Nelson Ruiz-Opazo, PhD
Boston University School of Medicine
Dept of Medicine
Cardiovascular Medicine

PhD, Albert Einstein College of Medicine
MS, Albert Einstein College of Medicine
MS, Universidad Austral de Chile

Research interests span the molecular genetics of hypertension and target organ complications, and the identification of DEspR (the dual endothelin-1/signal peptide of VEGF receptor) as a novel therapeutic target in cancer with a focus on cancer stem cell (CSC) pathological extended survival in anoikis conditions and adverse metabolic conditions, CSC tumorigenicity and multipotential self-sufficiency to metastasize. More recently, inter-disciplinary collaborations advance translational research into the role of DEspR+ neutrophils in neutrophil-mediated secondary tissue injury relevant to acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), COVID19-ARDS, and intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH).

Research expertise spans molecular and cell biology analysis of cancer stem cells (CSC), CSC-derived tumor cell phenotypes, xenograft modeling using CSCs in nude rat strain, and conducting survival analysis to test efficacy and safety of novel targeted therapies in cancer focusing on high unmet need cancers – pancreatic peritoneal carcinomatosis, glioblastoma. In molecular genetics research, expertise spans GWAS analysis of F2-genetic hypertensive cohorts and associated candidate genes, GWAS analysis of genetic F2 intercross linkage studies of Learning and Memory and associated candidate genes, hypertension genetic studies in isolated human populations, transgenic rat modeling. In ARDS and ICH, expertise spans adaptive application of basic science approaches to ex vivo analysis of neutrophil subsets within the context of the pathological microenvironment present in the patient.

Boston University
Evans Center for Interdisciplinary Biomedical Research

Boston University
Genome Science Institute

Boston University
Ambulatory Pediatrics

1991-1996 American Heart Association: Established Investigator
1980 American Association for the Study of Liver Disease: Annual Student Research Prize

Neutrophils and NETs in Intra-Cerebral Hemorrhage Exacerbation
03/04/2020 - 04/15/2022 (PI)
NControl Therapeutics, Inc.

Humanized anti-DEspR antibody therapy for Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS)
09/01/2019 - 11/30/2021 (Subcontract PI)
The Brigham and Women's Hospital, Inc. NIH NHLBI

Multi-functional targeted bio-conjugate platform to dismantle neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs)
01/01/2019 - 12/31/2020 (Multi-PI)
PI: Nelson Ruiz-Opazo, PhD
NIH/National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

Novel targeted therapy for pancreatic peritoneal carcinomatosis:a potential therapeutic platform for other cancers
02/01/2016 - 06/30/2019 (PI)
Ellison Foundation

Fully humanized anti-DEspR antibody therapy for acute lung injury (ALI)/Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS)
01/01/2018 - 04/30/2019 (Subcontract PI)
The Brigham and Women's Hospital, Inc. NIH NHLBI

Novel Targeted Therapy for Pancreatic Cancer
04/01/2018 - 03/31/2019 (Subcontract PI)
Abtelum Biomedical, Inc. NIH NCI

Genetic Mechanisms of Arterial Stiffness in Polygenic Salt-Sensitive Hypertension
09/20/2010 - 06/30/2015 (PI)
NIH/National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

Gender-specific Genetic Determinants of Hypertension and End Organ Disease
09/01/2008 - 07/31/2013 (PI)
NIH/National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

Genetic Determinants of Hypertension Susceptibility in Humans
09/21/2004 - 09/19/2007 (PI)
Philip Morris Inc

Molecular Genetics of the ET-1/AngII Receptor
04/01/2002 - 03/31/2007 (PI)
NIH/National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
5 R01 HL69937 04

Showing 10 of 12 results. Show All Results


Yr Title Project-Sub Proj Pubs
2020 Multi-functional targeted bio-conjugate platform to dismantle neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs) 5R21HL144253-02
2019 Multi-functional targeted bio-conjugate platform to dismantle neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs) 1R21HL144253-01
2013 Genetic mechanisms of arterial stiffness in polygenic salt-sensitive hypertension 5R01HL105286-04 2
2012 Genetic mechanisms of arterial stiffness in polygenic salt-sensitive hypertension 5R01HL105286-03 2
2011 Genetic mechanisms of arterial stiffness in polygenic salt-sensitive hypertension 5R01HL105286-02 2
2011 Gender-specific genetic determinants of hypertension and end organ disease 5R01HL086532-04 8
2010 Genetic mechanisms of arterial stiffness in polygenic salt-sensitive hypertension 1R01HL105286-01 2
2010 Functional characterization of ATP1A1 and DEspR variants associated with essentia 5R21HL098939-02 3
2010 Gender-specific genetic determinants of hypertension and end organ disease 5R01HL086532-03 8
2009 Functional characterization of ATP1A1 and DEspR variants associated with essentia 1R21HL098939-01 3
Showing 10 of 37 results. Show All Results

Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Faculty can login to make corrections and additions.

iCite Analysis       Copy PMIDs To Clipboard

  1. deKay JT, Emery IF, Rud J, Eldridge A, Lord C, Gagnon DJ, May TL, Herrera VLM, Ruiz-Opazo N, Riker RR, Sawyer DB, Ryzhov S, Seder DB. DEspRhigh neutrophils are associated with critical illness in COVID-19. Sci Rep. 2021 11 17; 11(1):22463.View Related Profiles. PMID: 34789851; PMCID: PMC8599677; DOI: 10.1038/s41598-021-01943-7;
  2. Herrera VLM, Walkey AJ, Nguyen MQ, Gromisch CM, Mosaddhegi JZ, Gromisch MS, Jundi B, Lukassen S, Carstensen S, Denis R, Belkina AC, Baron RM, Pinilla-Vera M, Muller M, Kimberly WT, Goldstein JN, Lehmann I, Shih AR, Eils R, Levy BD, Ruiz-Opazo N. Increased Neutrophil-Subset Associated With Severity/Mortality In ARDS And COVID19-ARDS Expresses The Dual Endothelin-1/VEGFsignal-Peptide Receptor (DEspR): An Actionable Therapeutic Target. Res Sq. 2021 Sep 13.View Related Profiles. PMID: 34545358; PMCID: PMC8452107; DOI: 10.21203/;
  3. Gromisch CM, Tan GLA, Pasion KA, Moran AM, Gromisch MS, Grinstaff MW, Carr FJ, Herrera VLM, Ruiz-Opazo N. Humanized anti-DEspR IgG4S228P antibody increases overall survival in a pancreatic cancer stem cell-xenograft peritoneal carcinomatosis ratnu/nu model. BMC Cancer. 2021 Apr 14; 21(1):407.View Related Profiles. PMID: 33853558; PMCID: PMC8048286; DOI: 10.1186/s12885-021-08107-w;
  4. Herrera VL, Colby AH, Ruiz-Opazo N, Coleman DG, Grinstaff MW. Nucleic acid nanomedicines in Phase II/III clinical trials: translation of nucleic acid therapies for reprogramming cells. Nanomedicine (Lond). 2018 08; 13(16):2083-2098.View Related Profiles. PMID: 30204054; PMCID: PMC6219437; DOI: 10.2217/nnm-2018-0122;
  5. Oh YS, Berkowitz DE, Cohen RA, Figueroa CA, Harrison DG, Humphrey JD, Larson DF, Leopold JA, Mecham RP, Ruiz-Opazo N, Santhanam L, Seta F, Shyy JYJ, Sun Z, Tsao PS, Wagenseil JE, Galis ZS. A Special Report on the NHLBI Initiative to Study Cellular and Molecular Mechanisms of Arterial Stiffness and Its Association With Hypertension. Circ Res. 2017 11 10; 121(11):1216-1218.View Related Profiles. PMID: 29122942; PMCID: PMC5728161; DOI: 10.1161/CIRCRESAHA.117.311703;
  6. Colby AH, Berry SM, Moran AM, Pasion KA, Liu R, Colson YL, Ruiz-Opazo N, Grinstaff MW, Herrera VL. Highly Specific and Sensitive Fluorescent Nanoprobes for Image-Guided Resection of Sub-Millimeter Peritoneal Tumors. ACS Nano. 2017 02 28; 11(2):1466-1477.View Related Profiles. PMID: 28099801; PMCID: PMC5725964; DOI: 10.1021/acsnano.6b06777;
  7. Herrera VL, Steffen M, Moran AM, Tan GA, Pasion KA, Rivera K, Pappin DJ, Ruiz-Opazo N. Confirmation of translatability and functionality certifies the dual endothelin1/VEGFsp receptor (DEspR) protein. BMC Mol Biol. 2016 Jun 14; 17(1):15.View Related Profiles. PMID: 27301377; PMCID: PMC4906906; DOI: 10.1186/s12867-016-0066-8;
  8. Herrera VL, Colby AH, Tan GA, Moran AM, O'Brien MJ, Colson YL, Ruiz-Opazo N, Grinstaff MW. Evaluation of expansile nanoparticle tumor localization and efficacy in a cancer stem cell-derived model of pancreatic peritoneal carcinomatosis. Nanomedicine (Lond). 2016 May; 11(9):1001-15.View Related Profiles. PMID: 27078118; PMCID: PMC4910944; DOI: 10.2217/nnm-2015-0023;
  9. Decano JL, Pasion KA, Black N, Giordano NJ, Herrera VL, Ruiz-Opazo N. Sex-specific genetic determinants for arterial stiffness in Dahl salt-sensitive hypertensive rats. BMC Genet. 2016; 17:19.View Related Profiles. PMID: 26754450; PMCID: PMC4709875; DOI: 10.1186/s12863-015-0324-7;
  10. Herrera VL, Pasion KA, Moran AM, Zaninello R, Ortu MF, Fresu G, Piras DA, Argiolas G, Troffa C, Glorioso V, Masala W, Glorioso N, Ruiz-Opazo N. A functional 12T-insertion polymorphism in the ATP1A1 promoter confers decreased susceptibility to hypertension in a male Sardinian population. PLoS One. 2015; 10(1):e0116724.View Related Profiles. PMID: 25615575; PMCID: PMC4304799; DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0116724;
Showing 10 of 90 results. Show More

This graph shows the total number of publications by year, by first, middle/unknown, or last author.

Bar chart showing 90 publications over 36 distinct years, with a maximum of 6 publications in 2004 and 2013


In addition to these self-described keywords below, a list of MeSH based concepts is available here.

learning and memory
cancer stem cells
Pancreatic Cancer
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700 Albany St Ctr for Adv Biomed Res
Boston MA 02118
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