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Joseph L. Messina, PhD

Department of Pathology
VH G019 Zip 0019
Phone: (205) 934-4921

Biographical Sketch

Dr. Messina received his BA degree from Dartmouth College and his Ph.D. in Endocrine Physiology from the University of Michigan Medical School. He completed his postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Virginia School of Medicine, Department of Pharmacology. His academic career includes President of the Graduate Faculty Organization (1987-1989) and Director of the Cell and Molecular Biology Program, at the SUNY Health Science Center (1992-1994). At UAB, Directorship of the Graduate Program in Molecular and Cellular Pathology and the Department of Genomics and Pathobiology (2001-2003), Directorship of the Pathology Research and Education Program (PREP, 1999-2003), a member of the UAB Graduate Council and of the UAB Graduate Dean's New Program Committee. He is currently a Scientist in the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center, the Clinical Nutrition Research Center and the Center for Surgical Research.

Research/Clinical Interest

Insulin and Growth Hormone (GH) Action, Insulin and GH Resistance Following Trauma and Infection
Disease states, such as diabetes, cancer and stresses such as infection, sepsis and surgical trauma are characterized by changes in cellular metabolism and function. These changes are often preceded by the development of resistance to insulin and/or growth hormone (GH) and by alterations in the expression of a number of genes important for regulation of key steps in cellular metabolism. Our main interests are the underlying mechanisms by which hormones and growth factors act and interact to regulate cellular metabolism and gene expression. Recent studies indicate that changes in the responsiveness to insulin and growth hormone may be important in aiding survival of patients following surgery, trauma, burns and infection. We are exploring the development of insulin and GH resistance and the interaction between insulin, GH, and the proinflammatory cytokines (TNF-alpha, IL-6 and IL-1 beta) in cultured cells and in the liver, heart, muscle and fat of animal models of infection, injury, hemorrhage, diabetes and obesity. These studies are important if we are to understand the role of these hormones in normal physiology and growth, in diseases such as diabetes, in hormone-dependent cancers, and in the recovery following surgery, trauma, burns and infection

Selected Publications

  1. Jiang, S. and Messina, J.L. Role of tissue macrophages in the development of critical illness diabetes. (2012) Shock, 37: 70-76.  21841539 
  2. Jiang, S. and Messina, J.L. Role of inhibitory κB kinase and c-Jun N-terminal kinase in hepatic insulin resistance in critical illness diabetes. (2011) Am. J. Physiol., 301: G454-G463.  21680774 
  3. Zhai, L., Ballinger, S.W., and Messina, J.L. Role of reactive oxygen species in injury-induced hepatic insulin resistance. (2011) Molecular Endocrinology, 25(3): 492-502. 21239612 
  4. Jiang, S., Gavrikova, T.A., Pereboev, A., and Messina, J.L. Adenovirus infection results in alterations of insulin signaling and glucose homeostasis. (2010) Am. J. Physiol., 298: E1295-E1304.  20388825 
  5. Liu, J., Wu, X., Franklin, J.L., Messina, J.L., Hill, H.S., Moellering, D.D., Martin, M. and Garvey, W.T. Mammalian tribbles homolog TRB3 impairs insulin action in skeletal muscle: Role in glucose-induced insulin resistance. (2010) Am. J. Physiol., 298: E565-E576. 19996382 
  6. Li, L. and Messina, J.L. Acute insulin resistance following injury. (2009) Trends in Endocrinology and Metabolism, 20: 429-435. 19800814 
  7. Zhai, L. and Messina, J.L. Age and tissue specific differences in the development of acute insulin resistance following injury. (2009) J. Endocrinology, 203: p365-374. 19752148 
  8. Xu, J. and Messina, J.L. Crosstalk between growth hormone and insulin signaling. (2009) Vitamins and Hormones 80: 125-153.  19251037 
  9. Franklin, J.L., Keeton, A.B., Bortoff, K.D. and Messina, J.L. Insulin dependant gene expression of Heat Shock Protein 60 in H4IIE Hepatoma Cells. (2008) Int. J. Clin. Exp. Med. 1(1): 89-97.  19079690 
  10. Li, L., Thompson, L.H., Kim, H.T., Zhao, L., Kokorina, N., and Messina, J.L. Differential molecular mechanisms for hepatic and skeletal muscle acute insulin resistance following trauma and hemorrhage. (2009) Endocrinology, 150: 24-32.  18801909 
  11. Thompson, L.H., Kim, H.T., Ma, Y., Kokorina, N., and Messina, J.L. Acute muscle-type specific insulin resistance following injury. (2008) Molecular Medicine, 14: 715-723.  18801909 
  12. Xu, J., Thompson, L.H., Kim, H.T., Kokorina, N., Ma, Y., and Messina, J.L. The role of increased TNFalpha on the development of hemorrhage-induced insulin resistance. (2008) Endocrinology 149:2369-2382.  
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