CardioPulmonary Vascular Biology Center of Biomedical Research Excellence

Pilot Projects

Olin Liang, PhD

Olin Liang, PhD, is a member of the Center for Regenerative Medicine at Rhode Island Hospital and The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. His pilot project is analyzing the role of endothelial to hematopoietic transition (EHT) in pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). The aim is to determine whether a developmental process such as EHT may play a role in the pathogenesis of PAH, which may lead to identifying novel therapeutic targets.

Liang earned a PhD in microbiology at the Karolinska Institute and Lund University in Sweden, and received postdoctoral training at Max Planck Institute in Germany. He was a staff scientist at Boston Children’s Hospital and an instructor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School before he joined Rhode Island Hospital and Brown University in 2013.

Liang’s research interests include studying the mechanisms of pulmonary hypertension and the therapeutic potential of genetically modified stem cells in pulmonary hypertension, as well as hematopoietic stem cell biology. In addition to his research credentials, which include numerous original publications in leading scientific journals, Liang actively participates in undergraduate and graduate student education, as well as in clinical and research fellow training. 

Jun Feng, MD, PhD

Jun Feng, MD, PhD, is currently a member of the department of surgery at the Cardiovascular Research Center, Rhode Island Hospital, and an assistant professor of surgery at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. Feng's pilot project studies why the down regulation of small-conductance and intermediate-conductance calcium-sensitive potassium channels (SKCa and IKCa, respectively) contributes to coronary arterial endothelial dysfunction in diabetic patients. The aim is to advance understanding of coronary artery diseases, particularly macrovascular and microvascular diseases caused by metabolic syndrome, diabetes and hypertension and to develop novel therapeutic strategies to effectively treat patients with metabolic syndrome, diabetes, hypertension and coronary artery diseases.

Feng is a graduate of Xinyang Medical School and Henan Medical University with special training in cardiovascular surgery. Additionally, Feng received his PhD in physiology from University of Montreal, Canada. 

His research focuses on endothelial biology and cardiovascular diseases associated with metabolic syndrome, diabetes and related cellular and electrical signaling. He has published more than 100 articles, book chapters and abstracts as first author and co-author.

Learn more about the CardioPulmonary Vascular Biology COBRE at