Mark A. Perrella, MD
The Perrella research group is interested in two areas of investigation: 1) Regulation and biology of genes important for the modulation of vascular tone, vascular cell growth, and oxidative stress in inflammatory disease processes involving the lungs, heart, and other critical organs. Using cellular and molecular techniques, we are elucidating the importance of heme oxygenase-1 and nitric oxide synthase 2 in sepsis, endotoxemia, acute lung injury, and vascular injury – disease processes in which we have the availability of excellent animal models. 2) Regulation of genes selectively expressed in vascular smooth muscle cells. The regulation of these genes at the transcriptional level is being studied to determine why cell-type selective expression occurs, and this information is used to target gene expression in vivo. In performing these studies, transgenic and knockout mice are generated and studies are performed in various animal models of disease. By investigating the molecular mechanisms regulating genes important in the pathogenesis of these detrimental disease processes, we hope to identify targets for more effective therapy.