Dr. Busija received his Ph.D. from the University of Kansas and completed his post-doctoral training at the Cardiovascular Center at the University of Iowa under the direction of Dr. Donald D. Heistad. Following faculty positions at Johns Hopkins Medical School, the University of Tennessee Medical School in Memphis, and Wake Forest University Health Sciences, Dr. Busija became Regents Professor and Chairman of the Department of Pharmacology at Tulane University Medical Center on January 1, 2011. The continuing collaboration has resulted in more than 55 joint publications. He also has long-standing professional relationships with Semmelweis Medical School in Budapest, Hungary, and Keio Medical School in Tokyo, Japan. His laboratory, which is supported by four grants from the National Institutes of Health, has published over 270 original articles, reviews, and book chapters on various aspects of vascular and brain physiology and pathology. He also has a record of success in training a diverse array of students, fellows, and younger faculty in his laboratory to be independent scientists. His scientific areas of interest focus on the control of the brain vasculature during normal and disease conditions such as insulin resistance and stroke, cellular protective mechanisms in neurons and astroglia, and the biology of mitochondria.
Current studies address: 1) the effects of reactive oxygen species derived from the NAD(P)H oxidase system and mitochondria on the function of cerebral resistance arteries and brain in insulin resistant animals; 2) the molecular characterization of ATP-sensitive potassium channels in brain mitochondria and the role of these channels in protecting the brain against injury; 3) the molecular characterization of cyclooxygenase isoforms in vascular and neural tissues following injury; and 4) the physiology and pathology of the perinatal cerebral circulation.
Dr. Busija has a well established, diverse research program, focusing on the role of mitochondrial ATP-sensitive potassium channels in tissue and cellular protection, the regulation of expression of cyclooxygenase isoforms in vascular and brain cells, the pathophysiology of cerebral ischemia, and mechanisms of vascular dysfunction and increased neuronal injury related to insulin resistance. This program integrates traditional biochemical, pharmacological and physiological approaches in laboratory animals with up-to-date techniques in cell culture and molecular biology. In the last several years, Dr. Busija played a leadership role in several research areas and was the first investigator to target the mitochondrial KATP channels to protect the brain against ischemic and chemical challenges, the first to clone the rat and mouse COX-3 isoforms, and the first to examine effects of insulin resistance on the cerebral circulation and to define the role of NAD(P)H oxidase and mitochondria in resultant cerebral vascular dysfunction.
Developing approaches for protecting cerebral arteries, the blood-brain barriers, and the brain again age-related illnesses such as insulin resistance/diabetes and stroke.