Donald DeGracia, Ph.D.

Donald DeGracia, Ph.D.


313-577-5494 (fax)

Donald DeGracia, Ph.D.

Office Address

4116 Scott Hall

Position Title


Joint Appointments

Center for Molecular Medicine and Genetics

Areas of Interest

Brain ischemia and reperfusion injury, translation, stress granules, ribonomics

Narrative Bio

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 is not accepting students for the 2023-24 academic year.

Post Graduate Training

  •  1988-93 Research Assistant, Deptartment of Emergency Medicine, Wayne State University

Category Information

  • Brain ischemia and reperfusion injury
  • Regulation of protein synthesis
  • Stress-mediated translation arrest
  • Unfolded protein response

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