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Research Laboratories


Neuronal Injury Program (NIP) Laboratory

The Herson Laboratory has partnered with Dr. Richard Traystman to form the Neuronal Injury Program within the Department of Anesthesiology. We are a highly collaborative research group that works closely with several faculty (see below) from various departments here at Anschutz Medical Campus with the shared goal of furthering our understanding of the consequences of cerebral ischemia. Our multidisciplinary approach to basic translational research uses neurophysiology, biochemistry, molecular biology, histology and neuro-behavior to elucidate the mechanisms of neuronal injury and identify therapeutic targets for protection and repair.

 
Our research work is centered around the idea that endogenous anti-inflammatory pathways exist that can be targeted therapeutically. Particularly in the perioperative field, exploiting such pathways could yield novel therapeutic approaches to medical conditions such as liver failure, renal ischemia, acute lung injury or myocardial infarction. Inspired by studies of ambient hypoxia, demonstrating that hypoxia drives increases in extracellular adenosine generation and signaling, we are utilizing genetic and pharmacological approaches to study adenosine signaling events.
From an immunological point of view, such studies revealed that activation of adenosine signaling pathways results in attenuated inflammation and improved tissue adaptation to limited oxygen availability. Other studies from our laboratory have pointed towards alternative mechanisms of adenosine receptor activation (e.g. by other endogenous compounds than nucleosides). Current challenges involve the definition of tissue specific contributions of these responses (e.g. endothelial, epithelial or myeloid signaling events) as well as the translation of our basic findings into the treatment of human disease.
Kelley Sue Brodsky, MS, SR
Laboratory Manager
 
Our laboratory mission is to discover, develop, and refine the use of new and existing therapeutic agents for the treatment of acute and chronic illnesses. This research spans the entire range of translational pharmacology research (from basic mechanistic pathway determination in cellular systems and in vivo proof–of–concept modeling to human pilot trials and large multi-center randomized controlled clinical trials). The therapeutic targets our laboratory focuses on include the activation of heat shock proteins and other stress protection pathways following injury and illness.
Further, we are keenly interested in the regulation of inflammation and immune function by pharmacologic agents. Currently, we have a major research focus on the use of specific nutrients and amino acids (glutamine and other sports and performance-enhancing nutrients) as pharmacologic agents in the therapy of critical illness, lung injury, gastrointestinal tract injury, and peri-operative/surgical stress. In addition, we have an interest in refining and developing the use of anti-coagulants (such as heparin) as therapeutic agents to prevent organ failure in the surgical, critical care, and septic shock settings. Other areas of interest for our research group include optimizing the clinical delivery of nutrition to acutely ill patients, development of coordinated peri-operative interventions (exercise, nutrition, etc.) to improve surgical outcomes, and techniques to optimize the delivery of anti-coagulants in the surgical setting.
Finally, our laboratory has an interest in drug addiction in anesthesiologists and other physicians, particularly newly described drugs of abuse that are leading to significant disability and mortality in the specialty of anesthesiology.
Christine Hamiel, BS
Laboratory Manager

Cancer Center Core Facility (UCCC)

We are the Cancer Center Core Facility (UCCC) for animal imaging and metabolomic NMR. We are providing services on all aspects of animal imaging (including MRI, PET and CT) for the entire University of Colorado (including Denver, Boulder and Colo Springs) as well as CSU and the School of Mines. There are only 12 Universities nationwide which can provide similar services, as we do, in a full extent. Recently, we have over 30 investigators using our MRI/ PET/ CT/ NMR core - including UCSF, Johns Hopkins, University of Michigan and UCLA scientists.
Our research interests are in developing physiologically-based imaging end-points for cancer detection and response to novel anti-cancer therapies. We are also interested in developing novel molecular probes and protocols for non-invasive imaging of inflammation proteins, oncoproteins and endogenous metabolites (so-called "molecular imaging").
Group Members:
Natalie Serkova, PhD
Kendra Hasebroock, MRI/CT-RT, BS
Andrea Merz, BS
For further information, visit us at the Small Animal Core or the Metabolomics websites.
Neuronal Injury Program (NIP) Laboratory

The Herson Laboratory has partnered with Dr. Richard Traystman to form the Neuronal Injury Program within the Department of Anesthesiology. We are a highly collaborative research group that works closely with several faculty (see below) from various departments here at Anschutz Medical Campus with the shared goal of furthering our understanding of the consequences of cerebral ischemia. Our multidisciplinary approach to basic translational research uses neurophysiology, biochemistry, molecular biology, histology and neuro-behavior to elucidate the mechanisms of neuronal injury and identify therapeutic targets for protection and repair.

Collaborators:

 

Ulli Bayer (Pharmacology)

Anne-Laure Perraud (National Jewish, Immunology)

Richard Traystman (Pharmacology/Vice Chancellor for Research)

David Wagner (Webb Caring Center)

Allen Waziri (Neurosurgery)

Yogendra (Yogi) Raol (Pediatric Neurology)​


 

Cancer Center Core Facility (UCCC)​

We are the Cancer Center Core Facility (UCCC) for animal imaging and metabolomic NMR. We are providing services on all aspects of animal imaging (including MRI, PET and CT) for the entire University of Colorado (including Denver, Boulder and Colo Springs) as well as CSU and the School of Mines. There are only 12 Universities nationwide which can provide similar services, as we do, in a full extent. Recently, we have over 30 investigators using our MRI/ PET/ CT/ NMR core - including UCSF, Johns Hopkins, University of Michigan and UCLA scientists.

Our research interests are in developing physiologically-based imaging end-points for cancer detection and response to novel anti-cancer therapies. We are also interested in developing novel molecular probes and protocols for non-invasive imaging of inflammation proteins, oncoproteins and endogenous metabolites (so-called "molecular imaging").

Group Members:

Natalie Serkova, PhD
Kendra Hasebroock, MRI/CT-RT, BS
Andrea Merz, BS

For further information, visit us at the Small Animal Core or the Metabolomics websites.


                                                                

Center of Hypoxia and Inflammation Research (CHaIR) 

Our research work is centered around the idea that endogenous anti-inflammatory pathways exist that can be targeted therapeutically. Particularly in the perioperative field, exploiting such pathways could yield novel therapeutic approaches to medical conditions such as liver failure, renal ischemia, acute lung injury or myocardial infarction. Inspired by studies of ambient hypoxia, demonstrating that hypoxia drives increases in extracellular adenosine generation and signaling, we are utilizing genetic and pharmacological approaches to study adenosine signaling events.

From an immunological point of view, such studies revealed that activation of adenosine signaling pathways results in attenuated inflammation and improved tissue adaptation to limited oxygen availability. Other studies from our laboratory have pointed towards alternative mechanisms of adenosine recepter activation (e.g. by other endogenous compounds than nucleosides). Current challenges involve the definition of tissue specific contributions of these responses (e.g. endothelial, epithelial or myeloid signaling events) as well as the translation of our basic findings into the treatment of human disease.

Kelly Sue Brodsky, MS,SR​
Laboratory Manager​


 

Light in Cardio-protection & Hypoxia Treatment (LiCHT)

Our research has been directed towards identifying cellular adaptive mechanisms during hypoxic conditions such as myocardial ischemia – one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality worldwide.

Epidemiologic studies in humans indicate that susceptibility to hypoxic events such as ischemic myocardial tissue injury is time-of-the-day dependent, with more severe injury occurring in the early morning hours after a longer period without daylight. Current findings from my lab indicate that light-exposure could function to attenuate ischemic myocardial injury. In fact, we observed a time-dependent reduction in myocardial infarct size and troponin I release following light treatment. A search for light inducible circadian rhythm proteins revealed a robust induction of cardiac Period 2(Per2) protein levels upon intense light exposure. Based on these findings, we hypothesize that intense light therapy provides robust cardio-protection by stabilizing cardiac Per2, thereby leading to concomitant cardio-protection from ischemia by optimizing metabolism on a cellular level.

The long-term goal of our studies is to introduce intense light therapy into the hospital to prevent or treat hypoxic conditions such as myocardial injury in patients, the leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide.​

Bioanalytics (iC42 lab)​

A long-term focus of the Department has been the development of pharmacodynamic and pharmakokinetic assays to study a wide range of drugs that are being used in perioperative medicine, both in adult patients and the pediatric population

Keith Hoffman

Laboratory Manager


 

Translational Pharmacology and PharmacoNutrition (TPN Lab)

Our laboratory mission is to discover, develop, and refine the use of new and existing therapeutic agents for the treatment of acute and chronic illnesses. This research spans the entire range of translational pharmacology research (from basic mechanistic pathway determination in cellular systems and in vivo proof–of–concept modeling to human pilot trials and large multi-center randomized controlled clinical trials). The therapeutic targets our laboratory focuses on include the activation of heat shock proteins and other stress protection pathways following injury and illness.

Further, we are keenly interested in the regulation of inflammation and immune function by pharmacologic agents. Currently, we have a major research focus on the use of specific nutrients and amino acids (glutamine and other sports and performance-enhancing nutrients) as pharmacologic agents in the therapy of critical illness, lung injury, gastrointestinal tract injury, and peri-operative/surgical stress. In addition, we have an interest in refining and developing the use of anti-coagulants (such as heparin) as therapeutic agents to prevent organ failure in the surgical, critical care, and septic shock settings. Other areas of interest for our research group include optimizing the clinical delivery of nutrition to acutely ill patients, development of coordinated peri-operative interventions (exercise, nutrition, etc.) to improve surgical outcomes, and techniques to optimize the delivery of anti-coagulants in the surgical setting.

Finally, our laboratory has an interest in drug addiction in anesthesiologists and other physicians, particularly newly described drugs of abuse that are leading to significant disability and mortality in the specialty of anesthesiology.

Christine Hamiel, BS

Laboratory Manager​