Skip to main content
Sign In

Welcome to the Department of Neurology

Neurology Banner Image
 

Personnel

Welcome to the Tyler Lab.


Penny Clarke PhD

Clarke, Penny, PhD
Assistant Professor

Department of Neurology
University of Colorado Denver
School of Medicine
Campus Mail Stop B-182
12700 East 19th Ave
Aurora, CO 80045

Telephone 303-724-4333
Fax 303-724-4329
Email: Penny.Clarke@ucdenver.edu 

Curriculum Vitae

Research Interests

Dr. Clarke’s interests include viral-induced apoptosis and signaling pathways which are studied in the context of viral encephalitis. She has demonstrated that reovirus-induced cell death is initiated by death receptor apoptotic signaling both in vitro and in vivo. In most cell types, including neurons within the brain, mitochondrial apoptotic signaling pathways are also activated and appear to be required for pathogenesis. Dr. Clarke has also identified that reovirus infection results in the activation of cellular signaling pathways and transcription factors, including NF-κB and c-Jun, which influence apoptotic cell death. Inhibition of apoptotic signaling prevents virus-induced cell death both in vitro and in vivo, reduces viral-induced tissue injury within the brain and increases the survival of infected mice. Although the exact mechanism of action of these signaling molecules remains to be determined, inhibition of c-Jun signaling also prevents reovirus-induced up-regulation of the death receptor Fas. Recent studies have included microarray analysis to determine whether transcription factor activation in the brains of reovirus-infected mice is associated with increased cellular gene expression. At early times post infection cellular pathways involved in the cellular immune response were identified as being significantly represented in the brains of reovirus-infected animals. In contrast, at late times post infection cellular pathways involved in cytokine signaling and apoptosis were identified. One of the goals of these experiments is the identification of novel cellular targets with potential therapeutic applicability for viral encephalitis.

Research Personnel

J. Smith Leser
Professional Research Assistant

Department of Neurology
University of Colorado Denver
School of Medicine
Campus Mail Stop B-182
12700 East 19th Ave
Aurora, CO 80045

Telephone 303-724-4344
Fax 303-724-4329
Email: Smith.Leser@ucdenver.edu