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Sherry L. Spinelli, Ph.D.

Contact Information

Phone Numbers

Office: (585) 273-3762

Faculty Appointments



Platelets are anucleate cells released from megakaryocytes that circulate in the vascular system. Their importance and function in hemostasis is well known. Our (Drs. Neil Blumberg, Richard Phipps and myself) research interests lie in the emerging concept that platelets have a significant role in the mediation of inflammation and immunoregulation. Of particular interest is the nuclear hormone receptor, peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARgamma), part of a superfamily of ligand-activated receptors involved in transcriptional regulation of genes in energy metabolism and adipocyte differentiation. Several cell types including lymphocytes, fibroblasts, and endothelial cells express PPARgamma. Interestingly, our laboratory has recently demonstrated that human platelets also express PPARgamma and receptor binding of PPARgamma by PPARgamma agonists reduces platelet release of proinflammatory mediators. This is of major significance as platelet activation is linked to several diseases including atherosclerosis, insulin resistance in type II diabetes, and cancer. My goal is to understand the role of platelet PPARgamma in inflammation. This research is conducted in collaboration with the laboratory of Dr. Richard Phipps.

Platelet transfusion can cause a life-threatening inflammatory response. Upon activation, platelets undergo rapid morphological changes, and release bioactive mediators including chemokines, prostaglandins and growth factors that elicit a variety of responses. We will investigate the role of platelet-released proinflammatory mediators in transfusion-associated inflammation and multi-organ failure. Our goal is to develop a therapeutic strategy to reduce the risk of inflammatory responses in patients transfused with platelets.



BS | SUNY Coll at Brockport

MS | Univ Rochester Sch Med/Dent

PhD | Univ Rochester Sch Med/Dent

Post-doctoral Training & Residency

2000 - 2003
Postdoctoral Fellow Douglas Turner, PhD University of Rochester Rochester, New York 14627-0011

1999 - 2000
Postdoctoral Fellow Eric Phizicky, PhD University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry Rochester, NY 14642


Regional Trio Achiever Award

Walter S. Bloor Award

1998 - 1999
Elon Huntington Hooker Graduate Research Fellowship

1994 - 1996
Stotz Fellowship

Sigma Xi Award for Research

EMSA Undergraduate Scholarship

1993 - 1994
Ronald E. McNair Program

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Journal Articles

Refaai MA, Conley GW, Henrichs KF, McRae H, Schmidt AE, Phipps RP, Spinelli SL, Masel D, Cholette JM, Pietropaoli A, Eaton MP, Blumberg N. "Decreased Hemolysis and Improved Platelet Function in Blood Components Washed With Plasma-Lyte A Compared to 0.9% Sodium Chloride." American journal of clinical pathology.. 2018 Jul 3; 150(2):146-153.

Loelius SG, Spinelli SL, Lannan KL, Phipps RP. "In Vitro Methods to Characterize the Effects of Tobacco and Nontobacco Products on Human Platelet Function." Current protocols in toxicology. 2018 May 0; 76(1):e46.

Stolla M, Henrichs K, Cholette JM, Pietropaoli AP, Phipps RP, Spinelli SL, Blumberg N. "Haem is associated with thrombosis in neonates and infants undergoing cardiac surgery for congenital heart disease." Vox sanguinis.. 2018 Jan 0; 113(1):72-75. Epub 2017 Oct 16.