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Department of Medicine

Department of Medicine

  Division of Cardiology

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photo Flordeliza Villanueva, MD

Vice Chair for Pre-Clinical Research, Department of Medicine

Professor of Medicine

Director, Non-Invasive Cardiovascular Imaging

Director, Center for Ultrasound Molecular Imaging and Therapeutics

Email: villanuevafs@upmc.edu

Phone: 412-647-5840

Contact
Office: Heart and Vascular Institute, UPMC Presbyterian
200 Lothrop Street, SUite A-351
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
 
Phone: 412-647-5840
Fax: 412-647-4227
E-mail: villanuevafs@upmc.edu
Education and Training
Education
MD, Boston University School of Medicine, 1984
Training
Internship, Internal Medicine, Duke University Medical Center, 1985
Residency, Internal Medicine, Duke University Medical Center, 1987
Research Fellowship, Cardiology, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, 1988
Clinical Fellowship, Cardiology, University of Virginia Health Sciences Center, 1990
Research Interest
Dr. Villanueva's research focuses on the development of medical diagnostic and therapeutic strategies based on ultrasound and ultrasound contrast agents (gas-filled microspheres, or microbubbles). Her work has consistently bridged fundamental imaging sciences with translational biomedical research. As an Established Investigator of the American Heart Association, she has been a leader in the development of microbubbles for the assessment of myocardial perfusion, and ultrasound molecular imaging with targeted microbubbles for the detection of inflammatory and angiogenic endothelial markers in pre-clinical models of heart disease. Dr. Villanueva's lab has pioneered the development and application of microbubbles as molecular probes, and acoustic detection strategies for optimizing imaging sensitivity. Her lab group has applied fundamental principles of ultrasound and the physics of microbubble acoustic behaviors to develop novel targeted molecular therapeutics, whereby nucleic acid loaded microbubbles (siRNA, miRNA, plasmid), in the presence of precisely tuned ultrasound, selectively enhance membrane permeability and deliver payloads to the target site. These studies are conducted at the Center for Ultrasound Molecular Imaging and Therapeutics, a translational multidisciplinary research facility which epitomizes the reciprocal relationship between imaging sciences and biomedical translational research.
Clinical Interest
Dr. Villanueva's clinical focus is on non-invasive cardiac imaging, and she currently is the Director of Non-Invasive Cardiac Imaging for the Cardiovascular Institute based at Presbyterian University Hospital, UPMC.
Educational Interest
As the founding Director of the Center for Ultrasound Molecular Imaging and Therapeutics and Director of Non-Invasive Cardiac Imaging for the Heart and Vascular Institute at UPMC, Dr. Villanueva has continuous exposure to a pool of outstanding trainees and is deeply committed to their mentoring as future clinical and basic translational scientists.
Publications
For my complete bibliography, Click Here.
Selected Publications:
Helfield B, Chen X, Qin B, Villanueva FS. Individual lipid encapsulated microbubble radial oscillations: Effects of fluid viscosity. J Acoust Soc Am. 2016; 139(1): 204-14.
Kopechek JA, Carson AR, McTiernan CF, Chen X, Hasjim B, Lavery L, Sen M, Grandis JR, Villanueva FS. Ultrasound Targeted Microbubble Destruction-Mediated Delivery of a Transcription Factor Decoy Inhibits STAT3 Signaling and Tumor Growth. Theranostics. 2015; 5(12): 1378-87.
Chen X, Wang J, Pacela JJ, Villanueva FS. Dynamic Behavior of Microbubbles during Long Ultrasound Tone-Burst Excitation: Mechanistic Insights into Ultrasound-Microbubble Mediated Therapeutics Using High-Speed Imaging and Cavitation Detection. Ultrasound Med Biol. 2016; 42(2): 528-38.
Yu FT, Chen X, Wang J, Qin B, Villanueva FS. Low Intensity Ultrasound Mediated Liposomal Doxorubicin Delivery Using Polymer Microbubbles. Mol Pharm. 2016; 13(1): 55-64.
Pacella JJ, Brands J, Schnatz FG, Black JJ, Chen X, Villanueva FS. Treatment of microvascular micro-embolization using microbubbles and long-tone-burst ultrasound: an in vivo study. Ultrasound Med Biol. 2015; 41(2): 456-64.
Leng X, Wang J, Carson A, Chen X, Fu H, Ottoboni S, Wagner WR, Villanueva FS. Ultrasound detection of myocardial ischemic memory using an E-selectin targeting peptide amenable to human application. Mol Imaging. 2014; 13: 1-9.
Yu, FT, Villanueva FS, Chen X. Radial modulation contrast imaging using a 20-MHz single-element intravascular ultrasound catheter. IEEE Trans Ultrason Ferroelectr Freq Control. 2014; 61(5): 779-91.
Helfield B, Black JJ, Qin B, Pacella JJ, Chen X, Villanueva FS. Fluid Viscosity Affects the Fragmentation and Inertial Cavitation Threshold of Lipid-Encapsulated Microbubbles. Ultrasound Med Biol. 2016; 42(3): 792-94.
Kopechek JA, Carson AR, McTiernan CF, Chen X, Klein EC, Villanueva FS. Cardiac gene expression knockdown using small inhibitory RNA-loaded microbubbles and ultrasound. PLoS ONE. 2016; 11(7): e0159751.
Helfield B, Chen X, Watkins S, Villanueva FS. Biophysical insight into mechanisms of sonoporation. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 2016.
Sponsored Research/Activities
Title: Training Program in Imaging Science in Translational Cardiovascular Research
Role: Principal Investigator
Funding Agency: National Heart, Lung, & Blood Institute
Grant Number: T32 HL129964
Start Year: 2016
End Year: 2021
Title: Targeted Drug Delivery Using Liposomes, Microbubbles and Ultrasound
Role: Principal Investigator
Funding Agency: National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering
Grant Number: R21 EB019582
Start Year: 2016
End Year: 2017
Title: Targeted Molecular Therapeutics of Head and Neck Cancer Using Microbubble Vectors and Ultrasound
Role: Principal Investigator
Funding Agency: Johnson & Johnson
Start Year: 2012
End Year: 2017
Title: Ultrasound-Activated Microbubbles for Targeted siRNA Delivery to Tumor
Role: Principal Investigator
Funding Agency: National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering
Grant Number: R01 EB016516
Start Year: 2012
End Year: 2016
Title: Targeted Theranostic Microbubble Vectors for Transcription Factor Decoy Delivery
Role: Principal Investigator
Funding Agency: National Cancer Institute
Grant Number: R21 CA167373
Start Year: 2012
End Year: 2015
Title: Glycocalyx Pathways Linking Pregnancy Profile with Microvascular Dysfunction Postpartum
Role: Co-Investigator
Funding Agency: American Heart Association-National
Grant Number: RES
Start Year: 2016
End Year: 2020
Title: The Placenta as a Window to Maternal Cardiovascular Risk
Role: Co-Investigator
Funding Agency: Magee Womens Hospital
Grant Number: RES
Start Year: 2016
End Year: 2018
Title: Microbubble-Mediated Ultrasonic Therapy for Coronary Microvascular Obstruction
Role: Co-Investigator
Funding Agency: National Heart, Lung, & Blood Institute
Grant Number: R01 HL125777
Start Year: 2015
End Year: 2020
Title: Interventions to Reduce Hypercoagulability in Old SIV-Infected NHPs
Role: Co-Investigator
Funding Agency: National Heart, Lung, & Blood Institute
Grant Number: R01 HL123096
Start Year: 2015
End Year: 2019
Title: Enhancing Delivery and Regulating Gene Expression in Oncolytic Vaccinia Vectors
Role: Co-Investigator
Funding Agency: National Cancer Institute
Grant Number: R01 CA140215
Start Year: 2010
End Year: 2015
Title: Specialized Program of Research Excellence SPORE - Project 2
Role: Co-Leader
Funding Agency: National Cancer Institute
Grant Number: P50 CA097190
Start Year: 2002
End Year: 2020
Title: Targeting Thrombus in Microbubble Meditated Microvascular Somothrombolysis
Role: Mentor
Funding Agency: Howard Hughes Foundation
Start Year: 2013
End Year: 2016
Notable Achievements
Elected member, American Society of Clinical Investigation, 2004
Elected member, Association of University Cardiologists, 2008