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Diane Piekut, Ph.D.

Contact Information

Phone Numbers

Appointment: (585) 276-3000

Biography

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.

Professional Background

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.

Research

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.

PUBLICATIONS:

Pretel, S., C.D. Applegate and D.T. Piekut. Apoptotic and necrotic cell death following kindling induced seizures. Acta Histologica, 99:71-79, 1997.
Callahan, T.A. and D.T. Piekut. Differential FOS expression induced by IL-1ß and IL-6 in rat hypothalamus and pituitary gland. J. Neuroimmunol., 73:207-211, 1997.
Samoriski, G.M., D.T. Piekut, and C.D. Applegate. Differential spatial patterns of Fos induction following generalized clonic and generalized tonic seizures. Exp. Neurol., 143:255-268, 1997.
Kellogg, C.K., G.B. Awatramani and D.T. Piekut. Adolescent development alters stressor-induced FOS immunoreactivity in rat brain. Neurosci., 83: 681-689, 1998.
Samoriski, G.M., D.T. Piekut and C.D. Applegate. Regional analysis of the patterns of Fos induction in brain following a seizure: Dependence on seizure history and seizure phenotype. Neuroscience, 84:1209-1222, 1998.
Piekut, D.T. and B. Phipps. Increased corticotropin-releasing factor immunoreactivity in select brain sites following kainate elicited seizures, Brain Research, 781:100-113, 1998.
Blair, M.L., A. Want, J.A. Olschowka and D.T. Piekut. Role of paraventricular nucleus parvicellular neurons in the compensatory responses to graded hemorrhage, Am.J. Physiol., 275: R278-R285, 1998.
Callahan, T.A., J.A. Moynihan and D.T. Piekut. Central nervous system activation following peripheral chemical sympathectomy: implications for neural-immune interactions, Brain, Behavior and Immunity, 12:230-241, 1998.
Piekut, D.P. and B Phipps. (1999) Corticotropin-releasing factor immunolabeled fibers in brain regions with localized kainate neurotoxicity, Acta Neuropathology 98:622-628, 1999.
Blair, M. L., R. L. Parman-Jaworski, A. Want, and D. T. Piekut. Parabrachial nucleus modulates cardiovascular responses to blood loss. Am. J. Physiol. 280: R1141-48, 2001.
Jaworski, R.L., D. Piekut, and M.L. Blair. Pregnancy alters lateral parabrachial nucleus but not hypothalamic Fos expression following hypotensive hemorrhag Brain Research Bulletin, 57: 595-602, 2002.
A Hiwatashi (P). R.Sidhu, RK Lee, R Deguzman, DT Piekut, PA Westesson: Kyphoplasty increases vertebral body height more than vertebroplasty. A cadaveric study, Radiology 237 (3): 1115-1119, 2005.

Credentials

Faculty Appointments

Education

1968
BS | Stonehill College
Biology

1976
PhD | Boston University
Anatomy

1971
MS | Tufts University
Anatomy

Awards

Present
NSF Ad Hoc reviewer

Present
NIH Ad Hoc reviewer
Sponsor: Neurology A Study Section

2007
Faculty Marshall
Sponsor: Univ. of Rochester Commencement Ceremony

2006
Commendation for Excellence in Medical Education

2004
Commendation for Excellence in Medical Education

2003 - 2005
George W. Merck Dean's Teaching Fellow

1984 - 1989
NIH Research Career Development Award

1981
Outstanding Young Women of America

1978
Mellon Foundation Award

1977
Outstanding Young Women of America


Manuel D. Goldman Prize for Excellence in Teaching Medical Gross Anatomy

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Publications

Journal Articles

12/2005
Hiwatashi A, Sidhu R, Lee RK, deGuzman RR, Piekut DT, Westesson PL. "Kyphoplasty versus vertebroplasty to increase vertebral body height: a cadaveric study." Radiology.. 2005 Dec 0; 237(3):1115-9.

3/15/2002
Jaworski RL, Piekut D, Blair ML. "Pregnancy alters lateral parabrachial nucleus but not hypothalamic Fos expression following hypotensive hemorrhage." Brain research bulletin. 2002 Mar 15; 57(5):595-602.

4/2001
Blair ML, Jaworski RL, Want A, Piekut DT. "Parabrachial nucleus modulates cardiovascular responses to blood loss." American journal of physiology. Regulatory, integrative and comparative physiology.. 2001 Apr 0; 280(4):R1141-8.

Books & Chapters

1990
Chapter Title: Immunocytochemical study of peptide receptors. (KniggeConference on Presynaptic Receptors - An Examination of Different Views)
Book Title: Presynaptic Receptors and the Question of Autoregulation of Neurotransmitter Rel
Author List: Berlove, D.J.; G.J. Michael; D.T. Piekut; K.M.
Edited By: S. Kalsner and T.C. Westfall
Published By: Ann. N.Y. Acad. Sci.1990

1989
Chapter Title: Use of anti-idiotype antibodies in receptor immunocytochemistry.
Book Title: Antibodies, Antigens and Molecular Mimicry, Methods in Enzymology.
Author List: Knigge, K.M.; D.T. Piekut; L.G. Abood; S.A. Joseph; D.J. Berlove; G.J. Michael.
Edited By: John J. Langone
Published By: Academic Press1989 in Orlando, FL.

1986
Chapter Title: Ultrastructural characteristics of peptidergic neurons using preembedding immunocytochemical methodology.
Book Title: Immunocytochemical Technology.
Author List: Piekut, D.T.
Edited By: G.V. Childs
Published By: Alan R. Liss, Inc.1986 in N.Y.

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