Marilyn Merker, PhD
Phone: 414-384-2000 ext. 41394
The pulmonary endothelium plays an important role in determining the chemical composition of the plasma as the blood passes from the venous to the systemic arterial circulation. It does so in part by acting as a large chemical reactor surface comprised of transporters, receptors and enzymes that act on compounds carried in the blood.
The Merker laboratory focuses on determining the consequences of, and mechanisms underlying, the interactions of the pulmonary endothelium with a variety of classes of blood borne substances including redox active pro- and antioxidant physiological, pharmacological and xenobiotic compounds. The approach involves using the isolated perfused rat and mice lung preparations, tissue cultures of pulmonary endothelial cells, and a range of biochemical, pharmacological, and mathematical modeling strategies to evaluate the relative roles of various processes (e.g., redox enzymes, cell membrane permeation, association of compounds with cell macromolecules) that contribute to the net effect of the endothelium on blood-borne substances. The goal of the laboratory is to elucidate pro- and antioxidant mechanisms involved in lung and vascular oxidative stress with the potential for identifying cellular redox processes for therapeutic manipulation in disease prevention and/or treatment.