Skip to main content
Sign In

GI, Trauma, and Endocrine Surgery Faculty

Elizabeth Kovacs bio

Elizabeth J. Kovacs, PhD

Elizabeth J. Kovacs, PhD

Education & Training

  • BA, Biology, Reed College (1978)
  • PhD, Cell Biology, University of Vermont (1984)
  • Postdoctoral Fellowship, Immunoregulation, Biological Response Modifiers Program, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health (1984-1987)
  • Fellow, Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine (ELAM) Program for Women, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA (2009-2010)

Professional Experience:

  • Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine
    • Department of Cell Biology, Neurobiology and Anatomy, 1984-2016, Professor 1998-2016
    • Alcohol Research Program, Founder and Director, 1999-2016
    • Burn and Shock Trauma Institute, 1992- 2016, Director of Research 2006-2016
    • Immunology and Aging Program, Member, 1998-2016
    • Department of Surgery, Professor 1998-2016, Vice Chair of Research 2006-2016
    • Loyola Biomedical Internship Program, Founder and Director 2006-2016
    • Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Professor 2010-2016
  • University of Colorado Denver / Anshutz Medical Campus
    • Pulmonary Science and Critical Care Medicine, Department of Medicine, Adjoint Professor, 2015
    • Department of Surgery, Division of GI, Tumor and Endocrine Surgery, Professor, 2016- Date
    • Burn Research, Director, 2016-Date
    • Alcohol Research Program, Director, 2017-Date
    • Immunology Graduate Program, Faculty Member, 2016-Date
    • Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP), Faculty Member, 2016-Date

Research and Grants:"Kovacs EJ" [Author]

Grants from the National Institutes of Health

  • Aging, macrophage mediators, and burn trauma (2015-2019)
    • National Institute on Aging, R01 AG018859, $1,517,344
  • Ethanol effects on recovery from injury (2015-2019)
    • National Institute on General Medical Science, R01 GM115257, $1,650,459
  • Intoxication, lung mesenchymal stem cells and pulmonary infection (2015-2018)
    • National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, R21AA023193, $396,376
  • Alcohol and Immunology Research Interest Group (AIRIG) Meetings (2015-2018)
    • National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, R13 AA020768, $$59,904

Research Interests:

Overall focus: The effects of advanced age, alcohol intoxication, and radiation exposure on inflammatory responses after injury or infection.

  • Binge alcohol intoxication and inflammatory/immune responses after injury and/or infection. Systemic and organ-specific inflammatory response after burn injury with or without pulmonary infection, including the gut-liver-lung axis. Alcohol on macrophage and neutrophil recruitment, activation, phenotype and function. Alcohol intoxication and lung microbiome. Mesenchymal stem cells and inflammatory responses.
  • Inflamm-aging, “macroph-aging” and immunosenescence:  Initiation and resolution of inflammation after pulmonary infection in the aged. Intestinal barrier integrity and gut microbiome with advanced age. Aging, innate immunity and lung microbiome. Macrophage phenotype and function across the age spectrum. Sex differences, hormone replacement and inflammatory responses after burn, trauma and infection in the aged.
  • Combined radiation injury (CRI):  Effects of total body irradiation (TBI) combined with injury on systemic, pulmonary and intestinal inflammation and barrier function. Pneumonitis and pulmonary fibrosis after CRI. Treatment with mitigating agents.
  • Translational studies in burn patients: Systemic and pulmonary inflammatory response after burn injury, smoke inhalation and infection. Effect of smoke inhalation on acute lung injury and acute respiratory distress syndrome. Alcohol intoxication and burn trauma.
  • Translational studies in lung transplant recipients: Development of bronchiolitis obliterans in lung transplant recipients. Effects of donor and recipient alcohol exposure on pro-inflammatory and fibrogenic responses after lung transplantation. Effects of transplantation on lung microbiome.