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John Catravas


Sentara Chair, Professor

PHONE: 757-6837029

EMAIL: jcatrava@odu.edu

ADDRESS: IRP 2, 4211 Monarch Way, Norfolk, VA, 23508


  • Postdoctoral Research fellow: Pulmonary Vascular Pathophysiology, Yale University, 1978-1980.
  • PhD: Pharmacology & Toxicology, University of Mississippi, 1978.
  • M.S: Pharmacology & Toxicology, University of Mississippi, 1975.
  • B.S.: Chemistry & Physics, Cornell College, 1972

Lab Members


Research Description

The mission of the Laboratory of Pulmonary Endothelial & Parenchymal Pathophysiology is to perform basic and translational research and training of new investigators aimed at improving the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of acute and chronic lung diseases.

There are seven active projects under investigation:

I. Endothelial barrier dysfunction, protection, and repair in ARDS. Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is a rapidly progressive disease occurring in critically ill patients. The main complication in ARDS is that fluid leaks into the lungs making breathing difficult or impossible. Among others, it is the cause of death of COVID-19 patients.

1) Endothelial barrier dysfunction in ARDS; protection and repair by HSP90 inhibitors.


2) Alveolo-capillary injury in ARDS; protection and repair by PTP4A3 inhibitors (with John S. Lazo, Ph.D., KeViRx).


3) Murine models of SARS-CoV-2 induced COVID-19; protection and repair by PTP4A3 inhibitors (with John S. Lazo, Ph.D., KeViRx).

II. Antidotes Against Chemical-Induced Chronic Lung Injury. Pulmonary fibrosis is a lung disease that occurs when lung tissue becomes damaged and scarred. This thickened, stiff tissue makes it more difficult for lungs to work properly. As Pulmonary Fibrosis worsens, one becomes progressively short of breath.

1) Antidotes against hydrochloric acid-induced chronic lung injury and Pulmonary Fibrosis. Antidotes: HSP90 inhibitors, AUY-922, AT13387, TAS-169.


2) Antidotes against hydrochloric acid-induced chronic lung injury and Pulmonary Fibrosis. Antidote: Phytoestrogens, genistein.

3) Antidotes against mustard (CEES)-induced chronic lung injury and Pulmonary Fibrosis. Antidote: PTP4A3 inhibitors (with Stephen Beebe, Ph.D. and Brittney Ruedlinger, Ph.D., FRRCBE and John Lazo, Ph.D., KeViRx)

III. Lung capillary recruitment and loss in patients with pulmonary hypertension. This project utilizes patients suspected of, or at risk for pulmonary hypertension to test the hypotheses that the lung accommodates blood flow differently during pulmonary hypertension due to the loss of capillaries and that the magnitude of capillary loss may determine the type of appropriate pharmacological management. With David Langleben, M.D., McGill U. and Stylianos Orfanos, M.D., U. of Athens.

Approaches & Techniques

To procure these studies, multiple methodological approaches are utilized, including, gene/molecular (e.g., real-time PCR, immunoblotting), cellular (e.g., cell culture, immunostaining, measurements of transcellular electrical resistance), analytical (e.g., ELIZA), animal (e.g., in vivo: mice, rabbits; ex-vivo: bronchoalveolar lavage, histology) and clinical.



This work is supported by several agencies, including the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health, the Sentara Endowment to the P.I., the Old Dominion Research Foundation, KeViRx and the McGill/Jewish General Hospital Division of Cardiology.



Most relevant publications

  1. Colunga Biancatelli RML, Solopov PA, Sharlow ER, Lazo JS, Marik PE, Catravas JD. The SARS-CoV-2 spike protein subunit S1 induces COVID-19-like acute lung injury in Κ18-hACE2 transgenic mice and barrier dysfunction in human endothelial cells. Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol. 321(2):L477-L484, 2021.
  2. Solopov P, Biancatelli RMLC, Marinova M, Dimitropoulou C and Catravas JD. The HSP90 Inhibitor, AUY-922, Ameliorates the Development of Nitrogen Mustard-Induced Pulmonary Fibrosis and Lung Dysfunction in Mice. Int J Mol Sci. 3: 21(13):4740, 2020.
  3. Marik PE, Khangoora V, Rivera R, Hooper MH, Catravas J. Hydrocortisone, Vitamin C, and Thiamine for the Treatment of Severe Sepsis and Septic Shock: A Retrospective Before-After Study. Chest. 2017 Jun;151(6):1229-1238. PMID: 27940189.
  4. Langleben D, Orfanos SE, Giovinazzo M, Schlesinger RD, Hirsch AM, Blenkhorn F, Lesenko L, Armaganidis A, Catravas JD. Acute vasodilator responsiveness and microvascular recruitment in idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension. Ann Intern Med. 162:154-6, 2015. PubMed PMID: 25599356.
  5. Catravas, J.D. and Waters, I.W. Acute cocaine intoxication in the con­scious dog: Studies on the mechanism of lethality. J. Phar­macol. Exp. Ther. 217: 350-356, 1981.
Full list of publications

Awards and Honors

  • Established Investigator of the American Heart Association, 1985‑1990;
  • Outstanding Research Award, American Lung Association, Georgia Affiliate, 1991;
  • Fogarty Senior International Fellow, 1993;
  • Burroughs‑Wellcome Travel Award, 1993;
  • Regents Professorship, 1995-2013;
  • NIH Toxicology 2 Study Section: 1990-1994;
  • SE AHA Committee 1A Study Section: 2005-2008 (Chair: 2006-08);
  • Fellow, Council of Basic Cardiovascular Sciences, American Heart Association;
  • Fellow, American Physiological Society;
  • Fellow, American College of Chest Physicians;
  • Editor-in-Chief, Vascular Pharmacology (1999-2011);
  • Current Editorial Boards: American Journal of Physiology: Lung Cell and Molecular Physiology, Pneumon, The Open Nitric Oxide Journal, Journal of Experimental Pharmacology, Journal of Vascular Radiology;
  • Current member to the NHLBI K08 review Study Section, Diversity K01 Study Section and the CounterACT Study Section.

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