Nicholas P. Ziats, PhD

Department of Pathology
School of Medicine
Department of Anatomy
School of Medicine
Associate Professor
Department of Biomedical Engineering
Case School of Engineering
School of Medicine

Dr. Ziats is a Professor of Pathology, Biomedical Engineering and Anatomy, at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. Dr. Ziats received his B.S. degree in Zoology and Microbiology from Ohio University and his Ph.D. in Pathology from Case Western Reserve University. He has been a faculty member at Case Western Reserve University since 1991. Dr. Ziats has published research articles in the areas of biomedical devices and biocompatibility, cardiovascular disease, cancer, tissue engineering and medical education.

He is currently working with other investigators at CWRU on drug delivery modalities for treating cancer, inflammatory responses to implanted neuroelectrodes, histopathology and imaging of coronary artery disease, mechanisms of cardiac hypertrophy and tissue retrieval and histopathologic analyses. His other major interest is in biomedical education and has published results regarding education within medical school and biomedical engineering curricula. His prior work has been in vascular biology and pathogenesis of vascular graft failure.

Dr. Ziats has won numerous teaching awards from Case Western Reserve University including the Kaiser-Permanente Excellence in Teaching Award for Preclinical Faculty, the Alpha Omega Alpha Faculty Award, Excellence in Teaching Graduate Student and Medical Student Awards in Pathology, the Women Faculty of the School of Medicine Gender Equity Award, a Master Teaching Award from the School of Medicine and the Robert C. Bahler Educational Initiative Award and the Edmond S. Ricanati, M.D. IQ Facilitator Award, also from the School of Medicine. Dr. Ziats is a member of numerous societies including active participation in Sigma Xi, an international scientific society where he is President of the Cleveland (CWRU) chapter of Sigma XI. Dr. Ziats is an active member of the Society For Biomaterials and has been their Program Chair in 2011, Member-At-Large in 2012 and was President-Elect in 2014. He has served on numerous study sections for the past twenty years and is currently Chair of an NIH study section on Cardiovascular and Surgical Devices.

Research Information

Research Projects

The overall goal of our research is the investigation into disorders affecting blood vessels. We are currently studying the role of endothelial cells in vascular graft failure and in angiogenesis associated with tumors. We are particularly interested in mechanisms of incomplete endothelialization of these vascular grafts (which is unique to humans but not animals), as well as methods to improve endothelialization of grafts. Our studies suggest that components of the extracellular matrix (collagens, proteoglycans, coagulation proteins) may directly influence the growth, migration and functional expression of proteins of endothelial cells on materials. We have been particularly interested in the role of High Molecular Weight Kininogens (HMWKs) as modulating endothelial function in vitro and in vivo. We are using Confocal Laser Scanning Microscopy to identify the expression of cell adhesion/cytoskeletal proteins as well cytoskeletal organizations of endothelial cells cultured under various conditions. In addition, we are interested in determining whether human endothelial cells adhere to and grow on reference or candidate synthetic materials and/or stent materials to be used as treatment for vascular disease.

In another aspect, related to clinical trials and evaluations, we are addressing the role of endothelial cells in angiogenesis and the effects of antiangiogenic agents as therapeutic agents. The studies involve microscopic evaluation of blood vessels (microvessel density) in human tissue obtained from patients undergoing therapeutic treatment with novel antiangiogenic drugs. In addition, other ongoing research is addressing the role of HMWKs as antiangiogenic agents using in vitro and in vivo assays. Overall, these combined studies are aimed at a better understanding of endothelial cells and their role in vascular disease.

Awards and Honors

Excellence in Teaching Award for Preclinical Faculty
Alpha Omega Alpa Faculty Award
Excellence in Teaching Graduate Student and Medical Student Awards in Pathology
Women Faculty of the School of Medicine Gender Equity Award
Case Western Reserve University
Master Teaching Award
Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine
Robert C. Bahler Education Initiative Award
Edmond S. Ricanati, M.D. IQ Facilitator Award
Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine

Professional Memberships

Sigma Xi
Society for Biomaterials
NIH Study Section on Cardiovascular and Surgical Devices


View All Publications

  1. Beck A., Wood, C., Beck A., Helms R., Arvizo C., Cherry B., Ziats N.P.  Peer-assisted learning in introductory histopathology improves learner scores and delivers learner satisfaction. Med. Sci. Educ., 26:85-92, 2016.
  2. Potter-Baker, K.A., Stewart, W.G., Tomaszewski, W.H., Chun T. Wong, C.T., Meador, W.D., Ziats, N.P., Jeffrey R. Capadona, J.R.  Implications of chronic daily anti-oxidant administration on the inflammatory response to intracortical microelectrodes. J. Neural Eng., 12:1-15, 2015.
  3. Faramarzalian A., Prabhu D., Abdul-Aziz A., Wang W., Chamie D., Yamamoto H., Fujino Y., Hawwa S., Ziats N.P., Rollins A., Wilson DL., Costa M.A., Bezarra HG.  Ex vivo cryoimaging for plaque characterization.  JACC Cardiovasc. Imaging, 7:430-432, 2014.
  4. Wu H., Wilkins L., Ziats N.P., John R. Haaga J.R., Exner A.A. Real-time monitoring of radiofrequency ablation and postablation assessment: accuracy of contrast-enhanced US in experimental rat liver model.  Radiology, 270:107-116, 2014.
  5. Sen Gupta, A., Modery-Pawlowska, C., Liu, J.C., Wright C., Ziats NP.  Core content for an introductory biomaterials course. Biomaterials Forum, 35(4):12-13, 2013.
  6. Wu H., Patel R., Zheng Y., Soloris L., Krupka T.M., Ziats N.P., Haaga J.R., Exner A.A.  Differentiation of benign peri-ablational enhancement from residual tumor following radiofrequency ablation using contrast-enhanced ultrasonography in a rat subcutaneous tumor model. Ultrasound in Med. &  Biol.38:443-453, 2012.
  7. Lee H.G., Chen Q., Wolfram J.A., Richardson S.L., Liner A., Siedlak S.L., Zhu X., Ziats N.P., Fujioka H., Felsher D.W., Castellani R.J., Valencik M.L., McDonaldJ.A., Hoit B.D., Lesnefsky E.J., Smith M.A.  Cell cycle re-entry and mitochondrial defects in myc-mediated hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and heart failure. PLoS One. 4:e7172-90, 2009.
  8. Baar J., Silverman P., Lyons J., Fu, P., Abdul-Karim F., Ziats N., Wasman J., Hartman P., Jesberger J., Dumadag L., Hohler E., Leeming R., Shenk R., Chen H., McCrae K., Dowlati A., Remick S.C., Overmoyer B.  A Vasculature-Targeting Regimen of Preoperative Docetaxel with or without Bevacizumab for Locally Advanced Breast Cancer: Impact on Angiogenic Biomarkers. Clin. Cancer Res.15:3583-3590, 2009.
  9. Yun J.K., Anderson J.M., Ziats N.P.  Cyclic strain effects on human monocyte interactions with endothelial cells and extracellular matrix proteins. Tissue Engineer., 5:67-77, 1999.
  10. Voskerician G., Anderson J.M., Ziats N.P.  High molecular weight kininogen inhibition of endothelial cell function on biomaterials. J. Biomed Mater. Res., 51:1-9, 2000.
  11. Kader K., Akella R., Ziats N.P., Lakey L.,et al..  eNOS Over-expressing endothelial cells inhibit platelet aggregation & smooth muscle proliferation in vitro.Tissue Engineer., 6:241-51, 2000.
  12. Ziats N.P., Pankowsky D.A., Ratnoff O.D., Anderson J.M.  Adsorption of Hageman factor (factor XII) and other human plasma proteins to biomedical polymers.  J. Lab. Clin. Med. 116:687-696, 1990.
  13. Ratnoff O.D., Everson B., Embury P., Ziats N.P., Anderson J.M., Emanuelson M.M., C.J. Malemud.  Inhibition of the activation of Hageman factor (factor XII) by human vascular endothelial cell culture supernates.  Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 88:10740-10743, 1991. 
  14. Ziats N.P., Anderson J.M.  Human vascular endothelial cell attachment and growth inhibition by type V collagen. J.Vasc. Surg.,17:710-718, 1993.


Doctor of Philosophy
Case Western Reserve University
Bachelor of Science
Ohio University
Zoology and Microbiology