Department of Bio-Medical Sciences - Georgia
Associate Director of the Biomedical Sciences Program - Georgia Campus
Professor of Neuroscience, Physiology and Pharmacology

Richard E. White, PhD, FAHA


Office: 678-225-7573
Research Page

Dr. White's primary teaching responsibility is directing the cardiovascular-renal-pulmonary course for second-year osteopathic medicine (DO) students. In addition to administrating the course, Dr. White also teaches cardiovascular physiology and some cardiovascular pharmacology as well. In the biomedical sciences program, Dr. White co-directs a graduate course—vascular control mechanisms—and chairs the curriculum committee. In addition to these cardiovascular-related courses, he also teaches basic reproductive endocrinology to second-year DO students, and cellular biophysics/neurophysiology to first-year DO students.

  • Education

    • PhD, Pharmacology, Medical College of Georgia, 1987
    • BS, Biology, Emory University, 1981
  • Research

    Dr. White's research centers upon applying cellular/molecular electrophysiological techniques to investigate cell excitability and signal transduction, especially in coronary arteries. His main focus has been on understanding how gonadal hormones (e.g., estrogen, testosterone) modulate potassium channel activity in coronary artery smooth muscle cells to produce vasodilation. He has supervised research to understand how modulation of potassium currents in astrocytes may protect against Alzheimer’s disease.

  • Awards

    • National Junior Investigator Achievement Award, National Heart Foundation, 1993
    • Award for Excellence in Medical Teaching & Research, Wright State University School of Medicine, 1997
    • Fellow, American Heart Association, 2002 - present
    • Distinguished Graduate Teaching Award, Medical College of Georgia, 2004
    • Who’s Who in Medical Sciences Education, 2005
    • Master Lecturer, DeBakey Cardiovascular Research Institute, Texas A&M University, 2007
    • IBC Leading Scientist of the World, 2007
    • Distinguished Faculty Award for Basic Science Teaching, Medical College of Georgia, 2009
    • Distinguished Alumnus Award, College of Graduate Studies, MCG-Georgia Regents University, 2011
    • Educator of Excellence Award, Georgia Campus-Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, 2014
  • Publications

    Selected Publications

    White, R.E. and H.C. Hartzell. Effects of intracellular free magnesium on calcium current in isolated cardiac myocytes. Science 239: 778-780, 1988.

    White, R.E., A. Schonbrunn, and D.L. Armstrong. Somatostatin stimulates Ca2+-activated K+ channels through protein dephosphorylation. Nature 351: 570-573, 1991.

    White, R.E., A.B. Lee, A.D. Shcherbatko, T.M. Lincoln, A. Schonbrunn, and D.L. Armstrong. Potassium channel stimulation by natriuretic peptides through cGMP-dependent dephosphorylation. Nature 361: 263-266, 1993.

    White, R.E., D.J. Darkow*, and J. L. Falvo Lang*. Estrogen relaxes coronary arteries by opening BKCa channels through cGMP-dependent mechanisms. Circulation Research 77:936-942, 1995.

    White, R.E., J.P. Kryman*, A.M. El-Mowafy*, G. Han*, and G.O. Carrier. Cyclic AMP-dependent vasodilators cross-activated the cGMP-dependent protein kinase to stimulate BKCa channel activity in coronary artery smooth muscle cells. Circulation Research 86:897-905, 2000.

    Rosenfeld, C.R., R.E. White, T. Roy, and B.E. Cox. Calcium-activated potassium channels and nitric oxide co-regulate estrogen-induced vasodilation. Am. J. Physiol. 279:H319-28, 2000.

    Deenadayalu, V.*, R.E. White, J.N. Stallone, X. Gao, and A. Garcia*. Testosterone relaxes coronary arteries by opening large-conductance, calcium-activated potassium channels. Am. J. Physiol. 281:H1720-27, 2001.

    White, R.E., G. Han, C. Dimitropoulou, S. Zhu*, K. Miyake, D. Fulton, S. Dave*, and S.A. Barman. Estrogen-induced contraction of coronary arteries is mediated by superoxide generated in vascular smooth muscle. Am. J. Physiol.: Heart Circ. Physiol. 289:1468-1475, 2005.

    Zhu, S.*, R.E. White, and S.A. Barman. Effect of PKC isozyme inhibition of forskolin-induced activation of BKCa channels in rat pulmonary arterial smooth muscle. Lung 184:89-97, 2006.

    Han, G., X. Yu*, L. Lu, S. Li, H. Ma, S. Zhu*, X. Chui, and R.E. White. Estrogen receptor alpha mediates acute K channel stimulation in human coronary artery smooth muscle cells. J. Pharmacol. Exp. Ther. 316: 1025-1030, 2006.

    White, R.E., R. Gerrity, S.A. Barman, and G. Han. Estrogen and oxidative stress: a novel mechanism that may increase the risk for cardiovascular disease in women. Steroids 75:788-793, 2010. NIHMS169002

    Lucas, R., S. Sridhar, F.G. Rick, B. Gorshkov, N.S. Umapathy, G. Yang, A. Osenghale, A.D. Verin, T. Chakraborty, M.A. Matthay, E.A. Zemskov, R.E. White, N.L. Block, and A.V. Schally. Agonist of growth hormone-releasing hormone reduces pneumolysin-indued pulmonary permeability edema. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 109:2084-2089, 2012.

    White, R.E., S.A. Barman, S. Zhu, and G. Han. Oxidative balance and cardiovascular disease in women. In: Oxidative Stress and Women’s Health, (eds. B. Rizk and N. Aziz), Humana Press, 2012.

    Puttabyatappa, Y.*, J.N. Stallone, A. Ergul, A.B. El-Remessy, S. Kumar, S. Black, M. Johnson, M.P. Owen, and R.E. White. Peroxynitrite mediates testosterone-induced vasodilation of microvascular resistance vessels. J. Pharmacol. Exp. Ther. 345:7-14, 2013.

    Han, G. and R.E. White. G-protein-coupled estrogen receptor as a new therapeutic target for treating coronary artery disease. World J. Cardiol. 6:367-375, 2014. PMID: 24976908

    Selected Presentations

    Invited platform lecture: Nongenomic effects of estrogen on the coronary circulation. APS Symposium: Acute nongenomic effects of gonadal steroids on vascular function. April 17, 1999.

    Invited expert panelist: International Conference on Environmental Epidemiology, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, November 1-2, 1999.

    Invited platform lecture: Direct nongenomic effects of estrogen on coronary smooth muscle. International meeting of the Groupe de recherche sur le systeme nerveux autonome: Female Hormones in Health and Disease—Basic and Clinical Implications, University of Montreal, Montreal, Canada, December 3, 1999.

    Invited platform lecture: Sex steroids and membrane ion channels. APS International Conference: Genomes and Hormones: an Integrative Approach to Gender Differences in Physiology. October 19, 2001.

    Invited platform lecture: Sex steroid and membrane ion channels in coronary arteries. Society for Women’s Health Research Sex differences in cardiovascular health and disease. July 24, 2002.

    Invited platform lecture: Rapid estrogen action and ion channels. FASEB Summer Conference: Ion channel Regulation. June 19, 2003.

    Co-Chairman/Organizer of American Physiological Society-sponsored symposium: Estrogen and the cardiovascular system. Experimental Biology'04, April 21, 2004.

    Invited platform lecture: Dual effects of estrogen on the coronary circulation. APS Symposium: Acute Estrogen and the cardiovascular system. April 21, 2004.

    Invited presentation: Nongenomic androgen-induced vasorelaxation involves VSM K+ channel activation via NO-cGMP. FASEB Summer Steroid Conference, 2004.

    Dual effects of estrogen on coronary arteries. American Heart Assn. Second International Symposium on Women, Heart Disese, and Stroke, 2005.

  • Grants

    Regulation of coronary artery ion channels by adenosine.
    P.I.: R.E. White National Heart Foundation/American Health Assistance Foundation
    4-1-93 to 3-31-94, $15,000.

    Female sex hormones prevent age-induced cardiovascular dysfunction.
    P.I.: R.E. White American Federation For Aging Research
    7-1-95 to 12-31-96, $40,000.

    Mechanisms of estrogen-induced coronary vasodilation.
    P.I.: R.E. White (50% effort) National Institutes of Health (HL54844)
    12-1-96 to 11-30-01, $280,000.

    The molecular basis of estrogen action on human coronary artery smooth muscle.
    P.I. R.E. White (15% effort) American Heart Association (national)
    7-1-99 to 6-30-02, $165,000

    Molecular basis of cAMP-induced coronary vasorelaxation.
    P.I.: R.E. White (25% effort) National Institutes of Health (HL64779)
    04-01-00 to 03-30-05, $625,000.

    PKC signaling in cAMP-induced pulmonary vasodilation
    P.I.: S. Barman National Institutes of Health (NHLBI)
    07-01-01 to 06-30-06, $875,000 R.E. White, Co-investigator (20% effort)

    Role of icosanoids in renal function
    P.I.: H. Capdevila/ J. Imig (PI) National Institutes of Health (NIDDK 2 PO1 DK38226-18)
    07-01-97 to 06-30-09, $1,694,380 R.E. White, Co-Investigator (20% effort)

    Estrogen dual effects on coronary arteries
    P.I.: R.E. White (30% effort) National Institutes of Health (HL073890)
    12-01-04 to 11-30-08, $875,000.

    Estrogen dual effects on coronary arteries -- reentry supplement
    P.I.: R.E. White and Mary P. Owen National Institutes of Health (HL073890)
    03-01-06 to 11-30-08, $48,000

    Nongenomic mechanisms of androgens in the vascular wall
    P.I.: J.N. Stallone National Institutes of Health (HL080402)
    04-01-06 to 03-31-10, $1,250,000 R.E. White, Co-Investigator (25% effort)

    PKC Signaling in cAMP-induced pulmonary vasodilaton
    P.I.: S.A. Barman National Institutes of Health (HL68026)
    07-01-07 to 03-31-11, $900,000 R.E. White, Co-Investigator (20% effort)

    Protective activity of the lectin-like domain of TNF in permeability edema
    P.I.: R. Lucas National Institutes of Health (HL094609)
    08-01-10 to 07-31-14, $900,000
    R.E. White, Co-Investigator (10% effort)


  • Other

    Volunteer and Leadership Activities
    • Interviewed on WPTV's special on cardiovascular disease, Don't Die of Embarrassment, 1996
    • Consultant on WPTV's special on the biomedical aspects of aging and age prevention, 1997.
    • Expert Panelist at the American Heart Association Press Conference on Women and Heart Disease, 1997.
    • Teacher, Pianist, Elder, and Board Member, Ferry Church of Christ, Waynesville, OH 1997 – 1999.
    • Teacher, Pianist, Elder, and Chairman, Westside Christian Church, Martinez, GA 2001- 2007.
    • Volunteer, Master’s Table Soup Kitchen, 2002 - 2006
    • Book: Joiner, J.A. and R.E. White, “Our Meal With the Master”. Covenant Publishing, Joplin Mo., 2002.
    • Newspaper article series: Medical Aspects of Crucifixion, Rockdale Citizen, 2004.
    • Interviewed on WRDW television news: Estrogen, Women, and Heart Disease, 2005
    • Interviewed by L.A. Times for a health feature on estrogen and postmenopausal hormone therapy, 2005.
    • Listing in Metropolitan Who’s Who (Community & Religious Service)
    • Organizing Committee: Apologetics Conference 2007-2008, Augusta, GA
    • Radio Program Co-Host: Truth Around the Kitchen Table, WGAC-580AM, 2008.
    • Teacher, Pianist, Elder, Treasurer, Master’s Way Christian Church, 2008 – 2012
    • Keyboardist, Hamilton Mill Christian Church, 2014 - present