Jaques Belik, MD, FRCPC

Staff Neonatologist, Neonatology, The Hospital for Sick Children

Belik's research interests are primarily focused on the contribution of pulmonary vascular smooth muscle and endothelial cells to the control of pulmonary vascular resistance during development and following the onset of neonatal pulmonary hypertension. He and his team have been actively studying the biophysical and biochemical changes in pulmonary vascular smooth muscle contractile and relaxant properties and their impact on the control of pulmonary vascular resistance. Belik’s laboratory utilizes several animal models of pulmonary hypertension of the newborn to evaluate the signaling pathways responsible for the pathogenesis of this clinical condition. The role of oxidative stress in the regulation of pulmonary vascular resistance has  been a recent focus of interest of Belik’s research team.Studies addressing the pulmonary vascular endothelium in the preferential generation of nitric oxide, as opposed to reactive oxygen species and the role of tetrahydrobiopterin and arginases on in this process  are currently underway. Lastly,  the maturationally-dependent role of endoglin and Alk1 in the regulation of  pulmonary vascular resistance is another area of research interest in Belik’s laboratory.