Beth L Roman

  • Associate Professor and Vice Chair for Research
  • Member, Heart, Lung, and Blood Vascular Medicine Institute
  • Basic Research Director, HHT Center

Dr. Roman is a developmental biologist and molecular geneticist. She received her postdoctoral training at the National Institutes of Health and was an Assistant Professor at Georgetown University (2002-2006) and the University of Pittsburgh Department of Biological Sciences (2006-2014). She is currently Research Director for the UPMC/University of Pittsburgh HHT Center of Excellence.

The Roman lab studies the autosomal dominant genetic disorder, hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia (HHT), which is caused by decreased endothelial bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) signaling and is characterized by a predisposition to development of arteriovenous malformations (AVMs). AVMs are direct connections between arteries and veins that can lead to hemorrhage or stroke if severe shunting or rupture occurs. We use zebrafish models of HHT and molecular, genetic, advanced imaging, and biochemistry approaches to uncover the molecular and cellular errors that lead to AVM development. Out ultimate goal is to develop targeted therapeutics to improve the lives of HHT patients.

Research Interests: Vascular development, hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia, zebrafish, BMP signaling, mechanotransduction.


1989 | The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA | BS Biochemistry
1997 | The University of Wisconsin-Madison | PhD Environmental Toxicology
2002 | NIH/NICHD, Bethesda, MD | Postdoc Developmental Biology

HUGEN 2025 Human Genetics Seminar
HUGEN 2040 Molecular Basis of Human Inherited Disease

HUGEN 2051 Inborn Errors of Development
HUGEN 3020 Doctoral Research and Professional Skills Development
MSCMP 3750 Angiogenesis

Dissertation and thesis committees

Lab Members

Anthony Anzell. postdoctoral fellow
Teresa Rosato, postdoctoral fellow
Erika Dreikorn, PhD student
Stefanie Morosky, lab manager
Jack Fiore, technician

HHT Center of Excellence

HHT is underdiagnosed and undertreated. The goals of the UPMC/Pitt HHT Center of Excellence are to continually raise awareness of HHT; to provide cross-disciplinary coordinated clinical care to HHT patients; and to conduct basic, translational, and clinical research to better understand and treat this rare genetic disease.

Selected Publications

For full list of publication; click here.

Rochon ER, Wright DS, Schubert MM, Roman BL. Context-specific interactions between Notch and ALK1 cannot explain ALK1-associated arteriovenous malformations. Cardiovasc Res. 2015 Jul 1;107(1):143-52. doi: 10.1093/cvr/cvv148. Epub 2015 May 12. PubMed PMID: 25969392; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4498135.

Rochon ER, Menon PG, Roman BL. Alk1 controls arterial endothelial cell migration in lumenized vessels. Development. 2016 Jul 15;143(14):2593-602. doi: 10.1242/dev.135392. Epub 2016 Jun 10. PubMed PMID: 27287800; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4958337.

Roman BL, Hinck AP. ALK1 signaling in development and disease: new paradigms. Cell Mol Life Sci. 2017 Dec;74(24):4539-4560. doi: 10.1007/s00018-017-2636-4. Epub 2017 Sep 4. Review. PubMed PMID: 28871312; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5687069.

Capasso TL, Li B, Volek HJ, Khalid W, Rochon ER, Anbalagan A, Herdman C, Yost HJ, Villanueva FS, Kim K, Roman BL. BMP10-mediated ALK1 signaling is continuously required for vascular development and maintenance. Angiogenesis. 2019 Dec 11;. doi: 10.1007/s10456-019-09701-0. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 31828546; NIHMSID:NIHMS1546326.

Rochon ER, Krowka MJ, Bartolome S, Heresi GA, Bull T, Roberts K, Hemnes A, Forde KA, Krok KL, Patel M, Lin G, McNeil M, Al-Naamani N, Roman BL, Yu PB, Fallon MB, Gladwin MT, Kawut SM. BMP 9/10 in Pulmonary Vascular Complications of Liver Disease. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2020 Feb 21;. doi: 10.1164/rccm.201912-2514LE. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 32083953.

Sidhwani P, Leerberg DM, Boezio GLM, Capasso TL, Yang H, Chi NC, Roman BL, Stainier DYR, Yelon D. Cardiac function modulates endocardial cell dynamics to shape the cardiac outflow tract. Development. 2020 Jun 17;147(12). doi: 10.1242/dev.185900. PubMed PMID: 32439760; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC7328156.

Sonmez UM, Cheng YW, Watkins SC, Roman BL, Davidson LA. Endothelial cell polarization and orientation to flow in a novel microfluidic multimodal shear stress generator. Lab Chip. 2020 Nov 24;20(23):4373-4390. doi: 10.1039/d0lc00738b. PubMed PMID: 33099594; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC7686155

Capasso TL, Trucco SM, Hindes M, Schwartze T, Bloch JL, Kreutzer J, Cook SC, Hinck CS, Treggiari D, Feingold B, Hinck AP, Roman BL. In Search of "Hepatic Factor": Lack of Evidence for ALK1 Ligands BMP9 and BMP10. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2021 Jan 15;203(2):249-251. doi: 10.1164/rccm.202005-1937LE. PubMed PMID: 32871084; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC7874408.