Research excellence transforming patient care
Phillip Marucha, PhD, DMD
Professor, Associate Dean for Research, Director of Graduate Studies, Interim Head of the Department of Periodontics
Dr. Marucha primarily studies how stress, gender, aging and other psychosocial factors affect wound healing. The ultimate goal of his lab is to help develop appropriate therapies for patients undergoing surgery. Currently, Dr. Marucha and his colleagues are working on a number of projects including a study to determine the mechanisms by which stress impairs microbial clearance (a key process in wound healing). They are also studying how gender and age affect wound healing. Recently he and colleagues found that oral wounds heal more slowly in women and older adults. Interestingly, while wounds to the skin heal more quickly in women than in men, the opposite is true for healing of wounds inside the mouth. Dr. Marucha's lab is continuing to study the influence of testosterone, a potent anti-inflammatory hormone that is abundant in saliva. They are also working with other researchers both in the College and in the School of Medicine to determine whether there is a way to genetically predict which cancer patients will suffer from Oral Mucositis, a breakdown of the mucosal barriers in the mouth that often results from chemotherapy and which can be so painful and debilitating as to require patients to stop their treatment. Determining which patients might suffer this condition in advance offers the potential for better treatment.
Williams RL, Sroussi HY, Abercrombie JJ, Leung K, Marucha PT. Synthetic decapeptide reduces bacterial load and accelerates healing in the wounds of restraint-stressed mice. Brain, Behavior, and Immunity. 2012;26(4):588-96.
Edwards KM, Bosch JA, Engeland CG, Cacioppo JT, Marucha PT. Elevated macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) is associated with depressive symptoms, blunted cortisol reactivity to acute stress, and lowered morning cortisol. Brain, Behavior, and Immunity. 2010;24(7):1202-8.
Engeland CG, Sabzehei B, Marucha PT. Sex hormones and mucosal wound healing. Brain, Behavior, and Immunity. 2009;23(5):629-35.
Bosch JA, Engeland CG, Cacioppo JT, Marucha PT. 2007. Depressive symptoms predict mucosal wound healing. Med 69(7):597-605.
Eijkelkamp N, Engeland CG, Gajendrareddy PK, Marucha PT. 2007. Restraint stress impairs early wound healing in mice via alpha-adrenergic but not beta-adrenergic receptors. Brain Behav Immun 21(4):409-12.
Engeland CG, Bosch JA, Cacioppo JT, Marucha PT. 2006. Mucosal wound healing: the roles of age and sex. Arch Surg 141(12):1193-7.
Kalin NH, Shelton SE, Engeland CG, Haraldsson HM, Marucha PT. 2006. Stress decreases, while central nucleus amygdala lesions increase, IL-8 and MIP-1alpha gene expression during tissue healing in non-human primates. Brain Behav Immun 20(6):564-8.
Marucha PT, Crespin TR, Shelby RA, Andersen BL. 2005. TNF-alpha levels in cancer patients relate to social variables. Brain Behav Immun 19(6): 521-5.
Find out more
- UIC Research Resource Center (RRC)
- UIC Biologic Resource Laboratory (BRL)
- UIC Center for Clinical and Translational Sciences (CCTS)
- Tissue Bank/ Transdisciplinary Pathology
- Chicago Biomedical Consortium
- Library Research Resources and Clinical Tools for Dentistry
- National Institute of Craniofacial and Dental Research