- Job Opportunities
- News and Events
- Molecular Biology Core Facility
- Section of Toxicology
- DBMS Microscopy Core Facility
- Anatomical Gifts
- Tri-Cities Regional Information
- Directions /Maps
- Useful Links
- "In Memoriam"
- Contact Us
Douglas P. Thewke, Ph.D.
1987-1993: Ph.D., Biochemistry University of Tennessee Department of Biochemistry Knoxville, TN 37996-0840
1983-1987: B.S., Biology Peru State College Peru, NE 68421-0010
1. Cellular and molecular mechanisms regulating atherosclerosis.
Current Research Interest: Our current research focuses on understanding the pathophysiological role of oxidized
LDL/oxysterol-induced apoptosis in atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is a chronic
inflammatory disease of the vascular wall during which macrophages in the vascular
intima ingest atherogenic lipoproteins, such as modified low density lipoproteins
(LDL), and transform into cholesteryl ester-laden foam cells. Apoptotic foam cells
have been well documented within atherosclerotic lesions. Our prior work showed that
macrophage apoptosis represses lesion formation in mice, indicating that, at least
in early lesions, macrophage apoptosis is anti-atherogenic. In advanced lesions,
there is strong evidence that apoptosis of macrophage-derived foam cells is a pro-atherogenic
factor contributing to plaque instability and rupture. Thus, the mechanisms regulating
macrophage apoptosis are significant to both the development of lesions and the progression
towards events that may directly trigger the acute clinical manifestations of atherosclerosis.
Currently we are examining the role of cannabinoid receptors in regulating macrophage
apoptosis and in the development of atherosclerosis in hyperlipidemic mice. We are
also investigating in the pharmacological manipulation of cannabinoid receptors as
potential therapy for pancreatic cancer.
R15HL113878-01A1 “Modulations of atherosclerosis by cannabinoid type 2 receptor”; National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute; Douglas P Thewke, P.I.; Antonio Rusinol, Co-Investigator; Stacy Brown, Co-Investigator; project period 01/10/2013 to 12/31/2015
R15 HL085137 “The Role of CB2 Receptors in oxLDL-Induced Apoptosis and Atherogenesis” National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute; Douglas P Thewke, P.I.; project period 8/01/06-7/31/09
R01 DK58071 “Regulation of stearoyl-CoA desaturases by oleate” National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases; Douglas P Thewke, P.I.; project period 8/01/01-7/31/05
Scientist Development Grant American Heart Association “Regulation of Transcription
by Oleate” Douglas P Thewke, P.I.; project period 8/1/99-7/31/00