Ronald Vagnozzi, PhD
Assistant Professor, Medicine-Cardiology

Graduate School :
  • PhD, Thomas Jefferson University (2013)
Undergraduate School:
  • BS, Saint Joseph's University (PA) (2007)
Languages: English
Department: Medicine-Cardiology

Recognition & Awards

  • Melvin L. Marcus Early Career Investigator Award in Cardiovascular Sciences, American Heart Association (2019)
  • Richard J. Bing Young Investigator Award, International Society for Heart Research (2019)
  • Executive Co-Directors Award, The Heart Institute at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital (2017)

Research Interests

My lab studies the cellular mechanisms of injury and stress responses in the heart. I am particularly interested in the innate immune system and how inflammation impacts wound healing, fibrosis, and tissue remodeling in beneficial as well as adverse ways. The goal of our research is to understand the regulatory mechanisms of cardiac wound healing and discover novel approaches to repair or even rejuvenate the damaged heart.


  • Koch WJ, Vagnozzi RJ, Wang TJ, Liao R, Houser SR. Thomas L. Force, MD: 1951-2020: A Brilliant Physician-Scientist Gone Too Soon. Circ Res. 2021 Jan 8;128(1):6-7. PubMed PMID: 33411629
  • Vagnozzi RJ. SupErbB monocytes? Innate immune cells help the heart adapt. J Mol Cell Cardiol. 2021 Mar;152:92-94. PubMed PMID: 33310054
  • Ferrari I, Vagnozzi RJ. Mechanisms and strategies for a therapeutic cardiac immune response. J Mol Cell Cardiol. 2021 May 26;158:82-88. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 34051237
  • Sun F, Wang G, Pradhan A, Xu K, Gomez-Arroyo J, Zhang Y, Kalin GT, Deng Z, Vagnozzi RJ, He H, Dunn AW, Wang Y, York AJ, Hegde RS, Woods JC, Kalin TV, Molkentin JD, Kalinichenko VV. Nanoparticle Delivery of STAT3 Alleviates Pulmonary Hypertension in a Mouse Model of Alveolar Capillary Dysplasia. Circulation. 2021 Jun 11. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 34111939
  • Hortells L, Valiente-Alandi I, Thomas ZM, Agnew EJ, Schnell DJ, York AJ, Vagnozzi RJ, Meyer EC, Molkentin JD, Yutzey KE. A specialized population of Periostin-expressing cardiac fibroblasts contributes to postnatal cardiomyocyte maturation and innervation. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2020 Sep 1;117(35):21469-21479. PubMed PMID: 32817558
  • Vagnozzi RJ, Sargent MA, Molkentin JD. Cardiac Cell Therapy Rejuvenates the Infarcted Rodent Heart via Direct Injection but Not by Vascular Infusion. Circulation. 2020 Mar 24;141(12):1037-1039. PubMed PMID: 32202933
  • Kim AJ, Xu N, Umeyama K, Hulin A, Ponny SR, Vagnozzi RJ, Green EA, Hanson P, McManus BM, Nagashima H, Yutzey KE. Deficiency of Circulating Monocytes Ameliorates the Progression of Myxomatous Valve Degeneration in Marfan Syndrome. Circulation. 2020 Jan 14;141(2):132-146. PubMed PMID: 31928435
  • Vagnozzi RJ, Maillet M, Sargent MA, Khalil H, Johansen AKZ, Schwanekamp JA, York AJ, Huang V, Nahrendorf M, Sadayappan S, Molkentin JD. An acute immune response underlies the benefit of cardiac stem cell therapy. Nature. 2020 Jan;577(7790):405-409. PubMed PMID: 31775156
  • Vagnozzi RJ, Molkentin JD. Resident macrophages keep mitochondria running in the heart. Cell Res. 2020 Dec;30(12):1057-1058. PubMed PMID: 33139923
  • Weinberger T, Esfandyari D, Messerer D, Percin G, Schleifer C, Thaler R, Liu L, Stremmel C, Schneider V, Vagnozzi RJ, Schwanenkamp J, Fischer M, Busch K, Klapproth K, Ishikawa-Ankerhold H, Klösges L, Titova A, Molkentin JD, Kobayashi Y, Engelhardt S, Massberg S, Waskow C, Perdiguero EG, Schulz C. Ontogeny of arterial macrophages defines their functions in homeostasis and inflammation. Nat Commun. 2020 Sep 11;11(1):4549. PubMed PMID: 32917889
  • Vagnozzi RJ, Pfleger J, Sadayappan S. Basic Cardiovascular Sciences Scientific Sessions 2019: Integrative Approaches to Complex Cardiovascular Diseases. Circ Res. 2019 Oct 25;125(10):924-931. PubMed PMID: 31647770
  • Vagnozzi RJ, Johansen AKZ, Molkentin JD. CARdiac Immunotherapy: T Cells Engineered to Treat the Fibrotic Heart. Mol Ther. 2019 Nov 6;27(11):1869-1871. PubMed PMID: 31585799
  • Fu X, Khalil H, Kanisicak O, Boyer JG, Vagnozzi RJ, Maliken BD, Sargent MA, Prasad V, Valiente-Alandi I, Blaxall BC, Molkentin JD. Specialized fibroblast differentiated states underlie scar formation in the infarcted mouse heart. J Clin Invest. 2018 May 1;128(5):2127-2143. PubMed PMID: 29664017
  • van Berlo JH, Kanisicak O, Maillet M, Vagnozzi RJ, Karch J, Lin SJ, Middleton RC, Marbán E, Molkentin JD. van Berlo et al. reply. Nature. 2018 Mar 21;555(7697):E18. PubMed PMID: 29565361
  • Vagnozzi RJ, Molkentin JD, Houser SR. New Myocyte Formation in the Adult Heart: Endogenous Sources and Therapeutic Implications. Circ Res. 2018 Jul 6;123(2):159-176. PubMed PMID: 29976685
  • Vagnozzi RJ, Sargent MA, Lin SJ, Palpant NJ, Murry CE, Molkentin JD. Genetic Lineage Tracing of Sca-1(+) Cells Reveals Endothelial but Not Myogenic Contribution to the Murine Heart. Circulation. 2018 Dec 18;138(25):2931-2939. PubMed PMID: 29991486
  • Stremmel C, Schuchert R, Wagner F, Thaler R, Weinberger T, Pick R, Mass E, Ishikawa-Ankerhold HC, Margraf A, Hutter S, Vagnozzi R, Klapproth S, Frampton J, Yona S, Scheiermann C, Molkentin JD, Jeschke U, Moser M, Sperandio M, Massberg S, Geissmann F, Schulz C. Yolk sac macrophage progenitors traffic to the embryo during defined stages of development. Nat Commun. 2018 Jan 8;9(1):75. PubMed PMID: 29311541
  • Kanisicak O, Vagnozzi RJ, Molkentin JD. Identity Crisis for Regenerative Cardiac cKit(+) Cells. Circ Res. 2017 Oct 27;121(10):1130-1132. PubMed PMID: 29074532
  • Khalil H, Kanisicak O, Prasad V, Correll RN, Fu X, Schips T, Vagnozzi RJ, Liu R, Huynh T, Lee SJ, Karch J, Molkentin JD. Fibroblast-specific TGF-ß-Smad2/3 signaling underlies cardiac fibrosis. J Clin Invest. 2017 Oct 2;127(10):3770-3783. PubMed PMID: 28891814
  • Mitani Y, Vagnozzi RJ, Millay DP. In vivo myomaker-mediated heterologous fusion and nuclear reprogramming. FASEB J. 2017 Jan;31(1):400-411. PubMed PMID: 27825107
  • Wallner M, Duran JM, Mohsin S, Troupes CD, Vanhoutte D, Borghetti G, Vagnozzi RJ, Gross P, Yu D, Trappanese DM, Kubo H, Toib A, Sharp TE 3rd, Harper SC, Volkert MA, Starosta T, Feldsott EA, Berretta RM, Wang T, Barbe MF, Molkentin JD, Houser SR. Acute Catecholamine Exposure Causes Reversible Myocyte Injury Without Cardiac Regeneration. Circ Res. 2016 Sep 16;119(7):865-79. PubMed PMID: 27461939
  • Liu R, van Berlo JH, York AJ, Vagnozzi RJ, Maillet M, Molkentin JD. DUSP8 Regulates Cardiac Ventricular Remodeling by Altering ERK1/2 Signaling. Circ Res. 2016 Jul 8;119(2):249-60. PubMed PMID: 27225478
  • Schwanekamp JA, Lorts A, Vagnozzi RJ, Vanhoutte D, Molkentin JD. Deletion of Periostin Protects Against Atherosclerosis in Mice by Altering Inflammation and Extracellular Matrix Remodeling. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2016 Jan;36(1):60-8. PubMed PMID: 26564821
  • Liu R, Correll RN, Davis J, Vagnozzi RJ, York AJ, Sargent MA, Nairn AC, Molkentin JD. Cardiac-specific deletion of protein phosphatase 1ß promotes increased myofilament protein phosphorylation and contractile alterations. J Mol Cell Cardiol. 2015 Oct;87:204-13. PubMed PMID: 26334248
  • Kwong JQ, Lu X, Correll RN, Schwanekamp JA, Vagnozzi RJ, Sargent MA, York AJ, Zhang J, Bers DM, Molkentin JD. The Mitochondrial Calcium Uniporter Selectively Matches Metabolic Output to Acute Contractile Stress in the Heart. Cell Rep. 2015 Jul 7;12(1):15-22. PubMed PMID: 26119742
  • Duran JM, Makarewich CA, Trappanese D, Gross P, Husain S, Dunn J, Lal H, Sharp TE, Starosta T, Vagnozzi RJ, Berretta RM, Barbe M, Yu D, Gao E, Kubo H, Force T, Houser SR. Sorafenib cardiotoxicity increases mortality after myocardial infarction. Circ Res. 2014 May 23;114(11):1700-1712. PubMed PMID: 24718482
  • van Berlo JH, Kanisicak O, Maillet M, Vagnozzi RJ, Karch J, Lin SC, Middleton RC, Marbán E, Molkentin JD. c-kit+ cells minimally contribute cardiomyocytes to the heart. Nature. 2014 May 15;509(7500):337-41. PubMed PMID: 24805242
  • Lal H, Ahmad F, Zhou J, Yu JE, Vagnozzi RJ, Guo Y, Yu D, Tsai EJ, Woodgett J, Gao E, Force T. Cardiac fibroblast glycogen synthase kinase-3ß regulates ventricular remodeling and dysfunction in ischemic heart. Circulation. 2014 Jul 29;130(5):419-30. PubMed PMID: 24899689
  • Ahmad F, Lal H, Zhou J, Vagnozzi RJ, Yu JE, Shang X, Woodgett JR, Gao E, Force T. Cardiomyocyte-specific deletion of Gsk3a mitigates post-myocardial infarction remodeling, contractile dysfunction, and heart failure. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2014 Aug 19;64(7):696-706. PubMed PMID: 25125302
  • King-Smith C, Vagnozzi RJ, Fischer NE, Gannon P, Gunnam S. Orientation of actin filaments in teleost retinal pigment epithelial cells, and the effect of the lectin, Concanavalin A, on melanosome motility. Vis Neurosci. 2014 Jan;31(1):1-10. PubMed PMID: 24801619
  • Vagnozzi RJ, Gatto GJ Jr, Kallander LS, Hoffman NE, Mallilankaraman K, Ballard VL, Lawhorn BG, Stoy P, Philp J, Graves AP, Naito Y, Lepore JJ, Gao E, Madesh M, Force T. Inhibition of the cardiomyocyte-specific kinase TNNI3K limits oxidative stress, injury, and adverse remodeling in the ischemic heart. Sci Transl Med. 2013 Oct 16;5(207):207ra141. PubMed PMID: 24132636
  • Hoffman NE, Chandramoorthy HC, Shamugapriya S, Zhang X, Rajan S, Mallilankaraman K, Gandhirajan RK, Vagnozzi RJ, Ferrer LM, Sreekrishnanilayam K, Natarajaseenivasan K, Vallem S, Force T, Choi ET, Cheung JY, Madesh M. MICU1 motifs define mitochondrial calcium uniporter binding and activity. Cell Rep. 2013 Dec 26;5(6):1576-1588. PubMed PMID: 24332854
  • Zhou J, Freeman TA, Ahmad F, Shang X, Mangano E, Gao E, Farber J, Wang Y, Ma XL, Woodgett J, Vagnozzi RJ, Lal H, Force T. GSK-3a is a central regulator of age-related pathologies in mice. J Clin Invest. 2013 Apr;123(4):1821-32. PubMed PMID: 23549082
  • Lal H, Zhou J, Ahmad F, Zaka R, Vagnozzi RJ, Decaul M, Woodgett J, Gao E, Force T. Glycogen synthase kinase-3a limits ischemic injury, cardiac rupture, post-myocardial infarction remodeling and death. Circulation. 2012 Jan 3;125(1):65-75. PubMed PMID: 22086876
  • Vagnozzi RJ, Hoffman NE, Elrod JW, Madesh M, Force T. Protein Kinase Signaling at the Crossroads of Myocyte Life and Death in Ischemic Heart Disease. Drug Discov Today Ther Strateg. 2012;9(4):e173-e182. PubMed PMID: 24839450
  • Elrod JW, Wong R, Mishra S, Vagnozzi RJ, Sakthievel B, Goonasekera SA, Karch J, Gabel S, Farber J, Force T, Brown JH, Murphy E, Molkentin JD. Cyclophilin D controls mitochondrial pore-dependent Ca(2+) exchange, metabolic flexibility, and propensity for heart failure in mice. J Clin Invest. 2010 Oct;120(10):3680-7. PubMed PMID: 20890047
  • Woulfe KC, Gao E, Lal H, Harris D, Fan Q, Vagnozzi R, DeCaul M, Shang X, Patel S, Woodgett JR, Force T, Zhou J. Glycogen synthase kinase-3beta regulates post-myocardial infarction remodeling and stress-induced cardiomyocyte proliferation in vivo. Circ Res. 2010 May 28;106(10):1635-45. PubMed PMID: 20360256
  • Kerkela R, Woulfe KC, Durand JB, Vagnozzi R, Kramer D, Chu TF, Beahm C, Chen MH, Force T. Sunitinib-induced cardiotoxicity is mediated by off-target inhibition of AMP-activated protein kinase. Clin Transl Sci. 2009 Feb;2(1):15-25. PubMed PMID: 20376335
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Professional Memberships

  • American Heart Association, Member
  • American Society for Cell Biology, Member
  • International Society for Heart Research, Member
  • International Society for Regenerative Biology, Member

Practice Locations

University of Colorado Hospital (UCH)
12605 E. 16th Ave
Aurora, CO 80045

Specialty Information

  • Psychology

General Information

Graduate Schools:
  • PhD, Thomas Jefferson University (2013)
Undergraduate Schools:
  • BS, Saint Joseph's University (PA) (2007)
Languages: English
Department: Medicine-Cardiology
Contact Us
CU Anschutz
Fitzsimons Building

13001 East 17th Place
Campus Box C290
Aurora, CO 80045

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