Nitin Puri

Nitin Puri, MD/PhD
Associate Dean of
Medical Education, Associate Professor
(304) 691-8828

Research Interest 

My research interest lies in the investigations of the (dys)functional regulation of the cardio-vascular, renal and metabolic systems. During my graduate training, I was very interested in cellular redox mechanisms and their role in the regulation of cardiovascular function. I examined the interplay of the heme-heme oxygenase system, a crucial cellular antioxidant pathway, with reactive species and gases including, carbon monoxide, nitric oxide, and hydrogen peroxide. I uncovered a novel regulatory pathway that governs the dual vascular effects hydrogen peroxide on the renal vasculature. We showed that broad-spectrum antioxidants can condition the renal vascular response to hydrogen peroxide, which can cause vasodilation via increased heme oxygenase activity and carbon monoxide production. In the absence of such conditioning, hydrogen peroxide interferes with heme oxygenase activity and causes thromboxane-induced vasoconstriction. I further pursued my interests in redox biology and heme-heme oxygenase system, in the regulation of cardio-metabolic systems, during my postdoctoral fellowship and early years as a junior faculty. My interests expanded to the study of the human mesenchymal cells, and their regulation by oxidative stress. I published a number of manuscripts, with my co-authors, on the effects of reactive oxygen species on the adipogenic potential of human MSCs. We demonstrated the protective role of the heme-heme oxygenase system in this setting and established alternate therapeutic options for obesity.