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Department of Surgery News Archive

June 2017

Dr. Liz Kovacs in her lab with her research staff

Dr. Elizabeth Kovacs (center) with her research team at CU Denver.

Dr. Liz Kovacs elected to lead Shock Society

Elizabeth J. Kovacs, PhD, Research Professor in the CU Department of Surgery, was sworn in as President-elect of the Shock Society at the Society's annual meeting in Florida, on June 6, 2017.

Following her one-year term as President-elect (June 2017 - May 2018), Dr. Kovacs will serve a one-year term as President (June 2018 - May 2019).

In addition to being sworn in as President-elect at this year's annual meeting, Dr. Kovacs was awarded the Society's highest research honor, the annual Scientific Achievement Award.

The Shock Society was founded to facilitate the integration of basic and clinical disciplines in the study of the pathophysiology and treatment of trauma and shock and to promote an awareness of its national and international health importance. To accomplish this goal, the Society promotes original basic and clinical research in molecular, cellular, and systemic pathobiological aspects of shock and trauma and aims to develop new and important therapeutic approaches. Members include medical professionals and researchers from across North America.

Elizabeth Kovacs, PhD

Elizabeth Kovacs, PhD

Dr. Kovacs is Professor and Director of Burn Research in the Department of Surgery at the University of Colorado Denver. Research in the Kovacs laboratory focuses on innate immunity. More specifically, ongoing studies are examining how advanced age and alcohol intoxication alter localized and systemic inflammatory responses after injury or infection.

Dr. Kovacs has published over 200 manuscripts in diverse journals such as Journal of Leukocyte Biology, Antioxidant and Redox Signaling, The American Journal of Physiology, The Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, and Nature Immunology. She has mentored more than 100 trainees in her laboratory, ranging from high-school students to visiting professors. The majority of her trainees have been graduate students in the PhD and MD/PhD tracks and PhD postdoctoral fellows, along with a handful of surgical residents. She serves or has served as the sponsor/co-sponsor of a dozen NIH-funded National Research Service Awards (F30, F31 and F32) grants and Mentor Clinician Scientist Career Development K23 grants. She has served on numerous NIH Study Sections and was the President of the Society of Leukocyte Biology. She is on the editorial boards of Cytokine; Alcohol; Journal of Burn Care and Research; and Shock. She was the Chair of the Committee on Public Affairs and has received the Distinguished Service Award from the American Association of Immunologists. In addition to serving as the Director of Burn Research at the University of Colorado Denver, she is a faculty member in the Immunology Graduate Program and the Medical Scientist Training Program and a member of the Colorado Pulmonary-Alcohol Research Consortium and the Mucosal Inflammation Program.

Dr. Kovacs received her PhD from the University of Vermont and completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship in Immunoregulation, Biological Response Modifiers Program at the National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, and an Executive Leadership Fellowship in Academic Medicine (ELAM) Program for Women at Drexel University before joining the faculty of Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine as an Assistant Professor. At Loyola, she was Professor and Vice Chair of Research in the Department of Surgery and Co-Director of the Burn & Shock Trauma Research Institute. She was also Founder and Director of the Alcohol Research Program at Loyola.