Marcos T. Kuroki


     Year Entered: 2006

     Honors and Awards:
     -American Heart Association Predoctoral Fellowship, 2012-2013
     -Provost Undergraduate Research Award (Johns Hopkins University),
     Summer 2005
     -Tau Beta Pi (Maryland Alpha Chapter), 2004

     Degrees Received:
     Johns Hopkins University
     Biomedical Engineering major
     B.S., 2005

     Thesis Advisor: John Osborne, Ph.D.

     Thesis Research: The role of the CNS in the pathogenesis of

Hypertension (HTN) is clearly a multifactorial disease. It is thought that one mechanism involved in the development and/or maintenance of the disease is an overactive sympathetic nervous system influence (sympathetic tone) on the cardiovascular system. The cause for elevated sympathetic tone seen in HTN and its physiological contribution to the disease, however, remains elusive. Studies in experimental models of HTN suggest the involvement of angiotensin II (AngII) and dietary salt, both well-accepted therapeutic targets in human HTN, in elevating sympathetic tone. In rats, a combination of chronic AngII infusion and elevated dietary salt causes a form of hypertension that is, in part, due to elevated sympathetic tone to the cardiovascular system. Although the field has mainly focused on the renal nerves and their impact on renal function as the major neural contributor to hypertension, the "AngII-salt model" suggests that overactive sympathetic tone to non-renal splanchnic vascular bed can play a significant role in the pathophysiology of hypertension. My thesis is focused on testing the central hypothesis that AngII-salt hypertension is mediated, in part, by neurogenically driven vasocontriction of non-renal splanchnic vascular bed. The overarching goal of my research is to uncover potential new avenues for antihypertensive therapies targetting specific sympathetic nerve pathways.

Publications (pubmed):

Osborn JW, Kuroki MT. Sympathetic signatures of cardiovascular disease: a blueprint for development of targeted sympathetic ablation therapies. Hypertension. 2012 Mar;59(3):545-7. 

Kuroki MT, Ariza-Guzman PA, Fink GD, Osborn JW. Time Dependent Changes in Autonomic Control of Splanchnic Vascular Resistance and Heart Rate in AngII-Salt Hypertension. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 2012 Feb 1;302(3):H763-9.

Osborn JW, Fink GD, Kuroki MT. Neural mechanisms of angiotensin II-salt hypertension: implications for therapies targeting neural control of the splanchnic circulation. Curr Hypertens Rep. 2011 Jun;13(3):221-8.

Publication prior to entering the MD/PhD Program:

Zhang, CY,  Yeh, HC, Kuroki MT, Wang TH. Single-quantum-dot-based DNA nanosensor. Nature Materials, 2005;4:826 –831.