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Biomedical Sciences

Quillen College of Medicine

Dr. Regenia Phillips Campbell




                      Dr. Regenia Phillips Campbell
                  Research Assistant Professor
                  Biomedical Sciences

                   Curriculum Vitae




Contact Information:
Dr. Regenia Phillips Campbell
Research Assistant Professor
East Tennessee State University
James H. Quillen College of Medicine
Department of Biomedical Sciences
PO Box 70582
Johnson City, TN 37614-1708

Office:  VA Bldg. 119, Room 208
Phone:  423-439-6559
Fax: 423-439-2017


Ph.D. Biomedical Sciences, East Tennessee State University, December 2013
B.S. Cell and Molecular Biology, King College, May 2007

Research/Teaching Interests:

1.   Microbiome
2.   Gut-brain axis
3.   Environmental influences on chronic disease

Narrative of Research/Teaching Interests:

I received my bachelor’s degree in Cell and Molecular Biology with a minor in Chemistry and Honors in Psychology in May 2007- the first in my family to complete a college education. My research career began as an intern and then technician in the laboratory of Dr. Sharon E. Campbell. My research with Dr. S. Campbell focused on understanding how dietary supplements, specifically vitamin E isoforms, could bolster or hinder apoptosis in cancer cell lines depending on dosage and dosing conditions. This work sparked my long term interest in the role that our environment plays in the treatment of acute infection and chronic disease.

While working on my dissertation in the laboratory of Dr. Robert V. Schoborg, I created an in vivo model of aberrant chlamydial development in which an unusual phase of the bacteria’s developmental cycle, termed persistence, could be studied. Chlamydial persistence was first characterized over fifty years ago, but was widely considered to be an artifact of cell culture. My work was the first to demonstrate chlamydial persistence could be induced in vivo and that these persistent organisms matched a stringent list of characteristics observed in cell culture. My work demonstrated that organisms in this persistent state are resistant to treatment with azithromycin in vivo and alter host gene expression in vitro. I also created a novel model of rectal chlamydia infection in mice.

Following graduation in 2013, I began a postdoctoral fellowship with Dr. Eric Beaumont. Dr. Beaumont’s laboratory investigates maladaptive afferent neuronal transduction to the Nucleus of the Solitary Tract in heart failure and its potential as a therapeutic target with vagal nerve stimulation (VNS). Because the vagus nerve also supplies parasympathetic innervation to the GI tract, we hypothesized that the gut microbiome would be affected by VNS therapy. In a collaboration with Drs. Schoborg and Michelle Duffourc, we demonstrated that pressure overload heart failure induced gut flora dysbiosis, which was prevented in animals receiving VNS. We also initiated an ongoing project entitled “Vagal nerve stimulation mitigates alteration of the intestinal environment to limit the progression of heart failure” that aims to determine the extent to which VNS-induced alterations to the intestinal barrier and mucosal microbiota influence the progression from compensated to decompensated heart failure.

An additional project entitled “Health disparities in the rural US: Defining gut microbiome evolution and neurobehavioral integrity among prenatal tobacco-exposed, prenatal opioid-exposed, and non-exposed infants” is underway with collaborator Dr. Claudia Kozinetz.

It has been my distinct pleasure to teach numerous undergraduate, graduate, and medical students in the laboratory. Several of these have been first generation students themselves, and I consider myself fortunate to be in a position that allows me to pay forward the work of my many mentors. I also teach in the Medical Human Gross Anatomy and Embryology (first year medical curriculum) and Clinical Neuroscience (second year medical curriculum) courses.


Beaumont, E., Campbell, R.B.P., Andresen, M.C., Scofield, S.L., Singh, K., Libbus, I., KenKnight, B.H., Snyder, L., Cantrell, N. “Clinically styled vagus nerve stimulation augments spontaneous discharge in second and higher order sensory neurons in rat nucleus of the solitary tract.” American Journal of Physiology- Heart and Circulatory Physiology, May 2017, 313(2): H354-67. PMID: 28476920.

Phillips Campbell, R.B., Duffourc, M.M., Schoborg, R.V., Xu, Y., Liu, X., KenKnight, B.H., Beaumont, E. “Aberrant fecal flora observed in guinea pigs with pressure overload is mitigated in animals receiving vagus nerve stimulation therapy.” American Journal of Physiology- Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology. October 2016, 311(4): G754-62. PMID: 27562060.

Slade, J.A, Hall, J.V., Kintner, J., Phillips-Campbell, R., Schoborg, R.V. “Host nectin-1 promotes chlamydial infection in the female mouse genital tract, but is not required for infection in a novel male murine rectal infection model.” PLOS One. August 2016, 11(8): e0160511. PMID: 27486990.

Phillips Campbell, R., Kintner, J., Schoborg, R.V.Induction of the Chlamydia muridarum stress/ persistence response increases azithromycin-treatment failure in a murine model of infection.” Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy. December 2013, 58(3): 1782-4. PMID: 24342653.

Phillips Campbell, R., Kintner, J., Whittimore, J., Schoborg, R.V.Chlamydia muridarum enters a viable but non-infectious state in amoxicillin-treated BALB/c mice.” Microbes and Infection. November 2012, 14(13):1177-85. PMID: 22943883.

Campbell, S.E., Rudder, B., Phillips, R.B., Whaley, S.G., Stimmel, J.B., Leesnitzer, L.M., Lightner, J., Dessus-Babus, S., Duffourc, M., Stone, W.L., Menter,D.G., Newman, R.A., Yang, P., Aggarwal, B.B., Krishnan, K. “Gamma-tocotrienol induces growth arrest through a novel pathway with TGF-beta2 in prostate cancer.” Free Radical Biology and Medicine. May 2011, 50 (10): 1344-54. PMID: 21335085.

Campbell, S.E., Whaley, S.G., Phillips, R., Aggarwal, B.B., Stimmel, J.B., Leesnitzer, L., Blanchard, S.G., Stone, W.L., Muenyi, C., Krishnan, K. “Gamma tocotrienol and prostate cancer: The regulation of two independent pathways to potentiate cell growth inhibition and apoptosis.” Journal of Oil Palm Research (Special Issue-October 2008): 33-43.

Link to PubMed Publications:

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