Aaron J. Trask, PhD :: Nationwide Children's Hospital, Columbus, Ohio

Aaron J. Trask, PhD

Aaron J. Trask, PhD

Center for Cardiovascular Research
Principal Investigator

Contact Information

The Research Institute
WB4135, 700 Children's Dr
Columbus, OH 43205 [ map ]
PH: (614) 355-5760
FX: (614) 355-5725
Email Me


Aaron J. Trask, PhD, FAHA, is a Principal Investigator in the Center for Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Research at Nationwide Children's Hospital and an Assistant Professor (Tenure Track) in the Department of Pediatrics at The Ohio State University College of Medicine. He trained as a physiologist and pharmacologist at Wake Forest University and completed his postdoctoral training in cardiovascular physiology at Nationwide Children's Hospital.

Dr. Trask's research focuses on studying processes involved in adverse micro- and macro-vascular remodeling in disease, including early type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome.

View CV »


  • Male

Languages Spoken:

  • English

Research Interests

Research Center:

Areas of Interest:

  • Heart disease in type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) directly correlates with the severity of coronary artery disease (CAD), which results in impaired coronary flow and increased risk of myocardial infarction (MI). While atherosclerosis in large coronary arteries (macrovessels) and endothelial dysfunction are known contributors to MI, the influence of coronary resistance microvessel (CRM) remodeling versus macrovessel remodeling to T2DM-induced cardiac disease remains largely unknown. Therefore, the over-arching goal of Dr. Trask's research program is to understand how early fundamental differences in large arteries and CRMs (main determinants of blood flow and perfusion) contribute to end-organ complications in T2DM and metabolic syndrome. This area of research has important clinical significance, since nearly all current therapeutic approaches target large arteries with little respect to CRMs.

Research Funding*:

  • NIH/NHLBI K99/R00 Pathway to Independence Award: Differential Macro- and Micro-Vascular Remodeling in Type 2 Diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome. 6/1/2014-5/31/2019.
    Role: PI
  • Institutional Funds:Funds intended to help start laboratory during transition from mentored junior faculty to independent junior faculty. 7/15/2014-7/14/2019.
    Role: PI
  • Heart Center Research Pilot: Mechanisms of Restenosis of Ductus Arteriosus in Patients Undergoing Complex Cardiac Surgery. 5/1/2014-12/31/2015.
    Role: PI
  • American Heart Association Grant: Matrix Stiffness and Cardiac Fibroblast Phenotype. 7/1/2015-6/30/2017.
    Role: Co-Investigator
  • American Heart Association Scientist Development Grant: Differential Macro- and Micro-Vascular Remodeling in Type 2 Diabetes. Total Award Amount: $308,000. 7/1/2013-5/31/2014.
    Role: PI
    Remainder of award was relinquished due to overlap with NIH K99/R00
  • Training in Congenital and Acquired Heart Disease: AGE/RAGE Associated Coronary Artery Remodeling in Type 2 Diabetes. 1/1/2010 – 6/30/2012
    Role: Postdoctoral Fellow

Education and Training

Undergraduate School

  • Ohio Northern University
    Date Completed: 05/01/2003

Graduate School

  • Wake Forest University
    Date Completed: 12/31/2008

Post Doctoral

  • The Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital
    Date Completed: 06/30/2013

Date of Appointment at Nationwide Children’s Hospital:

  • 07/01/2013

Professional Experience


  • Member, Graduate Faculty, Biomedical Engineering Graduate Program, The Ohio State University


  • Adjunct Assistant Professor, Department of Physiology and Cell Biology, The Ohio State University College of Medicine


  • Assistant Professor (Tenure Track), Department of Pediatrics, The Ohio State University College of Medicine


  • Member, Graduate Faculty, Integrated Biomedical Science Graduate Program, The Ohio State University


  • Investigator, Dorothy M. Davis Heart & Lung Research Institute, The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center


  • Principal Investigator, Center for Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Research and The Heart Center, The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital


  • Research Assistant Professor, Department of Pediatrics, The Ohio State University College of Medicine


  • Lewis,Kristin; Guggilam,Anuradha; Trask,Aaron,J; Cismowski,Mary,J; Lucchesi,Pamela,A. 2013. The myofilament Ca2+sensitizer levosimendan maintains systolic function in volume overload heart failure in rats.  FASEB JOURNAL. Vol. 27, no. April.
  • Halleck,Kathryn,Elizabeth; Katz,Paige,S; Dos Santos,Karen,Tiago; Trask,Aaron,J; Lucchesi,Pamela,A. 2013. Angiotensin II and mitochondrial-derived oxidative stress play a role in coronary arteriole remodeling in type 2 diabetes.  FASEB JOURNAL. Vol. 27, no. April.
  • Trask,Aaron,J; Cismowski,Mary,J; Halleck,Kathryn; Lucchesi,Pamela,A. 2013. Proteomic analysis of aortic and coronary resistance microvessel tissue in type 2 diabetic db/db mice.  FASEB JOURNAL. Vol. 27, no. April.
  • Trask,Aaron,J; Delbin,Maria,A; Katz,Paige,S; Zanesco,Angelina; Lucchesi,Pamela,A. 2012. Differential coronary resistance microvessel remodeling between type 1 and type 2 diabetic mice: Impact of exercise training.  VASCULAR PHARMACOLOGY. Vol. 57, no. 5-6. (November): 187-193.
  • Trask,Aaron,J; Katz,Paige,S; Kelly,Amy,P; Galantowicz,Maarten,L; Cismowski,Mary,J; West,T,Aaron; Neeb,Zachary,P; Berwick,Zachary,C; Goodwill,Adam,G; Alloosh,Mouhamad; Tune,Johnathan,D; Sturek,Michael; Lucchesi,Pamela,A. 2012. Dynamic micro- and macrovascular remodeling in coronary circulation of obese Ossabaw pigs with metabolic syndrome.  JOURNAL OF APPLIED PHYSIOLOGY. Vol. 113, no. 7. (October): 1128-1140.
  • Groban, L., Wang, H., Machado, F. S., Trask, A. J., Kritchevsky, S. B., Ferrario, C. M., Diz, D. I. 2012. Low glial angiotensinogen improves body habitus, diastolic function, and exercise tolerance in aging male rats.  Cardiovasc Endocrinol. Vol. 1, no. 3. (September): 49-58. PubMed ID: 23795309
  • Trask,Aaron,J; Katz,Paige,S; Kelly,Amy,P; Cismowski,Mary,J; Galantowicz,Maarten,L; Neeb,Zachary,P; Alloosh,Mouhamad; Sturek,Michael; Lucchesi,Pamela,A. 2012. Differential Stiffness between Resistance Microvessels and Conduit Arteries in the Coronary Circulation of Ossabaw Swine with Metabolic Syndrome.  FASEB JOURNAL. Vol. 26, no. April.
  • Trask,Aaron,J; Delbin,Maria,A; Katz,Paige,S; Zanesco,Angelina; Lucchesi,Pamela,A. 2012. Aerobic Exercise Training Partially Reverses Inward Hypertrophic Coronary Arteriole Remodeling in Type 2 Diabetic db/db Mice.  FASEB JOURNAL. Vol. 26, no. April.
  • Delbin,Maria,Andreia; Trask,Aaron,J; Cismowski,Mary; Lucchesi,Pamela,A; Zanesco,Angelia. 2011. Aerobic Exercise Training Improves Endothelial Dysfunction in Type 2 Diabetic Mice by Advanced Glycation End Products-Independent Pathway.  FREE RADICAL BIOLOGY AND MEDICINE. Vol. 51, no. November: S61-S61.
  • Trask,Aaron,J; Katz,Paige,S; Stewart,James,A; Lucchesi,Pamela,A. 2011. Receptor for advanced glycation end products is involved in remodeling of diabetic coronary arterioles.  FASEB JOURNAL. Vol. 25, no. April.
  • Katz, P. S., Trask, A. J., Souza-Smith, F. M., Hutchinson, K. R., Galantowicz, M. L., Lord, K. C., Stewart, J. A., Jr., Cismowski, M. J., Varner, K. J., Lucchesi, P. A. 2011. Coronary arterioles in type 2 diabetic (db/db) mice undergo a distinct pattern of remodeling associated with decreased vessel stiffness.  Basic Res Cardiol. Vol. 106, no. 6. (January): 1123-34. PubMed ID: 21744279
  • Souza-Smith, F. M., Katz, P. S., Trask, A. J., Stewart, J. A., Jr., Lord, K. C., Varner, K. J., Vassallo, D. V., Lucchesi, P. A. 2011. Mesenteric resistance arteries in type 2 diabetic db/db mice undergo outward remodeling.  PLoS One. Vol. 6, no. 8. (January): ee23337. PubMed ID: 21829729
  • Egan, M. J., Trask, A. J., Baker, P. B., Lawrence, J., Ladich, E., Virmani, R., Hill, S. L., Cheatham, J. P., Galantowicz, M., Lucchesi, P. A., Kovalchin, J. P. 2011. Histopathologic evaluation of patent ductus arteriosus stents after hybrid stage I palliation.  Pediatr Cardiol. Vol. 32, no. 4. (January): 413-7. PubMed ID: 21298382
  • Trask,Aaron,J; Katz,Paige,S; Neeb,Zachary,P; Alloosh,Mouhamad; Sturek,Michael; Lucchesi,Pamela,A. 2010. Inward coronary artery microvessel remodeling in Ossabaw swine with metabolic syndrome.  FASEB JOURNAL. Vol. 24, no. April.
  • Katz,Paige,Shattuck; Trask,Aaron,J; Lucchesi,Pamela,A. 2010. Progressive Coronary Artery Remodeling in Diabetic db/db Mice.  FASEB JOURNAL. Vol. 24, no. April.
  • Trask, A. J., Groban, L., Westwood, B. M., Varagic, J., Ganten, D., Gallagher, P. E., Chappell, M. C., Ferrario, C. M. 2010. Inhibition of angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 exacerbates cardiac hypertrophy and fibrosis in Ren-2 hypertensive rats.  Am J Hypertens. Vol. 23, no. 6. (January): 687-93. PubMed ID: 20300067
  • Trask,Aaron,J; Katz,Paige,S; Lucchesi,Pamela,A. 2009. Inward Coronary Artery Remodeling in Established Type II Diabetic Mice.  HYPERTENSION. Vol. 54, no. 4. (October): E121-E121.
  • Trask AJ, Varagic J, Ahmad S, Ferrario CM. 2009. Angiotensin-(1-7), Angiotensin Converting Enzyme 2, and New Components of the Renin-Angiotensin System. In Renin-Angiotensin System and Cardiovascular Disease. Edited by DeMello WC, Frohlich ED. Totowa: Humana Press.
  • Katz,Paige,S; Trask,Aaron,J; Lucchesi,Pamela,A. 2009. Curcuminoids: Spicing up sympathovagal tone.  NUTRITION. Vol. 25, no. 7-8. (July): 879-880.
  • Ferrario, C. M., Varagic, J., Habibi, J., Nagata, S., Kato, J., Chappell, M. C., Trask, A. J., Kitamura, K., Whaley-Connell, A., Sowers, J. R. 2009. Differential regulation of angiotensin-(1-12) in plasma and cardiac tissue in response to bilateral nephrectomy.  Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. Vol. 296, no. 4. (January): H1184-92. PubMed ID: 19218503
  • Katz, P. S., Trask, A. J., Lucchesi, P. A. 2009. Curcuminoids: Spicing up sympathovagal tone.  Nutrition. Vol. 25, no. 7-8. (January): 879-80. PubMed ID: 19539177
  • Trask AJ, Ferrario CM. 2009. The Renin-Angiotensin System and the Heart. In Textbook of Nephro-Endocrinology. Edited by Singh A, Williams G. San Diego: Elsevier.
  • Ferrario,Carlos,M; Varagic,Jasmina; Chappell,Mark,C; Trask,Aaron,J; Nagata,Sayaka; Kato,Johji. 2008. Bilateral nephrectomy augments the cardiac content of angiotensin-(1-12) and angiotensin I in Wistar Kyoto rats.  HYPERTENSION. Vol. 52, no. 4. (October): E126-E126.
  • Trask,Aaron,J; Jessup,Jewell,A; Tallant,E,A; Chappell,Mark,C; Ferrario,Carlos,M. 2008. Renin-independent processing of angiotensin-(1-12) in the rat heart and isolated myocytes.  HYPERTENSION. Vol. 52, no. 4. (October): E45-E46.
  • Trask,Aaron,J; Groban,Leanne; Varagic,Jasmina; Ferrario,Carlos,M. 2008. Inhibition of angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 aggravates cardiac hypertrophy in Ren-2 hypertensive rats.  HYPERTENSION. Vol. 52, no. 4. (October): E126-E126.
  • Jessup,Jewell,A; Habibi,Javad; Trask,Aaron,J; Chappell,Mark,C; Nagata,Sayaka; Kato,Johji; Kitamura,Kazuo; Sowers,James,R; Ferrario,Carlos,M. 2008. Experimental Hypertension is Associated with Differential Expression of Angiotensin-(1-12) in Heart of Hypertensive and Normotensive Rats.  FASEB JOURNAL. Vol. 22, no. April.
  • Ferrario CM, Jessup JA, Trask AJ, Varagic J. 2008. Basic Science in Hypertension. In The Year in Hypertension. Edited by Townsend R. Oxford: Clinical Publishing.
  • Trask, A. J., Jessup, J. A., Chappell, M. C., Ferrario, C. M. 2008. Angiotensin-(1-12) is an alternate substrate for angiotensin peptide production in the heart.  Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. Vol. 294, no. 5. (January): H2242-7. PubMed ID: 18359898
  • Varagic, J., Trask, A. J., Jessup, J. A., Chappell, M. C., Ferrario, C. M. 2008. New angiotensins.  J Mol Med (Berl). Vol. 86, no. 6. (January): 663-71. PubMed ID: 18437333
  • Jessup, J. A., Trask, A. J., Chappell, M. C., Nagata, S., Kato, J., Kitamura, K., Ferrario, C. M. 2008. Localization of the novel angiotensin peptide, angiotensin-(1-12), in heart and kidney of hypertensive and normotensive rats.  Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. Vol. 294, no. 6. (January): H2614-8. PubMed ID: 18408132
  • Trask,Aaron,J; Ferrario,Carlos,M. 2007. Angiotensin-(1-12) is a precursor for the processing of cardiac tissue angiotensin peptides.  HYPERTENSION. Vol. 50, no. 4. (October): E154-E154.
  • Trask,Aaron,J; Chappell,Mark,C; Ferrario,Carlos,M. 2007. Major role for angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 in cardiac angiotensin-(1-7) production in the congenic hypertensive mRen2.Lewis rat.  HYPERTENSION. Vol. 50, no. 4. (October): E140-E140.
  • Trask, A. J., Ferrario, C. M. 2007. Angiotensin-(1-7): pharmacology and new perspectives in cardiovascular treatments.  Cardiovasc Drug Rev. Vol. 25, no. 2. (January): 162-74. PubMed ID: 17614938
  • Trask, A. J., Averill, D. B., Ganten, D., Chappell, M. C., Ferrario, C. M. 2007. Primary role of angiotensin-converting enzyme-2 in cardiac production of angiotensin-(1-7) in transgenic Ren-2 hypertensive rats.  Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. Vol. 292, no. 6. (January): H3019-24. PubMed ID: 17308000
  • Trask,Aaron,J; Averill,David,B; Chappell,Mark,C; Ferrario,Carlos,M. 2006. Predominance of angiotensin converting enzyme 2 to cardiac angiotensin-(1-7) production in [mRen2]27 transgenic hypertensive rats.  HYPERTENSION. Vol. 48, no. 4. (October): E72-E72.
  • Ferrario, C. M., Trask, A. J., Jessup, J. A. 2005. Advances in biochemical and functional roles of angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 and angiotensin-(1-7) in regulation of cardiovascular function.  Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. Vol. 289, no. 6. (January): H2281-90. PubMed ID: 16055515
  • Delbin, M.A., Trask, A.J. The Diabetic Vasculature: Physiological Mechanisms of Dysfunction and Influence of Aerobic Exercise Training in Animal Models.  Life Sciences.

Awards, Honors and Organizations

  • 2016 APS-TPS Joint Meeting Award, Dublin, Ireland
  • 2015 Junior Faculty Citizenship Award, Department of Pediatrics, The Ohio State University College of Medicine
  • 2014 Elected Fellow, American Heart Association Council for High Blood Pressure Research (Barbara J. Alexander, PhD, FAHA, nominator)
  • 2012 Research Recognition Award, Cardiovascular Section, American Physiological Society
  • 2012 Best Poster Award – Postdoctoral Fellow Category, The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital Research Day
  • 2010 Caroline tum Suden/Frances A. Hellebrandt Professional Opportunity Award, American Physiological Society
  • 2010, American Physiological Society Logo Design Award Winner
  • 2009 WFU Department of Physiology & Pharmacology Sundberg Memorial Award
  • 2009 Marquis Who’s Who Among Executives and Professionals
  • 2008 Merck New Investigator Award, American Heart Association Council for High Blood Pressure Research
  • 2007 American Heart Association Hypertension Summer School Travel Award
  • 2006-2007 Wake Forest University Graduate School Alumni Travel Award
  • 2000-2003 Ohio Northern University Arts & Sciences Scholarship
  • 1999-2003 Ohio Northern University Dean’s List
  • 1999-2003 Ohio Northern University Achievement/Leadership Award Scholarship
  • 1999 Ohio Northern University Dean’s Scholarship
  • 1999 Tiffany Furgason Memorial Scholarship
  • 1999 Arcanum Alumni Scholarship
  • Professional Affiliations:

    2013-Present: Microcirculatory Society

    2011-Present: American Association for the Advancement of Science

    2009-Present: American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics Division of Cardiovascular Pharmacology (2009-2012 Public Relations/Communications Committee; 2016-2017: Executive Committee; 2016-2019: Benedict R. Lucchesi Young Scientist Award Committee)

    2005-Present: American Heart Association Council on Hypertension (2009-2013: Member, Trainee Advocacy Committee; 2013-2016: Chair, Trainee Advocacy Committee; 2013-2016: Member, Leadership Committee; 2015: Programming Committee)

    2014-2015: American Heart Association National Committee on Committees, Early Career Subcommittee

    June 2014: American Heart Association Scientific Meetings Summit Invitee/Participant

    2005-Present: American Physiological Society (APS), Cardiovascular Section (2009-2012: NIH-NHLBI Liaison Committee; 2012-2015: Awards Committee; 2016-2019: Nominating Committee [Elected])

    2005-Present: Consortium for Southeastern Hypertension Control

    2001-Present: Beta Beta Beta National Biology Honor Society

    2001-Present: Omicron Delta Kappa National Leadership Honor Society
  • Institutional Organizations/Activities:

    2013-Present: Faculty Representative, Finance and Sponsored Projects Advisory Group, Nationwide Children's Hospital

    2009-2013: Founding Member, Nationwide Children's Hospital Postdoctoral Association

    2006 Student Member, Wake Forest University Department of Physiology and Pharmacology Curriculum Committee

    2004-2008 Student Member, Wake Forest University Graduate Student Association

    2001-2003 Chairman, Judicial Board, Ohio Northern University

    2000-2003 Chairman, Judicial Committee, Ohio Northern University Student Senate
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