American Univesity of Beirut

 Lab of Dr. Hana Itani


​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Link to Dr. Itani's​​​ FMIS Profile

​​​​​​Research in the Itani lab is multidisciplinary crossing the fields of Clinical Pharmacology, Physiology, and Molecular and Cellular Biology. We have developed collaborations with investigators with a common interest in translational research to apply state-of-the-art technology to advance our clinical studies.​

​Research Area

  • Molecular mechanisms underlying inflammation-mediated cardiovascular disease.
  • Obesity and Cardio-metabolic diseases.
  • Vascular biology.

​Basic Research Interests

  • Study the role of Immunological Memory in Hypertension.
  • Identify the TCR alpha and beta chain sequences of memory T cells responsible for salt dependent hypertension. 
  • Gain insight into the trafficking of effector memory T cells between bone marrow, secondary lymphoid organs and the kidney in response to repeated hypertensive challenges. 
  • Examine mechanisms by which T cells sense salt and contribute to salt-sensitivity. 
  • Examine the Role of CD70-/- in exacerbating vascular dysfunction. 

Translational Research Interests​

  • Identify Novel Immune Mechanisms in Hypertension and Cardiovascular Disease​


Highlights From the American Heart Association's Joint Hypertension 2018 Scientific Sessions
Wynne BM, Itani HA.
Journal of the American Heart Association. 2019; 8(5):e011176.

Tobacco smoking induces cardiovascular mitochondrial oxidative stress, promotes endothelial dysfunction, and enhances hypertension​
Dikalov S, Itani H, Richmond B, Vergeade A, Rahman SMJ, Boutaud O, Blackwell T, Massion PP, Harrison DG, Dikalova A.
American journal of physiology. Heart and circulatory physiology. 2019; 316(3):H639-H646.

Hypertension and increased endothelial mechanical stretch promote monocyte differentiation and activation: roles of STAT3, interleukin 6 and hydrogen peroxide
Loperena R, Van Beusecum JP, Itani HA, Engel N, Laroumanie F, Xiao L, Elijovich F, Laffer CL, Gnecco JS, Noonan J, Maffia P, Jasiewicz-Honkisz B, Czesnikiewicz-Guzik M, Mikolajczyk T, Sliwa T, Dikalov S, Weyand CM, Guzik TJ, Harrison DG.
Cardiovascular research. 2018; 114(11):1547-1563.

Links between Immunologic Memory and Metabolic Cycling.
Cottam MA, Itani HA, Beasley AA 4th, Hasty AH.
Journal of immunology (Baltimore, Md. : 1950). 2018; 200(11):3681-3689. NIHMSID: NIHMS950378

Dendritic Cell Amiloride-Sensitive Channels Mediate Sodium-Induced Inflammation and Hypertension.
Barbaro NR, Foss JD, Kryshtal DO, Tsyba N, Kumaresan S, Xiao L, Mernaugh RL, Itani HA, Loperena R, Chen W, Dikalov S, Titze JM, Knollmann BC, Harrison DG, Kirabo A.
Cell reports. 2017; 21(4):1009-1020. NIHMSID: NIHMS914066

Research Grants

Grants ReceivedRoleFundingPeriod
CD70 Modulates endothelial Nitric Oxide Synthase Expression and Vasomotor TonePrinciple InvestigatorAUBMC-Medical Practice Plan (MPP)2019

New Immune Mechanisms in HypertensionPrinciple InvestigatorCarl W. Gottschalk Research Scholar Grant, American Society of Nephrology (ASN)2018

The Role of Immunological Memory in HypertensionPrinciple InvestigatorAUBMC-Seed Grant2018

The Role of Immunological Memory in HypertensionPrinciple InvestigatorAmerican Heart Association Scientist Development Grant 2016

The Role of CD8+ T Cells in Hypertension

Postdoctoral Fellow NIH NHLBI F32 Individual Postdoctoral Fellow Award 2014
The Role of CD8+ T Cells in HypertensionPostdoctoral Fellow NIH NHLBI T32 Institutional Training Grant 2012


1996                Honors List, LAU, Beirut, Lebanon.

2008                Pre-doctoral Caroline tum Suden/Francis A. Hellebrandt Professional Opportunity Award, American Physiological Society (APS).

2013                Best Postdoctoral Award at the Council for High Blood Pressure Research (HBPR), American Heart Association (AHA).

2014                New Investigator Award, International Society of Hypertension, (ISH).

2014                First Place and Finalist Post-doctoral Excellence in Renal Research Award, APS.

2015                Winner Top Trainee Oral Abstract, Council on Hypertension Scientific sessions, AHA, Washington DC.

2015                Finalist for New Investigator Award, Council on Hypertension Scientific sessions, AHA, Washington DC.

2015                Best of AHA abstracts at Scientific Sessions, Orlando FL.

2016                Young investigator Award, American Society of Hypertension (ASH), NY.

2017                Distinguished Service, APS Cardiovascular Trainee Committee, Chicago, IL.

2017                New Investigator Award, AHA Council on Hypertension Scientific Sessions, San Francisco, CA.

2017                Fellow of the American Heart Association AHA, (FAHA), Council on Hypertension, San Francisco.

2017                Employee Service Award, Division of Clinical Pharmacology, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN.​


Chair of the AHA Council on Hypertension Trainee Advocacy Committee
Leader of the Lebanese Act on Salt and Hypertension (LASH), Vascular Medicine Program (VMP), AUBMC 


Amira Bekdash (Research Assistant)
Masters in Molecular Biology 

​​Contact Information

315A Diana Tamari Sabbagh (DTS) Building
P.O.Box 11-0236; Riad El-Solh 1107 2020; Beirut, Lebanon
Phone: +961-1-350000, Office Ext. 4838, Lab Ext. 4811

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