Clinical Focus

  • Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery

Academic Appointments

Professional Education

  • Residency: University of Massachusetts GME Office (2021) MA
  • Medical Education: UC Irvine School of Medicine (2015) CA

All Publications

  • Gpr124 is essential for blood-brain barrier integrity in central nervous system disease NATURE MEDICINE Chang, J., Mancuso, M. R., Maier, C., Liang, X., Yuki, K., Yang, L., Kwong, J. W., Wang, J., Rao, V., Vallon, M., Kosinski, C., Zhang, J. J., Mah, A. T., Xu, L., Li, L., Gholamin, S., Reyes, T. F., Li, R., Kuhnert, F., Han, X., Yuan, J., Chiou, S., Brettman, A. D., Daly, L., Corney, D. C., Cheshier, S. H., Shortliffe, L. D., Wu, X., Snyder, M., Chan, P., Giffard, R. G., Chang, H. Y., Andreasson, K., Kuo, C. J. 2017; 23 (4): 450-?


    Although blood-brain barrier (BBB) compromise is central to the etiology of diverse central nervous system (CNS) disorders, endothelial receptor proteins that control BBB function are poorly defined. The endothelial G-protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) Gpr124 has been reported to be required for normal forebrain angiogenesis and BBB function in mouse embryos, but the role of this receptor in adult animals is unknown. Here Gpr124 conditional knockout (CKO) in the endothelia of adult mice did not affect homeostatic BBB integrity, but resulted in BBB disruption and microvascular hemorrhage in mouse models of both ischemic stroke and glioblastoma, accompanied by reduced cerebrovascular canonical Wnt-β-catenin signaling. Constitutive activation of Wnt-β-catenin signaling fully corrected the BBB disruption and hemorrhage defects of Gpr124-CKO mice, with rescue of the endothelial gene tight junction, pericyte coverage and extracellular-matrix deficits. We thus identify Gpr124 as an endothelial GPCR specifically required for endothelial Wnt signaling and BBB integrity under pathological conditions in adult mice. This finding implicates Gpr124 as a potential therapeutic target for human CNS disorders characterized by BBB disruption.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/nm.4309

    View details for PubMedID 28288111

  • Topical Minocycline Effectively Decontaminates and Reduces Inflammation in Infected Porcine Wounds. Plastic and reconstructive surgery Daly, L. T., Tsai, D. M., Singh, M., Nuutila, K., Minasian, R. A., Lee, C. C., Kiwanuka, E., Hackl, F., Onderdonk, A. B., Junker, J. P., Eriksson, E., Caterson, E. J. 2016; 138 (5): 856e-868e


    Wound infection can impair postoperative healing. Topical antibiotics have potential to treat wound infection and inflammation and minimize the adverse effects associated with systemic antibiotics.Full-thickness porcine wounds were infected with Staphylococcus aureus. Using polyurethane wound enclosure devices, wounds were treated with topical 100 μg/ml minocycline, topical 1000 μg/ml minocycline, topical saline control, or 4 mg/kg intravenous minocycline. Bacteria were quantified in wound tissue and fluid obtained over 9 hours. Immunosorbent assays were used to analyze inflammatory marker concentrations. Minocycline's effect on in vitro migration and proliferation of human keratinocytes and fibroblasts was tested using scratch assays and metabolic assays, respectively.After 6 hours, 100 and 1000 μg/ml topical minocycline decreased bacteria in wound tissue to 3.5 ± 0.87 and 2.9 ± 2.3 log colony-forming units/g respectively, compared to 8.3 ± 0.9 log colony-forming units/g in control wounds (p < 0.001) and 6.9 ± 0.2 log colony-forming units/g in wounds treated with 4 mg/kg intravenous minocycline (p < 0.01). After 2 hours, topical minocycline reduced concentrations of the inflammatory cytokines interleukin-1β, interleukin-6, and tumor necrosis factor-α (p < 0.01), and inflammatory cell counts in wound tissue (p < 0.05). In noninfected wounds, topical minocycline significantly reduced interleukin-1β, interleukin-6, and inflammatory cell counts after 4 hours (p < 0.01). Matrix metalloproteinase-9 concentrations decreased after 1-hour treatment (p < 0.05). Keratinocyte and fibroblast in vitro functions were not adversely affected by 10 μg/ml minocycline or less.Topical minocycline significantly reduces bacterial burden and inflammation in infected wounds compared with wounds treated with intravenous minocycline or control wounds. Minocycline also decreases local inflammation independently of its antimicrobial effect.

    View details for DOI 10.1097/PRS.0000000000002633

    View details for PubMedID 27782997

  • Full-thickness porcine burns infected with Staphylococcus aureus or Pseudomonas aeruginosa can be effectively treated with topical antibiotics. Wound repair and regeneration : official publication of the Wound Healing Society [and] the European Tissue Repair Society Tsai, D. M., Tracy, L. E., Lee, C. C., Hackl, F., Kiwanuka, E., Minasian, R. A., Onderdonk, A., Junker, J. P., Eriksson, E., Caterson, E. J. 2016; 24 (2): 356-65


    Burn and blast injuries are frequently complicated by invasive infections, which lead to poor wound healing, delay in treatment, disability, or death. Traditional approach centers on early debridement, fluid resuscitation, and adjunct intravenous antibiotics. These modalities often prove inadequate in burns, where compromised local vasculature limits the tissue penetration of systemic antibiotics. Here, we demonstrate the treatment of infected burns with topical delivery of ultrahigh concentrations of antibiotics. Standardized burns were inoculated with Staphylococcus aureus or Pseudomonas aeruginosa. After debridement, burns were treated with either gentamicin (2 mg/mL) or minocycline (1 mg/mL) at concentrations greater than 1,000 times the minimum inhibitory concentration. Amount of bacteria was quantified in tissue biopsies and wound fluid following treatment. After six days of gentamicin or minocycline treatment, S. aureus counts decreased from 4.2 to 0.31 and 0.72 log CFU/g in tissue, respectively. Similarly, P. aeruginosa counts decreased from 2.5 to 0.0 and 1.5 log CFU/g in tissue, respectively. Counts of both S. aureus and P. aeruginosa remained at a baseline of 0.0 log CFU/mL in wound fluid for both treatment groups. The findings here demonstrate that super-therapeutic concentrations of antibiotics delivered topically can rapidly reduce bacterial counts in infected full-thickness porcine burns. This treatment approach may aid wound bed preparation and accelerate time to grafting.

    View details for DOI 10.1111/wrr.12409

    View details for PubMedID 26800421

  • Extracellular Matrix and Dermal Fibroblast Function in the Healing Wound. Advances in wound care Tracy, L. E., Minasian, R. A., Caterson, E. J. 2016; 5 (3): 119-136


    Significance: Fibroblasts play a critical role in normal wound healing. Various extracellular matrix (ECM) components, including collagens, fibrin, fibronectin, proteoglycans, glycosaminoglycans, and matricellular proteins, can be considered potent protagonists of fibroblast survival, migration, and metabolism. Recent Advances: Advances in tissue culture, tissue engineering, and ex vivo models have made the examination and precise measurements of ECM components in wound healing possible. Likewise, the development of specific transgenic animal models has created the opportunity to characterize the role of various ECM molecules in healing wounds. In addition, the recent characterization of new ECM molecules, including matricellular proteins, dermatopontin, and FACIT collagens (Fibril-Associated Collagens with Interrupted Triple helices), further demonstrates our cursory knowledge of the ECM in coordinated wound healing. Critical Issues: The manipulation and augmentation of ECM components in the healing wound is emerging in patient care, as demonstrated by the use of acellular dermal matrices, tissue scaffolds, and wound dressings or topical products bearing ECM proteins such as collagen, hyaluronan (HA), or elastin. Once thought of as neutral structural proteins, these molecules are now known to directly influence many aspects of cellular wound healing. Future Directions: The role that ECM molecules, such as CCN2, osteopontin, and secreted protein, acidic and rich in cysteine, play in signaling homing of fibroblast progenitor cells to sites of injury invites future research as we continue investigating the heterotopic origin of certain populations of fibroblasts in a healing wound. Likewise, research into differently sized fragments of the same polymeric ECM molecule is warranted as we learn that fragments of molecules such as HA and tenascin-C can have opposing effects on dermal fibroblasts.

    View details for DOI 10.1089/wound.2014.0561

    View details for PubMedID 26989578

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC4779293

  • Topical delivery of ultrahigh concentrations of gentamicin is highly effective in reducing bacterial levels in infected porcine full-thickness wounds. Plastic and reconstructive surgery Junker, J. P., Lee, C. C., Samaan, S., Hackl, F., Kiwanuka, E., Minasian, R. A., Tsai, D. M., Tracy, L. E., Onderdonk, A. B., Eriksson, E., Caterson, E. J. 2015; 135 (1): 151-159


    Injury to the skin can predispose individuals to invasive infection. The standard of care for infected wounds is treatment with intravenous antibiotics. However, antibiotics delivered intravenously may have poor tissue penetration and be dose limited by systemic side effects. Topical delivery of antibiotics reduces systemic complications and delivers increased drug concentrations directly to the wound.Porcine full-thickness wounds infected with Staphylococcus aureus were treated with ultrahigh concentrations (over 1000 times the minimum inhibitory concentration) of gentamicin using an incubator-like wound healing platform. The aim of the present study was to evaluate clearance of infection and reduction in inflammation following treatment. Gentamicin cytotoxicity was evaluated by in vitro assays.Application of 2000 μg/ml gentamicin decreased bacterial counts in wound tissue from 7.2 ± 0.3 log colony-forming units/g to 2.6 ± 0.6 log colony-forming units/g in 6 hours, with no reduction observed in saline controls (p < 0.005). Bacterial counts in wound fluid decreased from 5.7 ± 0.9 log colony-forming units/ml to 0.0 ± 0 log colony-forming units/ml in 1 hour, with no reduction observed in saline controls (p < 0.005). Levels of interleukin-1β were significantly reduced in gentamicin-treated wounds compared with saline controls (p < 0.005). In vitro, keratinocyte migration and proliferation were reduced at gentamicin concentrations between 100 and 1000 μg/ml.Topical delivery of ultrahigh concentrations of gentamicin rapidly decontaminates acutely infected wounds and maintains safe systemic levels. Treatment of infected wounds using the proposed methodology protects the wound and establishes a favorable baseline for subsequent treatment.

    View details for DOI 10.1097/PRS.0000000000000801

    View details for PubMedID 25539303

  • Transillumination of the occult submucous cleft palate. The Journal of craniofacial surgery Caterson, E. J., Tsai, D. M., Cauley, R., Dowdall, J. R., Tracy, L. E. 2014; 25 (6): 2160-3


    Occult submucous cleft palate is a congenital deformity characterized by deficient union of the muscles that normally cross the velum and aid in elevation of the soft palate. Despite this insufficient muscle coverage, occult submucous cleft palate by definition lacks clear external anatomic landmarks. This absence of anatomic signs makes diagnosis of occult submucous cleft less obvious, more dependent on ancillary tests, and potentially missed entirely. Current diagnostic methodologies are limited and often are unrevealing in the presurgical patient; however, a missed diagnosis of occult submucous cleft palate can result in velopharyngeal insufficiency and major functional impairment in patients after surgery on the oropharynx. By accurately and easily diagnosing occult submucous cleft palate, it is possible to defer or modify pharyngeal surgical intervention that may further impair velopharyngeal function in susceptible patients. In this report, we introduce transillumination of the soft palate using a transnasal or transoral flexible endoscope as an inexpensive and simple technique for identification of submucous cleft palate. The use of transillumination of an occult submucous cleft palate is illustrated in a patient case and is compared to other current diagnostic methodologies.

    View details for DOI 10.1097/SCS.0000000000001159

    View details for PubMedID 25318442