsia are at a 5-12 fold increased risk of developing end-stage renal disease, 2 fold risk of stroke, and 2 fold risk of developing a cardiovascular disease later in life. Furthermore women with preeclampsia have an increased production of agonistic autoantibodies to the Angiotensin II type 1 receptor (AT1-AA) and Tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFα). The goal of my research is to determine if blockade AT1-AA and TNFα improves pregnancy outcomes and the risk of disease development later in life for preeclamptic mothers. The potential impact of this study is that blockade of the AT1-AA and/or TNFα during pregnancy may serve as a novel therapy against preeclampsia and the risk of disease development later in life for preeclamptic mothers.