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


Shan, S, Robson, ND, Cao, Y, Qiao, T, Li, CY, Kontos, CD, Garcia-Blanco, M, and Dewhirst, MW. "Responses of vascular endothelial cells to angiogenic signaling are important for tumor cell survival." FASEB JOURNAL 18, no. 2 (February 2004): 326-328.

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Zadeh, G, Qian, B, Okhowat, A, Sabha, N, Kontos, CD, and Guha, A. "Targeting the Tie2/Tek receptor in astrocytomas." The American Journal of Pathology 164, no. 2 (February 2004): 467-476.

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Peters, KG, Kontos, CD, Lin, PC, Wong, AL, Rao, P, Huang, L, Dewhirst, MW, and Sankar, S. "Functional significance of Tie2 signaling in the adult vasculature." Recent Progress in Hormone Research 59 (January 2004): 51-71. (Review)

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Cai, J, Ahmad, S, Jiang, WG, Huang, J, Kontos, CD, Boulton, M, and Ahmed, A. "Activation of vascular endothelial growth factor receptor-1 sustains angiogenesis and Bcl-2 expression via the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase pathway in endothelial cells." Diabetes 52, no. 12 (December 2003): 2959-2968.

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Liu, S, Premont, RT, Kontos, CD, Huang, J, and Rockey, DC. "Endothelin-1 activates endothelial cell nitric-oxide synthase via heterotrimeric G-protein betagamma subunit signaling to protein jinase B/Akt." The Journal of Biological Chemistry 278, no. 50 (December 2003): 49929-49935.

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White, RR, Shan, S, Rusconi, CP, Shetty, G, Dewhirst, MW, Kontos, CD, and Sullenger, BA. "Inhibition of rat corneal angiogenesis by a nuclease-resistant RNA aptamer specific for angiopoietin-2." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 100, no. 9 (April 11, 2003): 5028-5033.

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Niu, X-L, Peters, KG, and Kontos, CD. "Deletion of the carboxyl terminus of Tie2 enhances kinase activity, signaling, and function. Evidence for an autoinhibitory mechanism." The Journal of Biological Chemistry 277, no. 35 (August 2002): 31768-31773.

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Huang, J, and Kontos, CD. "Inhibition of vascular smooth muscle cell proliferation, migration, and survival by the tumor suppressor protein PTEN." Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol 22, no. 5 (May 1, 2002): 745-751.


Huang, J, and Kontos, CD. "PTEN modulates vascular endothelial growth factor-mediated signaling and angiogenic effects." The Journal of Biological Chemistry 277, no. 13 (March 2002): 10760-10766.

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Kontos, CD, Cha, EH, York, JD, and Peters, KG. "The endothelial receptor tyrosine kinase Tie1 activates phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase and Akt to inhibit apoptosis." Molecular and Cellular Biology 22, no. 6 (March 2002): 1704-1713.

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