Department of Pathology
VH G019 Zip 0019
Phone: (205) 934-4921
Dr. Messina received his BA degree from Dartmouth College and his Ph.D. in Endocrine Physiology from the University of Michigan Medical School. He completed his postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Virginia School of Medicine, Department of Pharmacology. His academic career includes President of the Graduate Faculty Organization (1987-1989) and Director of the Cell and Molecular Biology Program, at the SUNY Health Science Center (1992-1994). At UAB, Directorship of the Graduate Program in Molecular and Cellular Pathology and the Department of Genomics and Pathobiology (2001-2003), Directorship of the Pathology Research and Education Program (PREP, 1999-2003), a member of the UAB Graduate Council and of the UAB Graduate Dean's New Program Committee. He is currently a Scientist in the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center, the Clinical Nutrition Research Center and the Center for Surgical Research.
Insulin and Growth Hormone (GH) Action, Insulin and GH Resistance Following Trauma and Infection
Disease states, such as diabetes, cancer and stresses such as infection, sepsis and surgical trauma are characterized by changes in cellular metabolism and function. These changes are often preceded by the development of resistance to insulin and/or growth hormone (GH) and by alterations in the expression of a number of genes important for regulation of key steps in cellular metabolism. Our main interests are the underlying mechanisms by which hormones and growth factors act and interact to regulate cellular metabolism and gene expression. Recent studies indicate that changes in the responsiveness to insulin and growth hormone may be important in aiding survival of patients following surgery, trauma, burns and infection. We are exploring the development of insulin and GH resistance and the interaction between insulin, GH, and the proinflammatory cytokines (TNF-alpha, IL-6 and IL-1 beta) in cultured cells and in the liver, heart, muscle and fat of animal models of infection, injury, hemorrhage, diabetes and obesity. These studies are important if we are to understand the role of these hormones in normal physiology and growth, in diseases such as diabetes, in hormone-dependent cancers, and in the recovery following surgery, trauma, burns and infection