Julie Phillippi

Dr. Phillippi is the UPMC Pellegrini Chair in Cardiothoracic Surgery and Associate Professor of Cardiothoracic Surgery with Tenure at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. She serves as the Vice Chair for Cardiac Research and Director of Postdoctoral Research in the Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery. Dr. Phillippi holds a secondary faculty appointment in the Department of Bioengineering in the Swanson School of Engineering and is member faculty with the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh. She serves as Principal Investigator (PI) and Scientific Director of the Cardiac Research Laboratory. Dr. Phillippi leads a research team of vasa vasorum enthusiasts with the goal of leveraging basic science discoveries in cell and matrix pathophysiology to develop less invasive and preventative treatments for cardiopulmonary diseases. Using a combination of in vitro, ex vivo, and in vivo models, there is a focused interest on the role of perivascular progenitor cells, adventitial matrix biology, and pericytes in (patho)physiological vasculogenesis and angiogenesis, and tissue-engineered models of human cardiovascular disease. Most of her team’s work leverages a human vascular tissue and cell bank comprised of over 1,000 unique patient specimens amassed through collaborative partnerships with cardiothoracic surgeons. Dr. Phillippi is PI on an active NIH R01 award, a pending R01 (percentile 11), a completed R56 award (2015-2016), and Co-I on an R01 award from NHLBI (2012-2018 and 2020-2025). She is PI on an active award from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Department of Health CURE Program (2021-2025). She has authored or co-authored 48 peer-reviewed original research articles and 4 review articles and 4 perspectives and commentaries. Her publications have garnered >4000 citations with an h-index of 34 (Google Scholar). Dr. Phillippi’s work in developing vascular extracellular matrix hydrogels led to issued patents in the United States (#11,406,736), Europe (#3402876), and Australia (#2017207015). Dr. Phillippi is wholly committed to research mentoring of surgeon scientists, basic scientists, and bioengineers. She serves as the Co-Program Director for a new NHLBI-funded T32 program in Cardiothoracic Surgery Research Training aimed at training the next generation of academic cardiothoracic surgeon scientists as independent researchers and collaborators versed in team science. She has mentored or co-mentored 5 early career surgeon scientists and 6 PhD post-doctoral fellows, 35 undergraduates, and 15 high school students, many of whom continued in academic roles or were inspired to pursue advanced degrees. Dr. Phillippi is a member of the American Association for Thoracic Surgery. She is an Associate Editor with Science Advances, of the Science family of Journals with AAAS (2014-present) and a reviewer for the journals Stem Cells, Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology, Acta Biomaterialia, Cardiovascular Research, Journal of Biomechanics, Journal of Clinical Investigation-Insight, and several others. Dr. Phillippi is heavily involved with the International Society for Applied Cardiovascular Biology (ISACB), serving as the society’s Secretary and a member of the Executive Council. She was the founding chair of the ISACB Webinar Committee and personally organized and moderated over 25 individual virtual events since 2014 featuring over 45 speakers. Dr. Phillippi also serves on the ISACB Women’s Leadership Committee. She is a member of the Executive Committee for the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh and chairs the Planning and Budgeting Committee for the School of Medicine. Dr. Phillippi is currently serving a 4-year term on the NIH Biomaterials and Biointerfaces Study Section as a chartered member and has previously served on review panels for the American Heart Association and other international entities. Dr. Phillippi has dedicated her career to research at the intersection of cardiothoracic surgery, basic science, and bioengineering. This rich experience enables her to provide and practice strategies and formulae for success in forging and managing interdisciplinary research partnerships, finding joy, and thriving academically with trainees and faculty at all career levels.