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Donald Gerecke Ph.D.

Associate Professor Rutgers University – Ernest Mario School of PharmacyEOHSI – Toxicology
Address EOHSI Room 410 170 Frelinghuysen Rd Piscataway NJ 08854 Phone: 848-445-0233 Fax: 732-445-0119
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Biographical Info

Dr Gerecke received his BS in Animal Science (1972) and MS in Entomology and Economic Zoology (1976) from Rutgers University. Upon graduation, Dr Gerecke worked over ten years as a research pesticide chemist, first at UniRoyal and then at Rhone-Poulenc. He next entered the Anatomy and Cellular Biology graduate program at Harvard University where he obtained his PhD in 1992. He spent the next five years as a research fellow and instructor at Harvard Medical School Department of Dermatology.

Dr Gerecke is presently an Associate Professor in the Pharmacology & Toxicology Department at the Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy, Rutgers University, where he teaches in the PharmD, Graduate program in Toxicology, and undergraduate Arts and Sciences programs. His research program has been continuously funded by the NIH and the Department of Defense since 2001. He has trained 3 M.S. and Ph.D. students, mentored 23 Pharmacy students and is currently supervising 1 Ph.D. and 2 Pharm.D Honor students.

Research Areas

Dr. Gerecke’s research is focused on the effects of alkylating agents on skin. His laboratory is determining the molecular mechanisms of alkylating agents on skin and from that knowledge, testing countermeasure compounds to alleviate the initial lesions, or speed wound repair without scarring. mechanisms and applications of biopharmaceutics and polymers to drug delivery and targeting. His laboratory is located in the Environmental and Occupational Health Institute. Current research is funded by a grant from the NIH/NIAMS (U54 AR055073).

Research Highlights

Skin, Laminins, Collagens, and Extra Cellular Matrix, with particular interest in skin wound repair and countermeasures to sulfur mustard damage.

Scholarly Activities

  • 1995-1996 Dermatology Foundation Fellowship Award, “The role of type XII collagen in hair follicle morphogenesis.”
  • 1995 Invited as “Expert Guest Researcher” for collaborative research at the institute of Pathological Anatomy, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
  • 1993-1995 NIH postdoctoral dermatology training grant
  • 1988-1989 Jefferies Wyman Scholarship, Harvard University
  • 1985-1988 NIH Predoctoral Trainee, Harvard Medical School, Harvard University

Recent Publications

  1. Gordon, MK, DeSantis-Rodrigues, A, Hahn, R, Zhou, P, Chang, Y, Svoboda, KK, Gerecke, DR. The molecules in the corneal basement membrane zone affected by mustard exposure suggest potential therapies. Ann. N. Y. Acad. Sci. 2016;1378 (1):158-165. doi: 10.1111/nyas.13226. PubMed PMID:27737494 PubMed Central PMC5221489
  2. Composto, GM, Laskin, JD, Laskin, DL, Gerecke, DR, Casillas, RP, Heindel, ND, Joseph, LB, Heck, DE. Mitigation of nitrogen mustard mediated skin injury by a novel indomethacin bifunctional prodrug. Exp. Mol. Pathol. 2016;100 (3):522-31. doi: 10.1016/j.yexmp.2016.05.008. PubMed PMID:27189522 PubMed Central PMC4947376
  3. Wohlman, IM, Composto, GM, Heck, DE, Heindel, ND, Lacey, CJ, Guillon, CD, Casillas, RP, Croutch, CR, Gerecke, DR, Laskin, DL et al.. Mustard vesicants alter expression of the endocannabinoid system in mouse skin. Toxicol. Appl. Pharmacol. 2016;303 :30-44. doi: 10.1016/j.taap.2016.04.014. PubMed PMID:27125198 PubMed Central PMC4947375
  4. DeSantis-Rodrigues, A, Chang, YC, Hahn, RA, Po, IP, Zhou, P, Lacey, CJ, Pillai, A, C Young, S, Flowers, RA 2nd, Gallo, MA et al.. ADAM17 Inhibitors Attenuate Corneal Epithelial Detachment Induced by Mustard Exposure. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2016;57 (4):1687-98. doi: 10.1167/iovs.15-17269. PubMed PMID:27058125 PubMed Central PMC4829087
  5. Chang, YC, Wang, JD, Hahn, RA, Gordon, MK, Joseph, LB, Heck, DE, Heindel, ND, Young, SC, Sinko, PJ, Casillas, RP et al.. Therapeutic potential of a non-steroidal bifunctional anti-inflammatory and anti-cholinergic agent against skin injury induced by sulfur mustard. Toxicol. Appl. Pharmacol. 2014;280 (2):236-44. doi: 10.1016/j.taap.2014.07.016. PubMed PMID:25127551 PubMed Central PMC4254337
  6. Joseph, LB, Heck, DE, Cervelli, JA, Composto, GM, Babin, MC, Casillas, RP, Sinko, PJ, Gerecke, DR, Laskin, DL, Laskin, JD et al.. Structural changes in hair follicles and sebaceous glands of hairless mice following exposure to sulfur mustard. Exp. Mol. Pathol. 2014;96 (3):316-27. doi: 10.1016/j.yexmp.2014.03.002. PubMed PMID:24662110 PubMed Central PMC4120277
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Categories: Faculty, Toxicology
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