Diane Piekut, Ph.D.

Diane Piekut, Ph.D.

Contact Information

University of Rochester Medical Center
School of Medicine and Dentistry
601 Elmwood Ave, Box 603
Rochester, NY 14642

Appointment: (585) 275-URMC (8762)

Professional Bio

EDUCATION:



Stonehill - Biology/Chemistry, B.S. 1968
Tufts University - Anatomy, M.S. 1971
Boston University - Anatomy, Ph.D. 1976

FACULTY APPOINTMENTS:

University of Rochester, Instructor and Fellow, Department of Anatomy 1976-1977
University of Rochester, Assistant Professor, Department of Anatomy 1977-1980
University of Rochester, Assistant Professor, Neuroendocrinology/Center for Brain
Research, University of Rochester 1980-6/30/84
University of Rochester, Scientist, Neuroendocrine Unit 7/1/84-6/30/88
University of Rochester, Associate Professor of Surgery (Neuroendocrinology) Division of Neuroendocrinology 7/1/88-3/31/92
University of Rochester, Associate Professor of Neurobiology and Anatomy 4/1/92-present

HONORS AND AWARDS:

Faculty Marshall, School of Medicine and Dentistry Commencement Ceremony, 2007
Commendation for Excellence in Medical Education, 2006
Commendation for Excellence in Medical Education, 2004
George W. Merck Dean's Teaching Fellow, 2003-2005
NIH Research Career Development Award, 1984-1989
Manuel D. Goldman Prize for Excellence in Teaching Medical Gross Anatomy
Mellon Foundation Award, 1978
Outstanding Young Women of America, 1977, 1981
NIH Ad Hoc reviewer, Neurology A Study Section
NSF Ad Hoc reviewer.

Patient Care Bio

OVERVIEW: Medical Education /Anatomical Gift Program



I am committed to and maintain extensive responsibilities in the medical school curriculum through participation in development and administrative functions as well as leadership roles in several key courses. I am involved particularly in teaching medical human anatomy throughout years 1-4 of our medical school curriculum and several residency programs. I am also involved in the development and implementation of clinical human anatomy elective courses. Additionally, I am the Director of the Anatomical Gift Program at the University of Rochester.


RESEARCH:

The focus of my research program is to determine the activation and plasticity of neurons, especially corticotropin releasing factor (CRF)-containing neurons, in response to a brain insult (i.e., stress, transient global forebrain ischemia, seizure). Current studies address 1) the effect of transient global ischemia and seizure on the neuroendocrine hypothalamus, particularly neural substrates involved in regulation of the pituitary-adrenal axis, and 2) the differential effects of acute and chronic stress on the regulation of specific mRNA and peptide expression in activated neurons. 3) In addition to its neuroendocrine function, CRF also functions as an excitatory neurotransmitter/neuromodulator in extrahypothalamic brain sites. Studies in this laboratory suggest that extrahypothalamic CRF is significantly increased following specific brain insults and may play a role in ischemic and seizure brain damage. Investigations, which address the association of CRF induction following a brain insult with neuropathological processes, the administration of a CRF receptor antagonist to protect against the neurodegeneration and direct neurotoxic effects of CRF on neurons, are being pursued. Elucidation of the mechanisms responsible for neuronal vulnerability to brain insults will aid in the development of therapeutic drug interventions which selectively target the neuronal population most susceptible to ischemic or seizure damage, and thereby protect against neurodegeneration. Immunocytochemical localization of neuropeptides /neurotransmitters, in situ hybridization of neuropeptide gene expression, and tissue culture techniques are being employed in this research.

Awards & Honors (National)

NIH Research Career Development Award 1984 - 1989
NIH Ad Hoc reviewer | Neurology A Study Section Present

Awards & Honors (Local)

Faculty Marshall | Univ. of Rochester Commencement Ceremony 2007
Commendation for Excellence in Medical Education 2006
Commendation for Excellence in Medical Education 2004
George W. Merck Dean's Teaching Fellow 2003 - 2005
Outstanding Young Women of America 1981
Mellon Foundation Award 1978
Outstanding Young Women of America 1977
Manuel D. Goldman Prize for Excellence in Teaching Medical Gross Anatomy
NSF Ad Hoc reviewer Present

Current Appointments

Associate Professor - Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy (SMD) - Primary

Education

PhD | Anatomy | Boston University1976
MS | Anatomy | Tufts University1971
BS | Biology | Stonehill College1968