The Biomedical Research Infrastructure Center (BRIC) at Winston-Salem State University is directed by Dr. Azeez Aileru, tenured Professor of Neuroscience in the department of Life Sciences. He oversees the BRIC resources and ensures the execution of all research projects. Upon completion of his PhD degree and postdoctoral training in neuroscience from Howard University College of Medicine and University of Maryland School of Medicine, respectively, Dr. Aileru has successfully conducted research in neuroscience and cardiovascular diseases at WSSU where he engages students in teaching and mentoring. For the past sixteen years at WSSU, he has received continuous extramural research and training support from the NHLBI, RIMI, MBRS, AHA, NIMHD, Neuroscience Training grant and TWD-NIGMS. He has a strong background in teaching, research, and administration, all of which were required when he assumed the position as the director of the BRIC at WSSU in 2002. He serves as a mentor and an Executive Committee member for Post-Baccalaureate Research Education Program (PREP) at WFUHS, as well as in the short-term summer training program for minority undergraduate students. The WFUHS summer training program, which is funded by NHLBI, is in its 19th year and Dr. Aileru participates in various aspects of the program (selection/admissions committee, journal club/seminar schedule, poster organization and mentoring). He serves on the Advisory committee of the Postdoctoral Research, Instruction, and Mentorship Experiences (PRIME) at WFUHS, an IRACDA program supported by the NIGMS. He is a member of the Hypertension and Vascular Research Center and holds an appointment in the department of Physiology & Pharmacology at WFUHS, while serving as the Program Director for the TWD-NIGMS-supported MARC U*STAR and MBRS-RISE Programs at WSSU.
Dr. Aileru has served on numerous University, State and National committees, including American Heart Association (AHA) study sections and American Journal of Physiology peer review committee. He is a Fellow American Heart Association (FAHA), a member of Research Review Committee of the regional AHA, the American Physiological Society, and The Society for Neuroscience. He is a regular member on NIH special review panels at the NIGMS, NIMHD, and Loan Repayment programs. He is an active member of the American Society of Hypertension, The Consortium for Southeastern Hypertension Control and the Council for High Blood Pressure Research of the AHA.
Dr. Aileru's research is in neuronal control of cardiovascular diseases as it relates to the renin-angiotensin system and the pharmacology and regulation of angiotensin peptide receptors. His research focuses on the role of central and peripheral sympathetic control of blood pressure and the genesis and maintenance of hypertension. He has successfully conducted research, published and mentored student research in neuroscience and cardiovascular diseases. He has published in this area of research since his move to Winston-Salem, NC in 1997 and continues to be active in the neuroscience of cardiovascular diseases as part of the quest to eliminate this health disparity.
Educational activities for Dr. Aileru include didactic courses at the undergraduate level and supervision of research programs for undergraduate and post-baccalaureate scholars. Dr. Aileru is particularly interested in and involved with undergraduate teaching as seen by the large number of pre-doctoral students he has mentored. Most of his students have maintained an interest in biomedical/behavioral research, and have gone on to pursue graduate, veterinary, or medical degrees or are working as technical personnel in biomedical research. His mentored students have won numerous awards, including best oral and poster presentations for twelve consecutive years at the ABRCMS among other prestigious student awards. Dr. Aileru was awarded the “Wilma Lassiter Master Teacher Award” (2002) and “Wilveria B. Atkinson Distinguished Research Award” (2002 and 2007) by his peers for his excellence in teaching and research, respectively. In 2008 he received the John Fountain Master Teacher Award by his peers for his excellence in teaching and the Thurgood Marshall Distinguished Faculty Award from the College Foundation. Recently, he received the 2012 North Carolina BioTech Excellence in Research Award for his contribution to the Piedmont Triad Biotechnology Research & Development achievements, and was named one of the 2013 top 20 Science and Technology Professors in the State of North Carolina by StateStats.org and Online Schools, based on recognition received for excellence. In 2013 he received the Cedric S. Rodney Service Award for exemplary service to the university and the Martin Luther King Jr. “Building the Dream” Award for his exemplary contribution to training, mentoring and providing opportunities for underrepresented students, as well as his outstanding service and dedication to the community.