Christopher Dale Kontos, MD

Professor of Medicine
Director, Medical Scientist Training Program
Professor of Pharmacology and Cancer Biology
Member of the Duke Cancer Institute
Campus mail 435 Sands Bldg, Durham, NC 27710
Phone (919) 684-2119
Email address

The Kontos Lab studies the molecular mechanisms of angiogenesis and vascular remodeling. Studies are directed toward understanding how signal transduction by endothelial receptor tyrosine kinase (RTKs) regulates vascular growth in both physiological and pathological processes, including exercise, peripheral artery disease (PAD), atherosclerosis, and cancer.

Current projects include:

1. Signal transduction, mechanisms of activation, and downregulation of endothelial RTKs (mainly Tie1, Tie2, VEGFR-1, and VEGFR-2)

2. Differential effects of the Angiopoietins

3. Role of the inositol phosphatase PTEN in the regulation of vascular cell growth and remodeling

4. PTEN gene therapy for prevention of vein graft disease

5. Angiogenic signaling in skeletal muscle, including mechanisms of exercise-induced angiogenesis

6. Proteolytic cleavage and shedding of endothelial RTKs

7. Angiogenic proteins as biomarkers in peripheral artery disease

Education and Training

  • Fellow in Cardiology, Medicine, Duke University, 1993 - 1997
  • M.D., Virginia Commonwealth University, 1989


Reinardy, JL, Corey, DM, Golzio, C, Mueller, SB, Katsanis, N, and Kontos, CD. "Phosphorylation of Threonine 794 on Tie1 by Rac1/PAK1 Reveals a Novel Angiogenesis Regulatory Pathway." PloS one 10, no. 10 (January 2015): e0139614-.

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Mueller, SB, and Kontos, CD. "Gene Therapy for the Prevention of Vein Graft Disease." In Translating Gene Therapy to the Clinic: Techniques and Approaches, 227-246. November 17, 2014.

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Shen, J, Frye, M, Lee, BL, Reinardy, JL, McClung, JM, Ding, K, Kojima, M, Xia, H, Seidel, C, Lima e Silva, R, Dong, A, Hackett, SF, Wang, J, Howard, BW, Vestweber, D, Kontos, CD, Peters, KG, and Campochiaro, PA. "Targeting VE-PTP activates TIE2 and stabilizes the ocular vasculature." The Journal of clinical investigation 124, no. 10 (October 2014): 4564-4576.

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Kontos, CD. "More than skin deep: connecting melanocyte pigmentation and angiogenic diseases." J Clin Invest 124, no. 1 (January 2014): 76-79.

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Duscha, BD, Robbins, JL, Kontos, CD, Kraus, WE, and Annex, BH. "Angiogenesis in peripheral artery disease: An emerging therapy targeting skeletal muscle." (December 1, 2013): 99-134. (Chapter)


Kontos, CD, and Willett, CG. "Inhibiting the inhibitor: targeting vascular endothelial protein tyrosine phosphatase to promote tumor vascular maturation." J Natl Cancer Inst 105, no. 16 (August 21, 2013): 1163-1165.

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Southerland, KW, Frazier, SB, Bowles, DE, Milano, CA, and Kontos, CD. "Gene therapy for the prevention of vein graft disease." Transl Res 161, no. 4 (April 2013): 321-338. (Review)

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Lee, C-L, Moding, EJ, Cuneo, KC, Li, Y, Sullivan, JM, Mao, L, Washington, I, Jeffords, LB, Rodrigues, RC, Ma, Y, Das, S, Kontos, CD, Kim, Y, Rockman, HA, and Kirsch, DG. "p53 functions in endothelial cells to prevent radiation-induced myocardial injury in mice." Science signaling 5, no. 234 (July 24, 2012): ra52-.

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McClung, JM, McCord, TJ, Keum, S, Johnson, S, Annex, BH, Marchuk, DA, and Kontos, CD. "Skeletal muscle-specific genetic determinants contribute to the differential strain-dependent effects of hindlimb ischemia in mice." Am J Pathol 180, no. 5 (May 2012): 2156-2169.

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Simnick, AJ, Amiram, M, Liu, W, Hanna, G, Dewhirst, MW, Kontos, CD, and Chilkoti, A. "In vivo tumor targeting by a NGR-decorated micelle of a recombinant diblock copolypeptide." J Control Release 155, no. 2 (October 30, 2011): 144-151.

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