Madeline Nieves-Cintron


Position Title
Assistant Professor

  • Department of Pharmacology, School of Medicine
Tupper Hall Room 2219A

Research Interests

Molecular/cellular mechanisms regulating vascular function in health, disease, and in response to environmental pollutants.

The ability of small resistance arteries to react to different stimuli within the body is a crucial component of vascular function. This property enables dynamic control of arterial diameter and vascular tone to facilitate regulation of blood flow to and within the organs to meet their metabolic demands. My overarching research goal is to elucidate molecular/cellular mechanisms controlling vascular function in health, disease. To achieve this goal, I am using innovative animal models (e.g., transgenic, KOs, KIs, diet-induced diabetes and secondhand smoke exposure models), and multiple approaches, including molecular biology, biochemistry, patch-clamp electrophysiology, fluorescence imaging (confocal and TIRF microscopy), and super-resolution nanoscopy, as well as arterial myography, and in-vivo monitoring of blood flow and blood pressure. Ongoing research projects in the lab aim to elucidate mechanisms by which diabetic-hyperglycemia leverages calcium dynamics in the vascular endothelium and its repercussion on vascular reactivity. We are also conducting studies to understand the harmful effects of second-hand smoke on vascular function at the cellular/molecular level.

Grad Group Affiliations

  • Molecular, Cellular and Integrative Physiology

Specialties / Focus

  • Cellular Physiology
  • Molecular Physiology
  • Systemic Physiology


  • 2018 MCP 298: Molecular Cellular and Integrative Physiology Companion Course

Honors and Awards

  • 2017 UCD Academic Federation Innovative Development Award

    Professional Societies

    • American Heart Association
    • SACNAS
    • National Research Mentoring Network


    • 2004 PhD Biology University of Puerto Rico
    • 1999 BS General Science University of Puerto Rico


    1. M Nieves-Cintrón, MA Nystoriak, MP Prada, K Johnson, W Fayer, ML Dell’Acqua, JD Scott and MF Navedo (2015) Selective down-regulation of KV2.1 function contributes to enhanced arterial tone during diabetes. JBC 290(12): 7918-29. PMC4367290
    2. NL Chaplin, M Nieves-Cintrón, AM Fresquez, MF Navedo and GC Amberg (2015). Arterial smooth muscle mitochondria amplify hydrogen peroxidase microdomains functionally couple to L-type calcium channels. Circ Res117 (12): 1013-23. PMC4670591
    3. M Nieves-Cintrón, D Hirenallur-Shanthappa, PJ Nygren, SA Hinke, ML Dell’Acqua, LK Langeberg, MF Navedo, LF Santana and JD Scott (2016) AKAP150 participates in calcineurin/NFAT activation during the downregulation of voltage-gated K+currents in ventricular myocytes following myocardial infarction. Cellular Signaling28(7); 733-740. PMC4902329
    4. MA Nystoriak, M Nieves-Cintrón, T Patriarchi, S Morotti, E Grandi, J Dos Santos Fernandes, K Forbush, F Hofmann, KC Sasse, JD Scott, SM Ward, JW Hell, MF Navedo (2017) Cav1.2 serine 1928 phosphorylation by protein kinase A stimulates L-type Ca2+channels and vasoconstriction in diabetic hyperglycemia. Science Signaling10(463). PMC5297430 (Highlighted in the Journal’s cover and podcast and Featured in Faculty of 1000) 
    5. M Nieves-Cintrón*, A Syed, O Buonarati, R Rigor, MA Nystoriak, D Ghosh, KC Sasse, SM Ward, JW Hell, MF Navedo* (2017) Impaired BKCachannel function in native vascular smooth muscle cells from humans with type 2 diabetes. Scientific Reports 7(1). PMC5656614*co-corresponding author
    6. M Nieves-Cintron, AU Syed, MA Nystoriak, MF Navedo (2018) Regulation of voltage-gated potassium channels in vascular smooth muscle during hypertension and metabolic disorders. Microcirculation25:e12423. PMC5760350
    7. A Shen, M Nieves-Cintron, Y Deng, Q Shi, D Chordhury, J Qi, JW Hell, MF Navedo, YK Xiang (2018) Functionally distinct and selectively phosphorylated GPCR subpopulations co-exist in a single cell. Nature Communications13; 9: 1050doi: 10.1038/s41467-018-03459-7. PMC5849717
    8. M Nieves-Cintron*, S Tajada, LF Santana, MF Navedo* (2018) Total Internal Reflection Fluorescent Microscopy in vascular smooth muscle. Methods in Signal Transduction: Vascular Smooth Muscle, 1stedition CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL, 2018, pp. 87-103. eBook ISBN 9781498774239*co-corresponding author