Professor and Chair
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston
Dr. Perez-Polo JR received Ph.D at Stanford University in 1970. Currently he is a I. H. Kempner Professor and Chair & Professor at the University of Texas, USA.
Our long-term goals are to understand the inflammatory mechanisms triggered by trauma in the central nervous system. We are interested in the effects of chronic inflammation on genotoxic and epigenetic outcomes, cell death, impaired blood brain barrier and immunological activation in CNS and resultant developmental and adult outcomes. We have developed interventions ranging from endogenous receptor antagonists and gene specific “decoy” inhibition of transcription factor binding to gene promoter sites as potential therapies. We also study the role of trauma-induced post-translational modifications that regulate intracellular trafficking in stress response mechanisms. Our hypothesis is that oxidative stress in the nervous system, caused by chronic or acute trauma, triggers inflammatory responses that result in the uncoupling of gene networks responsible for the resultant deficits. Our studies focus on: the Bcl-protein family and inflammatory cytokines. We rely on in vitro and in vivo rodent models for perinatal ischemia, spinal cord and head injury.