Christopher Dale Kontos

Image of Christopher Dale Kontos

Professor of Medicine

The Kontos Lab studies the molecular mechanisms of angiogenesis and vascular remodeling. Studies are directed toward understanding how signal transduction by endothelial receptor tyrosine kinase (RTKs) regulates vascular growth in both physiological and pathological processes, including exercise, peripheral artery disease (PAD), atherosclerosis, and cancer.

Current projects include:

1. Signal transduction, mechanisms of activation, and downregulation of endothelial RTKs (mainly Tie1, Tie2, VEGFR-1, and VEGFR-2)

2. Differential effects of the Angiopoietins

3. Role of the inositol phosphatase PTEN in the regulation of vascular cell growth and remodeling

4. PTEN gene therapy for prevention of vein graft disease

5. Angiogenic signaling in skeletal muscle, including mechanisms of exercise-induced angiogenesis

6. Proteolytic cleavage and shedding of endothelial RTKs

7. Angiogenic proteins as biomarkers in peripheral artery disease

Appointments and Affiliations

  • Professor of Medicine
  • Director, Medical Scientist Training Program
  • Professor of Pharmacology and Cancer Biology
  • Member of the Duke Cancer Institute

Contact Information:

  • Office Location: 435 Sands Bldg, Durham, NC 27710
  • Office Phone: (919) 684-2119
  • Email Address:


  • Duke University, 1997
  • M.D. Virginia Commonwealth University, 1989

Courses Taught:

  • CRP 257: Proteomics and Protein Biology in Medicine
  • PHARM 493: Research Independent Study
  • PHARM 494: Research Independent Study
  • PHARM 534: Interdisciplinary Approach to Pharmacology

Representative Publications:

  • Ahmed, A; Fujisawa, T; Niu, X-L; Ahmad, S; Al-Ani, B; Chudasama, K; Abbas, A; Potluri, R; Bhandari, V; Findley, CM; Lam, GKW; Huang, J; Hewett, PW; Cudmore, M; Kontos, CD, Angiopoietin-2 confers Atheroprotection in apoE-/- mice by inhibiting LDL oxidation via nitric oxide., Circulation Research, vol 104 no. 12 (2009), pp. 1333-1336 [10.1161/CIRCRESAHA.109.196154] [abs].
  • Xie, D; Findley, CM; Greenfield, JM; Pippen, AM; Kontos, CD; Donatucci, CF; Annex, BH, A VEGF trap inhibits the beneficial effect of bFGF on vasoreactivity in corporal tissues of hypercholesterolemic rabbits., The Journal of Sexual Medicine, vol 5 no. 9 (2008), pp. 2069-2078 [10.1111/j.1743-6109.2008.00933.x] [abs].
  • Findley, CM; Mitchell, RG; Duscha, BD; Annex, BH; Kontos, CD, Plasma levels of soluble Tie2 and vascular endothelial growth factor distinguish critical limb ischemia from intermittent claudication in patients with peripheral arterial disease., Journal of the American College of Cardiology, vol 52 no. 5 (2008), pp. 387-393 [10.1016/j.jacc.2008.02.045] [abs].
  • White, RR; Roy, JA; Viles, KD; Sullenger, BA; Kontos, CD, A nuclease-resistant RNA aptamer specifically inhibits angiopoietin-1-mediated Tie2 activation and function., Angiogenesis, vol 11 no. 4 (2008), pp. 395-401 [10.1007/s10456-008-9122-4] [abs].
  • Findley, CM; Cudmore, MJ; Ahmed, A; Kontos, CD, VEGF induces Tie2 shedding via a phosphoinositide 3-kinase/Akt dependent pathway to modulate Tie2 signaling., Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology, vol 27 no. 12 (2007), pp. 2619-2626 [10.1161/ATVBAHA.107.150482] [abs].
  • Hazarika, S; Dokun, AO; Li, Y; Popel, AS; Kontos, CD; Annex, BH, Impaired angiogenesis after hindlimb ischemia in type 2 diabetes mellitus: differential regulation of vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 1 and soluble vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 1., Circulation Research, vol 101 no. 9 (2007), pp. 948-956 [10.1161/CIRCRESAHA.107.160630] [abs].
  • Kontos, CD; Annex, BH, Engineered transcription factors for therapeutic angiogenesis., Current Opinion in Molecular Therapeutics, vol 9 no. 2 (2007), pp. 145-152 [abs].
  • Li, Y; Hazarika, S; Xie, D; Pippen, AM; Kontos, CD; Annex, BH, In mice with type 2 diabetes, a vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-activating transcription factor modulates VEGF signaling and induces therapeutic angiogenesis after hindlimb ischemia., Diabetes, vol 56 no. 3 (2007), pp. 656-665 [10.2337/db06-0999] [abs].
  • Xie, D; Li, Y; Reed, EA; Odronic, SI; Kontos, CD; Annex, BH, An engineered vascular endothelial growth factor-activating transcription factor induces therapeutic angiogenesis in ApoE knockout mice with hindlimb ischemia., Journal of Vascular Surgery, vol 44 no. 1 (2006), pp. 166-175 [10.1016/j.jvs.2006.03.024] [abs].
  • White, ES; Atrasz, RG; Hu, B; Phan, SH; Stambolic, V; Mak, TW; Hogaboam, CM; Flaherty, KR; Martinez, FJ; Kontos, CD; Toews, GB, Negative regulation of myofibroblast differentiation by PTEN (Phosphatase and Tensin Homolog Deleted on chromosome 10)., American journal of respiratory and critical care medicine, vol 173 no. 1 (2006), pp. 112-121 [10.1164/rccm.200507-1058OC] [abs].
  • Liu, S; Premont, RT; Kontos, CD; Zhu, S; Rockey, DC, A crucial role for GRK2 in regulation of endothelial cell nitric oxide synthase function in portal hypertension., Nature Medicine, vol 11 no. 9 (2005), pp. 952-958 [10.1038/nm1289] [abs].
  • Hata, JA; Petrofski, JA; Schroder, JN; Williams, ML; Timberlake, SH; Pippen, A; Corwin, MT; Solan, AK; Jakoi, A; Gehrig, TR; Kontos, CD; Milano, CA, Modulation of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase signaling reduces intimal hyperplasia in aortocoronary saphenous vein grafts., Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, vol 129 no. 6 (2005), pp. 1405-1413 [10.1016/j.jtcvs.2004.11.048] [abs].
  • Huang, J; Niu, X-L; Pippen, AM; Annex, BH; Kontos, CD, Adenovirus-mediated intraarterial delivery of PTEN inhibits neointimal hyperplasia., Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology, vol 25 no. 2 (2005), pp. 354-358 [10.1161/01.ATV.0000151619.54108.a5] [abs].
  • Dai, Q; Huang, J; Klitzman, B; Dong, C; Goldschmidt-Clermont, PJ; March, KL; Rokovich, J; Johnstone, B; Rebar, EJ; Spratt, SK; Case, CC; Kontos, CD; Annex, BH, Engineered zinc finger-activating vascular endothelial growth factor transcription factor plasmid DNA induces therapeutic angiogenesis in rabbits with hindlimb ischemia., Circulation, vol 110 no. 16 (2004), pp. 2467-2475 [10.1161/01.CIR.0000145139.53840.49] [abs].
  • Peters, KG; Kontos, CD; Lin, PC; Wong, AL; Rao, P; Huang, L; Dewhirst, MW; Sankar, S, Functional significance of Tie2 signaling in the adult vasculature., Recent progress in hormone research, vol 59 (2004), pp. 51-71 [abs].
  • White, RR; Shan, S; Rusconi, CP; Shetty, G; Dewhirst, MW; Kontos, CD; Sullenger, BA, Inhibition of rat corneal angiogenesis by a nuclease-resistant RNA aptamer specific for angiopoietin-2., Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of USA, vol 100 no. 9 (2003), pp. 5028-5033 [10.1073/pnas.0831159100] [abs].
  • Niu, X-L; Peters, KG; Kontos, CD, Deletion of the carboxyl terminus of Tie2 enhances kinase activity, signaling, and function. Evidence for an autoinhibitory mechanism., The Journal of biological chemistry, vol 277 no. 35 (2002), pp. 31768-31773 [10.1074/jbc.M203995200] [abs].
  • Huang, J; Kontos, CD, PTEN modulates vascular endothelial growth factor-mediated signaling and angiogenic effects., The Journal of biological chemistry, vol 277 no. 13 (2002), pp. 10760-10766 [10.1074/jbc.M110219200] [abs].
  • Kontos, CD; Cha, EH; York, JD; Peters, KG, The endothelial receptor tyrosine kinase Tie1 activates phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase and Akt to inhibit apoptosis., Molecular and Cellular Biology, vol 22 no. 6 (2002), pp. 1704-1713 [abs].
  • Kontos, CD; Stauffer, TP; Yang, WP; York, JD; Huang, L; Blanar, MA; Meyer, T; Peters, KG, Tyrosine 1101 of Tie2 is the major site of association of p85 and is required for activation of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase and Akt., Molecular and Cellular Biology, vol 18 no. 7 (1998), pp. 4131-4140 [abs].