Anatomy and Cell Biology
Ph.D.: 1968, Indiana University
The principal area of research centers around the regulation of fibrinolysis, or the ability to dissolve blood clots in the circulation. Loss of this ability occurs in many patients as a result of obesity or states of insulin resistance such as non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus, and can lead to myocardial infarction, deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, and other life-threatening cardiovascular disorders. We have recently found evidence that vitamin D deficiency may be an independent risk factor for decreased fibrinolytic capacity. This may be important because recent studies have shown that a high percentage of people is vitamin D deficient, especially the elderly. Vitamin D is normally associated with calcium metabolism and movement in the intestine, kidney, and bone but has not previously been implicated in cardiovascular events. The laboratory is currently studying the effects of vitamin D deficiency on the fibrinolytic capability of animals, and the effects of active metabolites and structural analogs of vitamin D on the release of fibrinolytic proteins such as tissue plasminogen activator from cultured rat and human vascular endothelial cells.
Ronal R. MacGregor, PhD