Sherry L. Spinelli, Ph.D.

Sherry L. Spinelli, Ph.D.

Contact Information

University of Rochester Medical Center
School of Medicine and Dentistry
601 Elmwood Ave, Box 626
Rochester, NY 14642

Office: (585) 273-3762

Research Bio

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.

Awards & Honors (Local)

Regional Trio Achiever Award 2004
Walter S. Bloor Award 1999
Elon Huntington Hooker Graduate Research Fellowship 1998 - 1999
Stotz Fellowship 1994 - 1996
Sigma Xi Award for Research 1994
EMSA Undergraduate Scholarship 1994
Ronald E. McNair Program 1993 - 1994

Recent Journal Articles

Showing the 5 most recent journal articles. 41 available »

2016 Mar
Lannan KL, Refaai MA, Ture SK, Morrell CN, Blumberg N, Phipps RP, Spinelli SL. "Resveratrol preserves the function of human platelets stored for transfusion." British journal of haematology. 2016 Mar; 172(5):794-806. Epub 2015 Dec 18.
2015 Mar
Cholette JM, Pietropaoli AP, Henrichs KF, Alfieris GM, Powers KS, Phipps R, Spineli SL, Swartz M, Gensini F, Daugherty LE, Nazarian E, Rubenstein JS, Sweeney D, Eaton M, Blumberg N. "Longer RBC storage duration is associated with increased postoperative infections in pediatric cardiac surgery." Pediatric critical care medicine : a journal of the Society of Critical Care Medicine and the World Federation of Pediatric Intensive and Critical Care Societies. 2015 Mar; 16(3):227-35.
Stolla M, Refaai MA, Heal JM, Spinelli SL, Garraud O, Phipps RP, Blumberg N. "Platelet transfusion - the new immunology of an old therapy." Frontiers in immunology. 2015 6:28. Epub 2015 Feb 02.
Lannan KL, Sahler J, Kim N, Spinelli SL, Maggirwar SB, Garraud O, Cognasse F, Blumberg N, Phipps RP. "Breaking the mold: transcription factors in the anucleate platelet and platelet-derived microparticles." Frontiers in immunology. 2015 6:48. Epub 2015 Feb 13.
2014 Oct
Spinelli SL, Xi X, McMillan DH, Woeller CF, Richardson ME, Cavet ME, Zhang JZ, Feldon SE, Phipps RP. "Mapracorat, a selective glucocorticoid receptor agonist, upregulates RelB, an anti-inflammatory nuclear factor-kappaB protein, in human ocular cells." Experimental eye research. 2014 Oct; 127:290-8.

Current Appointments

Research Associate Professor - Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine (SMD) - Primary


PhD | Biochemistry | Univ Rochester Sch Med/Dent1999
MS | Biochemistry | Univ Rochester Sch Med/Dent1997
BS | Biology | SUNY Coll at Brockport1994

Post-Doctoral Training & Residency

Postdoctoral Fellow Douglas Turner, PhD University of Rochester Rochester, New York 14627-0011 2003
Postdoctoral Fellow Eric Phizicky, PhD University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry Rochester, NY 14642 2000