Francesca Seta, PhD

Associate Professor, Medicine

Francesca Seta
650 Albany St Evans Biomed Research Ctr


Francesca Seta, PhD, is an Associate Professor in the Vascular Biology Section at the Chobanian and Avedisian School of Medicine. Dr Seta’s laboratory studies the basic mechanisms of vascular diseases, with an emphasis on the biology of the vascular smooth muscle. Her current research seeks to understand the molecular mechanisms of arterial stiffening and aortic aneurysms/dissections, two degenerative vascular conditions for which there are no therapies.
Hardening of elastic arteries is an age- and obesity-related maladaptive remodeling which occurs independently of atherosclerosis but comparably harmful to the cardiovascular system. Dr Seta identified the transcription factor Bcl11b, nearby a genetic locus with genome-wide association with increased arterial stiffness, as a crucial regulator of vascular smooth muscle contractile phenotype and arterial functional integrity.

In addition, her ongoing projects focus on the role of the lysine deacetylase sirtuin-1, known as the “longevity” gene and a molecular target of caloric restriction, in vascular homeostasis. She demonstrated that sirtuin-1 genetic overexpression or pharmacological activation exerts beneficial anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory effects in the aortic wall, protecting against obesity-induced arterial stiffness and cardiac diastolic dysfunction. On the opposite, lack of sirtuin-1 in vascular smooth muscle cause aortic dissection in mice treated with angiotensin II. Current studies are examining the therapeutic potential of sirtuin-1 against aortic aneurysms in a mouse model of Marfan’s syndrome, a condition characterized by aortic enlargements at risk of rupture or dissection.

Dr Seta’s laboratory employs state-of-the art in vivo, ex vivo and in vitro approaches, including high-resolution ultrasound echocardiography, radiotelemetry, high-fidelity pressure catheters and pressurized myography, to assess pulse wave velocity, the gold standard measure of arterial stiffness; active and passive properties of blood vessels; imaging and characterization of aortic aneurysms. The goal of our research is to identify molecular targets to develop novel translational therapies that can prevent and treat dreadful vascular diseases.

Research interests: Arterial Stiffness, Aortic Aneurysm/Dissection, Cardiovascular Physiology, Cardiovascular Disease Related to Metabolic Syndrome, Hypertension, Oxidative Stress, Pulmonary Hypertension, Vascular Biology, and Vascular Diseases.

Other Positions

  • Member, Whitaker Cardiovascular Institute, Boston University
  • Member, Evans Center for Interdisciplinary Biomedical Research, Boston University
  • Graduate Faculty (Primary Mentor of Grad Students), Boston University Chobanian & Avedisian School of Medicine, Graduate Medical Sciences


  • New York Medical College, PhD
  • Università degli Studi "G. d'Annunzio" Chieti-Pescara, MSc
  • Università degli Studi "G. d'Annunzio" Chieti-Pescara, BS


  • Published on 1/5/2024

    Lotfollahzadeh S, Yang X, Wu Wong DJ, Han J, Seta F, Ganguli S, Jose A, Ravid K, Chitalia VC. Venous Thrombosis Assay in a Mouse Model of Cancer. J Vis Exp. 2024 Jan 05; (203). PMID: 38251710.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 10/15/2023

    Gkousioudi A, Sigaeva T, Yu X, Seta F, Wainford RD, Zhang Y. Compromised homeostasis in aged carotid arteries revealed by microstructural studies of elastic lamellae. J Mech Behav Biomed Mater. 2023 Dec; 148:106187. PMID: 37875040.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 8/25/2023

    Maier JA, Andrés V, Castiglioni S, Giudici A, Lau ES, Nemcsik J, Seta F, Zaninotto P, Catalano M, Hamburg NM. Aging and Vascular Disease: A Multidisciplinary Overview. J Clin Med. 2023 Aug 25; 12(17). PMID: 37685580.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 6/8/2023

    Budbazar E, Sulser Ponce De Leon S, Tsukahara Y, Liu H, Huangfu Y, Wang Y, Seabra PM, Yang X, Goodman JB, Wan X, Chitalia V, Han J, Seta F. Redox Dysregulation of Vascular Smooth Muscle Sirtuin-1 in Thoracic Aortic Aneurysm in Marfan Syndrome. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2023 Aug; 43(8):e339-e357. PMID: 37288573.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 4/22/2023

    Toyama T, Kudryashova TV, Ichihara A, Lenna S, Looney A, Shen Y, Jiang L, Teos L, Avolio T, Lin D, Kaplan U, Marden G, Dambal V, Goncharov D, Delisser H, Lafyatis R, Seta F, Goncharova EA, Trojanowska M. GATA6 coordinates cross-talk between BMP10 and oxidative stress axis in pulmonary arterial hypertension. Sci Rep. 2023 Apr 22; 13(1):6593. PMID: 37087509.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 3/30/2022

    Milkovich N, Gkousioudi A, Seta F, Suki B, Zhang Y. Harmonic Distortion of Blood Pressure Waveform as a Measure of Arterial Stiffness. Front Bioeng Biotechnol. 2022; 10:842754. PMID: 35433650.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 3/22/2022

    Gkousioudi A, Yu X, Ferruzzi J, Qian J, Wainford RD, Seta F, Zhang Y. Biomechanical Properties of Mouse Carotid Arteries With Diet-Induced Metabolic Syndrome and Aging. Front Bioeng Biotechnol. 2022; 10:862996. PMID: 35392404.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 10/22/2021

    Rodriguez F, Seta F. Editorial: The Role of Sirtuin-1 in Cardiovascular and Renal Pathophysiology. Front Physiol. 2021; 12:770386. PMID: 34744802.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 9/17/2021

    Zhou Y, Wan X, Seidel K, Zhang M, Goodman JB, Seta F, Hamburg N, Han J. Aging and Hypercholesterolemia Differentially Affect the Unfolded Protein Response in the Vasculature of ApoE-/- Mice. J Am Heart Assoc. 2021 09 21; 10(18):e020441. PMID: 34533042.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 2/3/2021

    Valisno JAC, May J, Singh K, Helm EY, Venegas L, Budbazar E, Goodman JB, Nicholson CJ, Avram D, Cohen RA, Mitchell GF, Morgan KG, Seta F. BCL11B Regulates Arterial Stiffness and Related Target Organ Damage. Circ Res. 2021 03 19; 128(6):755-768. PMID: 33530702.

    Read at: PubMed

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