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.
Subject Area Themes: Developmental changes in pulmonary vascular resistance, Cardiovascular changes during the transition from fetal to postnatal life, Persistent pulmonary hypertension syndrome of the newborn (PPHN Syndrome), Airway-pulmonary vascular cross-talk, Oxidative stress and the pulmonary vasculature, Ventilation-induced lung injury, Maturational changes in the control of airway resistance
Neonatology, The Hospital for Sick Children
"The program involves a lot of mentorship opportunities, a small cohort, and an emphasis on out-of-the-classroom learning experiences.”
- Jonathan Lee, Cohort 2017