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


Kontos, CD, and Annex, BH. "Engineered transcription factors for therapeutic angiogenesis." Curr Opin Mol Ther 9, no. 2 (April 2007): 145-152. (Review)


Li, Y, Hazarika, S, Xie, D, Pippen, AM, Kontos, CD, and Annex, BH. "In mice with type 2 diabetes, a vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-activating transcription factor modulates VEGF signaling and induces therapeutic angiogenesis after hindlimb ischemia." Diabetes 56, no. 3 (March 2007): 656-665.

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DeKroon, R, Robinette, JB, Hjelmeland, AB, Wiggins, E, Blackwell, M, Mihovilovic, M, Fujii, M, York, J, Hart, J, Kontos, C, Rich, J, and Strittmatter, WJ. "APOE4-VLDL inhibits the HDL-activated phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/Akt Pathway via the phosphoinositol phosphatase SHIP2." Circ Res 99, no. 8 (October 13, 2006): 829-836.

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Xie, D, Li, Y, Reed, EA, Odronic, SI, Kontos, CD, and Annex, BH. "An engineered vascular endothelial growth factor-activating transcription factor induces therapeutic angiogenesis in ApoE knockout mice with hindlimb ischemia." Journal of Vascular Surgery 44, no. 1 (July 2006): 166-175.

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Huang, N, Khan, A, Ashrafpour, H, Neligan, PC, Forrest, CR, Kontos, CD, and Pang, CY. "Efficacy and mechanism of adenovirus-mediated VEGF-165 gene therapy for augmentation of skin flap viability." American Journal of Physiology. Heart and Circulatory Physiology 291, no. 1 (July 2006): H127-H137.

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Mi, J, Sarraf-Yazdi, S, Zhang, X, Cao, Y, Dewhirst, MW, Kontos, CD, Li, C-Y, and Clary, BM. "A comparison of antiangiogenic therapies for the prevention of liver metastases." J Surg Res 131, no. 1 (March 2006): 97-104.

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White, ES, Atrasz, RG, Hu, B, Phan, SH, Stambolic, V, Mak, TW, Hogaboam, CM, Flaherty, KR, Martinez, FJ, Kontos, CD, and Toews, GB. "Negative regulation of myofibroblast differentiation by PTEN (Phosphatase and Tensin Homolog Deleted on chromosome 10)." American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine 173, no. 1 (January 2006): 112-121.

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Mi, J, Zhang, X, Rabbani, ZN, Liu, Y, Su, Z, Vujaskovic, Z, Kontos, CD, Sullenger, BA, and Clary, BM. "H1 RNA polymerase III promoter-driven expression of an RNA aptamer leads to high-level inhibition of intracellular protein activity. (Published online)" Nucleic Acids Res 34, no. 12 (2006): 3577-3584.

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Hjelmeland, AB, Hjelmeland, MD, Shi, Q, Hart, JL, Bigner, DD, Wang, X-F, Kontos, CD, and Rich, JN. "Loss of phosphatase and tensin homologue increases transforming growth factor beta-mediated invasion with enhanced SMAD3 transcriptional activity." Cancer Research 65, no. 24 (December 2005): 11276-11281.

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Xie, D, Kontos, CD, Donatucci, CF, and Annex, BH. "Erratum: Cholesterol feeding reduces vascular endothelial growth factor signaling in rabbit corporal tissues (Journal of Sexual Medicine (2005) 2 (634-640))." Journal of Sexual Medicine 2, no. 6 (November 1, 2005): 876-null.

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