School of Medicine

Wayne State University School of Medicine

Donald J. DeGracia, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
4116 Scott Hall
313-577-6745
Areas
Brain ischemia and reperfusion injury, translation, stress granules, ribonomics
Laboratory Web Site
Biography

Dr. DeGracia studies the mechanisms of cell death following brain ischemia and reperfusion. This clinically relevant research models brain injury that occurs following stroke or following resuscitation from cardiac arrest. The main focus of this work is the causes and consequences of reperfusion-induced inhibition of protein synthesis. Dr. DeGracia’s previous work established that phosphorylation of eukaryotic initiation factor 2 alpha occurs in the reperfused brain. Further, this phosphorylation is caused by the eIF2 alpha kinase PERK. PERK activation is part of an endoplasmic reticulum stress response known as the unfolded protein response (UPR). Dr. DeGracia has investigated expression of the UPR in the reperfused brain and developed evidence that the UPR is expressed in an apparently dysfunctional fashion.  Current work in the lab is assessing the role of mRNA regulation via stress granules and HuR granules in prolonged translation arrested in reperfused vulnerable neurons.

Dr. DeGracia's lab is funded by the NIH.

Publications

Publications are available for download on my laboratory web site.

Awards & Honors

Member, NOMD Study Section at National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke at NIH. 2005 -2008.  Ad hoc, 2009.  Ad hoc ARRA reviewer for NINDS

Post Graduate Training
  •  1988-93 Research Assistant, Deptartment of Emergency Medicine, Wayne State University
Joint Appointments
Center for Molecular Medicine and Genetics