Yao Sun, MD, PhD

Professor of Medicine

MEMPHIS TN 381632116
Tel: (901) 448-4921


  • PostDoc, University of Missouri, Medical Science
  • PostDoc, University of Melbourne, Australia, Medical Science
  • Ph.D., Harbin Medical University, China, Biomedical Science
  • M.S., Harbin Medical University, China, Histology
  • M.D., Harbin Medical University, China, Medicine

Biographical Information

Dr. Sun is a Professor of Medicine of the Division of Cardiovascular Diseases at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center. She received her MD and PhD from Harbin Medical University of China. After three years postdoctoral training at the University of Melbourne, Australia and University of Missouri, she was appointed Assistant Professor at the University of Missouri, School of Medicine in 1993, becoming tenured Associate Professor of Medicine in 1999. In 2000, Dr. Sun joined the University of Tennessee Health Sciences Center. Dr. Sun has received several awards, including AHA Established Investigator Award, Cardiovascular Award, Central Society for Clinical Resarch etc. She has published over 150 refereed journal articles and book chapters. Dr. Sun serves as a member of several editorial boards.

Research Interests

  • Local renin angiotensin system in heart failure, hypertensive heart disease and myocardial infarction;
  • Oxidative stress in cardiac repair/remodeling, including angiogenesis, hypertrophy and fibrosis;
  • Growth factors in cardiac fibrosis;
  • Modifier genes of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.

Research Support

  •  NIH RO1 HL128350. 08/2016-08/2020. Genetic Modulation of Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Severity (PI)
  • NIH RO1 HL096503. 06/2010-11/2015. Oxidative Stress and Cardiac Angiogenesis following Infarction (PI)
  • NIH RO1 HL096813.  07/2010-04/2014. Regulatory Mechanisms of Oxidative Stress in Hypertensive Heart Disease (Co-I)
  • NIH RO1 HL090867. 10/2008-09/2012. Recovery from Cachexia in Heart and Skeletal Muscle (Co-I)
  • NIH RO1 HL077668. 06/2005-06/2010. Oxidative Stress and Myocardial Remodeling Following Infarction (PI)
  • NIH RO1 HL074273. 09/2004-08/2008. Post-MI Exercise, Myocardial Remodeling and Function (Co-PI)
  • NIH RO1 HL067888. 06/2001-05/2005. Nitric Oxide and Cardiac Remodeling Following Infarction (PI)
  • NIH R01 HL62229.   08/2000-07/2005 Myofibroblasts and the Infarcted Heart (Co-I)
  • AHA, Established Investigator Award, National. 01/1998-06/2002. Angiotensin II and Myocardial Remodeling by Fibrous Tissue (PI)   


  1. Chen, Y, Zhao, W, Liu, C, Meng, W, Zhao, T, Bhattacharya, SK, Sun, Y. Molecular and Cellular Effect of Angiotensin 1-7 on Hypertensive Kidney Disease. Am J Hypertens, 32 (5), 460-467, 2019.
  2. Zhao, W, Zhao, T, Chen, Y, Bhattacharya, SK, Lu, L, Sun, Y. Differential Expression of Hypertensive Phenotypes in BXD Mouse Strains in Response to Angiotensin II. Am J Hypertens, 2017.
  3. Zhao T, Zhao W, Meng W, Liu C, Chen Y, Bhattacharya SK, Sun Y.. Vascular endothelial growth factor-D mediates fibrogenic response in myofibroblasts.. Mol Cell Biochem., 1-2 (413), 127-35, 2016.
  4. Liu X, Chen Y, McCoy CW, Zhao T, Quarles DL, Pi M, Bhattacharya SK, King G, Sun Y.. Differential Regulatory Role of Soluble Klothos on Cardiac Fibrogenesis in Hypertension.. Am J Hypertens., 10 (29), 1140-7, 2016.
  5. Zhao, T, Zhao, W, Meng, W, Liu, C, Chen, Y, Gerling, IC, Weber, KT, Bhattacharya, SK, Kumar, R, Sun, Y. VEGF-C/VEGFR-3 pathway promotes myocyte hypertrophy and survival in the infarcted myocardium. Am J Transl Res, 7 (4), 697-709, 2015.
  6. Zhao, W, Zhao, T, Chen, Y, Zhao, F, Gu, Q, Williams, RW, Bhattacharya, SK, Lu, L, Sun, Y. A Murine Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Model: The DBA/2J Strain. PLoS One, 10 (8), e0133132, 2015.
  7. Zhao, T, Zhao, W, Meng, W, Liu, C, Chen, Y, Sun, Y. Vascular endothelial growth factor-C: its unrevealed role in fibrogenesis. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol, 306 (6), H789-96, 2014.
  8. Meng, W, Zhao, W, Zhao, T, Liu, C, Chen, Y, Liu, H, Sun, Y. Autocrine and Paracrine Function of Angiotensin 1-7 in Tissue Repair During Hypertension. Am J Hypertens, 2014.
  9. Liu C, Zhao W, Meng W, Zhao T, Chen Y, Ahokas RA, Liu H, Sun Y.. Platelet-derived growth factor blockade on cardiac remodeling following infarction. Mol Cell Biochem., 397, 295-304, 2014.
  10. Zhao, T, Zhao, W, Chen, Y, Liu, L, Ahokas, RA, Sun, Y. Differential expression of vascular endothelial growth factor isoforms and receptor subtypes in the infarcted heart. Int J Cardiol, 167 (6), 2638-45, 2013.
  11. Zhao, W, Zhao, T, Chen, Y, Qu, Y, Gerling, IC, Sun, Y. Modification of oxidative stress on gene expression profiling in the rat infarcted heart. Mol Cell Biochem, 379 (1-2), 243-53, 2013.
  12. Zhao, T, Zhao, W, Chen, Y, Li, VS, Meng, W, Sun, Y. Platelet-derived growth factor-D promotes fibrogenesis of cardiac fibroblasts. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol, 304 (12), H1719-26, 2013.
  13. Zhao, W, Zhao, T, Chen, Y, Sun, Y. Angiotensin 1-7 Promotes Cardiac Angiogenesis Following Infarction. Curr Vasc Pharmacol, 2013.
  14. Zhao, W, Zhao, T, Huang, V, Chen, Y, Ahokas, RA, Sun, Y. Platelet-derived growth factor involvement in myocardial remodeling following infarction. J Mol Cell Cardiol, 51 (5), 830-8, 2011.
  15. Zhao, T, Zhao, W, Chen, Y, Ahokas, RA, Sun, Y. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-A: role on cardiac angiogenesis following myocardial infarction. Microvasc Res, 80 (2), 188-94, 2010.
  16. Zhao, T, Zhao, W, Chen, Y, Ahokas, RA, Sun, Y. Acidic and basic fibroblast growth factors involved in cardiac angiogenesis following infarction. Int J Cardiol, 2010.
  17. Sun, Y. Intracardiac renin-angiotensin system and myocardial repair/remodeling following infarction. J Mol Cell Cardiol, 48 (3), 483-9, 2010.
  18. Zhao, W, Zhao, T, Chen, Y, Ahokas, RA, Sun, Y. Reactive oxygen species promote angiogenesis in the infarcted rat heart. Int J Exp Pathol, 90 (6), 621-9, 2009.
  19. Sun Y. Myocardial repair/remodelling following infarction: roles of local factors. Cardiovasc Res, 81 (3), 482-90, 2009.
  20. Zhao, W, Zhao, T, Chen, Y, Ahokas, RA, Sun, Y. Oxidative stress mediates cardiac fibrosis by enhancing transforming growth factor-beta1 in hypertensive rats. Mol Cell Biochem, 317 (1-2), 43-50, 2008.
  21. Lu, L, Chen, SS, Hassid, A, Sun, Y. Cardiac fibrogenesis following infarction in mice with deletion of inducible nitric oxide synthase. Am J Med Sci, 335 (6), 431-8, 2008.
  22. Zhao, W, Chen, SS, Chen, Y, Ahokas, RA, Sun, Y. Kidney Fibrosis in Hypertensive Rats: Role of Oxidative Stress. Am J Nephrol, 28 (4), 548-554, 2008.
  23. Zhao, W, Zhao, D, Yan, R, Sun, Y. Cardiac oxidative stress and remodeling following infarction: role of NADPH oxidase. Cardiovasc Pathol, 2008.
  24. Sun, Y. Oxidative stress and cardiac repair/remodeling following infarction. Am J Med Sci, 334 (3), 197-205, 2007.
  25. Sun, Y, Ahokas, RA, Bhattacharya, SK, Gerling, IC, Carbone, LD, Weber, KT. Oxidative stress in aldosteronism. Cardiovasc Res, 71 (2), 300-9, 2006.
  26. Zhao, W, Ahokas, RA, Weber, KT, Sun, Y. ANG II-induced cardiac molecular and cellular events: role of aldosterone. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol, 291 (1), H336-43, 2006.
  27. Sun, Y, Weber, KT. Animal models of cardiac fibrosis. Methods Mol Med, 117, 273-90, 2005.
  28. Lu, L, Quinn, MT, Sun, Y. Oxidative stress in the infarcted heart: role of de novo angiotensin II production. Biochem Biophys Res Commun, 325 (3), 943-51, 2004.
  29. Zhao, W, Lu, L, Chen, SS, Sun, Y. Temporal and spatial characteristics of apoptosis in the infarcted rat heart. Biochem Biophys Res Commun, 325 (2), 605-11, 2004.
  30. Lu, L, Chen, SS, Zhang, JQ, Ramires, FJ, Sun, Y. Activation of nuclear factor-kappaB and its proinflammatory mediator cascade in the infarcted rat heart. Biochem Biophys Res Commun, 321 (4), 879-85, 2004.
  31. Lu, L, Zhang, JQ, Ramires, FJ, Sun, Y. Molecular and cellular events at the site of myocardial infarction: from the perspective of rebuilding myocardial tissue. Biochem Biophys Res Commun, 320 (3), 907-13, 2004.
  32. Sun, Y, Zhang, J, Lu, L, Bedigian, MP, Robinson, AD, Weber, KT. Tissue angiotensin II in the regulation of inflammatory and fibrogenic components of repair in the rat heart. J Lab Clin Med, 143 (1), 41-51, 2004.
  33. Sun, Y, Weber, KT. RAS and connective tissue in the heart. Int J Biochem Cell Biol, 35 (6), 919-31, 2003.
  34. Sun, Y, Zhang, J, Lu, L, Chen, SS, Quinn, MT, Weber, KT. Aldosterone-induced inflammation in the rat heart : role of oxidative stress. Am J Pathol, 161 (5), 1773-81, 2002.
  35. Sun, Y, Kiani, MF, Postlethwaite, AE, Weber, KT. Infarct scar as living tissue. Basic Res Cardiol, 97 (5), 343-7, 2002.
  36. Sun, Y. The renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system and vascular remodeling. Congest Heart Fail, 8 (1), 11-6, 2002.
  37. Sun, Y, Zhang, J, Zhang, JQ, Weber, KT. Renin expression at sites of repair in the infarcted rat heart. J Mol Cell Cardiol, 33 (5), 995-1003, 2001.
  38. Sun, Y, Zhang, J, Zhang, JQ, Ramires, FJ. Local angiotensin II and transforming growth factor-beta1 in renal fibrosis of rats. Hypertension, 35 (5), 1078-84, 2000.
  39. Sun, Y, Weber, KT. Infarct scar: a dynamic tissue. Cardiovasc Res, 46 (2), 250-6, 2000.