Marie Billaud, PhD






450 Technology Drive Pittsburgh, PA 15219


Research Assistant Professor of Cardiothoracic Surgery and Bioengineering
Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery

Education and Training

2004: B.S. Cellular Biology and Physiology – Université de Bordeaux, France
2006: M.S. Cellular Biology and pathophysiology - Université de Bordeaux, France
2009: Ph.D. Cellular Biology and pathophysiology - Université de Bordeaux, France
2010 – 2013: Post-doctoral Assistant, University of Virginia, VA, USA
2014 - 2015: Post-doctoral Associate, University of Pittsburgh, PA, USA

Professional Activities

North American Vascular Biology Organization
American Heart Association
International Society for Applied Cardiovascular Biology
American Physiological Society

Journal Reviewing and Editorial Boards

The Journal of Biological Chemistry
Journal of Cardiovascular Translational Research
Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise.
Journal of Applied Physiology
American Journal of Physiology – Cell Physiology
American Journal of Physiology - Regulatory, Integrative, and Comparative Physiology
American Journal of Physiology – Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology
American Journal of Physiology – Heart and Circulatory Physiology


Pappenheimer Postdoctoral Award: Microcirculatory Society (2010)
Research Excellence Award, European Society for Microcirculation (2011)
Robert M. Berne Cardiovascular Research Center Outstanding Post-Doctoral Trainees (2011)
American Physiological Society Cardiovascular Research Recognition Award (2012)
Research Excellence Award, Joint Meeting of the British Microcirculation Society and the Microcirculatory Society (2012)

Research Interests

Dr. Billaud's primary research goal is to better understand the molecular and cellular alterations that lead to ascending aortic aneurysms.  Of particular interest are patients with bicuspid aortic valve, the most common cardiac congenital malformation, who are more prone to ascending aortic aneurysms.  Using her various expertise in smooth muscle biology and physiology, Dr. Billaud’s research focuses on potential impairment of TGF beta signaling and biomechanical sensing in smooth muscle cells from patients with thoracic aortic aneurysm. In parallel, she integrates her knowledge in reactive oxygen species signalization to identify the mechanisms behind the impaired oxidative stress response in patients with bicuspid aortic valve.  Lastly, Dr. Billaud incorporates her skills in vasoreactivity to investigate the contractile ability of aortic vasa vasorum from patients with ascending aortic aneurysm.  The ultimate goal of her work is to discover new therapeutic targets and establish novel diagnostic tools to help cardiothoracic surgeons in the management of ascending aortic aneurysms.  Dr. Billaud is affiliated Faculty of the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine.