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     Mentored Junior Faculty

Dr. Flavia Souza Smith

This project is led by Dr. Flavia Souza-Smith and focuses on the effects of alcohol on lymphatic function and the crosstalk in between lymphatic vessels and perilymphatic adipose tissue (PLAT). In the US approximately 25% of individuals over the age of 12 binge drink alcohol at least once a month. Alcohol binge drinking increases the risk of metabolic syndrome. Specifically, chronic and binge alcohol drinking patterns result in gut bacterial toxin translocation, induce insulin resistance and impair insulin-dependent responses in adipose tissue. The approach is to investigate the effects of repeated binge-like alcohol intoxication-induced lymphatic bacteria and LPS dissemination, lymphatic vessel hyperpermeability, and lymphatic leakage of bacteria and LPS into PLAT, promoting PLAT inflammatory milieu and impairing adipokine profile; which she predicts play a role in development of alcohol-induced insulin resistance. The goal of these studies is to understand the mechanisms involved in alcohol-mediated disruption of lymphatic function and its impact on local and systemic metabolic regulation.

 

flavia

Dr. Flavia Souza Smith

Dr. Liz Simon

Dr. Simon received her PhD in Endocrine Physiology and did her Postdoctoral training at the College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign in Stem Cell/Endocrine Physiology.  She was an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biomedical Sciences at the College of Veterinary Medicine, Tuskegee University from 2010-2013.  She joined the Department of Physiology at LSUHSC NO in July 2013.

Her primary research focus is on mechanisms that regulate proliferation and differentiation of stem cells.  Using animal models, she is studying epigenomic interactions that impair stem cell function contributing to dysregulated repair, regeneration and function.  She is specifically interested in the dysregulation of skeletal muscle stem cell signaling that alters the fate of these cells in insults including alcohol use, HIV and disuse muscle atrophy.  The laboratory utilizes in vivo approaches, including models of alcohol administration and disuse atrophy; cell culture systems; and a wide array of molecular biology techniques to study genetic epigenetic changes that contribute to dysfunction.  The ultimate goal is to develop epigenomic-targeted therapuetic and lifestyle interventions that improve muscle function and quality of life in aging or chronic diseases.  The lab has also developed close collaborations within the department and at LSUHSC to investigate epigenomic mechanisms in metabolic dysregulation, and HIV disease.


Recipient of a K01 Award for the study entitled:

  ALCOHOL-INDUCED MYOMIR DYSREGULATION: MECHANISMS OF IMPAIRED SKELETAL MUSCLE REGENERATION IN SIV/HIV

 

Liz Simon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dr. Liz Simon

 

Dr. Luther Gill 

Dr. Luther Gill is an Assistant Professor in the Louisiana State University Health Science Center. Dr. Gill received his Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from Hampton University in Virginia in 2006. He completed his Ph.D. in the Rehabilitation Science and Physiology at the University of Florida in 2012. He continued his research training as a NIH-T32 post-doctoral research fellow in the Department of Physiology and Biomedical Engineering at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. Dr. Gill’s graduate and post-doctoral research focused on exploring breathing behavior, diaphragm plasticity, neural control of the diaphragm, and phrenic motoneuron plasticity in several pre-clinical animal models, including unilateral phrenic nerve denervation, cervical spinal cord injury, sepsis and cancer cachexia. He has presented his work at several national conferences and has authored several peer-reviewed manuscripts in these areas.

Dr. Gill joined the faculty as an Assistant Professor at the LSU Health Science Center in July 2017. Dr. Gill’s primary research interests include muscle physiology, neurophysiology, neuromuscular plasticity and adult neurorehabilitation. His work has included exploring mechanisms of neuromuscular pathology and improving post-acute functional mobility in critically ill patients.

As a Roadmap Scholar, Dr. Gill will work on identifying reliable biomarkers associated with skeletal muscle mitochondrial dysfunction to improve future rehabilitation strategies. Dr. Gill plans to examine the impact of exercise on mitomiR expression in sepsis-induced myopathy to highlight an alternative rehabilitative approach, while utilizing the use of mitomiRs as biomarkers of recovery.  View Curriculum Vitae.
Project title:

MicroRNAs AS BIOMARKERS OF MITOCHONDRIAL FUNCTION AND FUNCTIONAL RECOVERY IN CRITICAL ILLNESS: A TRANSLATIONAL APPROACH

 

Liz Simon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dr. Luther Gill

 

Dr. Sarah Jolley

Dr. Sarah E. Jolley is an Assistant Professor in the Louisiana State Health Sciences Center Section of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine. She completed her medical training at Louisiana State University in 2003. After medical school, she moved to Seattle, WA where she completed an Internal Medicine residency, chief residency and Pulmonary and Critical Care fellowship at the University of Washington. During her time as a NIH T32 Pulmonary and Critical Care research fellow, she completed a Master's degree in Epidemiology where her thesis focused on racial/ethnic disparities in survivorship after Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome.

Dr. Jolley's primary research interests focuses on long-term outcomes after critical illness, particularly neuromuscular sequelae of acute lung injury. Her current work investigates chronic alcohol use as a risk factor for myopathy in patients with respiratory failure and explores the role of ghrelin and myostatin, key muscle regulatory hormones, in maintenance of lean muscle mass. These studies build upon prior work exploring delivery of early therapeutic exercise to maintain muscle mass in critically ill patients. It is hoped that her current studies will identify novel therapeutic targets that when combined with early therapeutic exercise will improve long-term physical function for ICU survivors.
Project title:

PREVELANCE AND MECHANISMS OF CRITICAL ILLNESS MYOPATHY IN PATIENTS WITH CHRONIC HEAVY ALCOHOL USE

 

Liz Simon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dr. Sarah Jolley