The Katovich Lab studies the various components of the endocrine renin-angiotensin system (RAS) and their effects on hypertension and associated cardiovascular organ damage. Over the past several years more components of the RAS have been elucidated and we have utilized gene therapy approaches to enhance and/or modify certain aspects of the RAS in order to reduce cardiovascular risks in hypertension and diabetes. We utilize in vivo animal models as well as cell culture protocols to evaluate the physiological, pharmacological and morphological effects of manipulations of the RAS. Currently we are looking at the effects of overexpressing components of the RAS such as the AT2R, ACE2 and Ang-(1-7) in models of hypertension, stroke, and coronary artery ligation to determine the “beneficial” effects of these RAS components on various end organs. Utilization of gene therapy approaches and classical physiological methods (such as vascular smooth muscle reactivity, in vitro heart perfusion, metabolic studies, etc) aid in not only the understanding of the mechanism of actions of existing therapeutic agents but also leads to new innovative therapeutic effects in treating cardiovascular and metabolic diseases.