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Denise C. Cornelius, PhD

Denise Cornelius.jpgDr. Cornelius is an assistant professor of Emergency medicine and the director of pre-clinical research in the UMMC Department of Emergency Medicine.

Dr. Cornelius is currently a member of the editorial board of the journal Archives of Emergency Medicine and Critical Care. She also serves as a reviewer for a number of journals including Hypertension, American Journal of Physiology: Regulatory and Integrative Physiology, Circulation, and Journal of Thoracic Disease. She has published over 35 peer reviewed manuscripts, book chapters, and editorials in leading journals for the field of hypertension research and cardiovascular physiology.

Dr. Cornelius serves in multiple leadership capacities. She recently began a term on the Membership and Communications committee for the Council on Hypertension of the American Heart Association (AHA) and as At-Large Councilor for History and Communications for the Water & Electrolyte Homeostasis section of the American Physiological Society. In addition, she has provided service to scientific study sections for the AHA.

Dr. Cornelius has received several awards throughout her career including the UNCF-Merck Graduate Dissertation Science Research Fellowship, the American Physiological Society Minority Travel Award, the American Physiological Society Water and Electrolyte Homeostasis Postdoctoral Research with Distinction Award, and the American Heart Association’s Council on Hypertension New Investigator’s Award.

Her laboratory has research focus in two major areas. The first is related to understanding how immune system activation mechanistically promotes the pathogenesis of hypertension and intrauterine growth restriction during pregnancy. Using multiple experimental models of preeclampsia, her lab investigates the renal and vascular mechanisms during preeclampsia and how they are influenced by inflammatory and cytotoxic immune cells and mediators. The second is related to understanding mechanisms that lead to the development of multi-organ injury during sepsis. Patients with sepsis have increased platelet activation are prone to develop multi-organ failure and have poor clinical outcomes. Her laboratory uses a modified cecal ligation and puncture model that mimics characteristics of sepsis to investigate an important role for activated platelets in the development of multi-organ injury in sepsis.