Matthew C. Zimmerman

Matthew C. Zimmerman
Curriculum Vitae

Associate Professor and Director of Free Radical in Medicine Program
Ph.D. 2004, University of Iowa
Specialty: Free Radical Biology
Major Interest: Role of reactive oxygen species produced in neuron Mitochondria in the pathogenesis of hypertension; Delivery of nanoformulated superoxide dismutase (SOD) protein to central neurons

Hypertension (high blood pressure) is a cardiovascular disease associated with increased activity of brain cells called neurons. Elevated levels of molecules called reactive oxygen species (ROS) in neurons have been shown to be involved in the development and progression of hypertension. My laboratory investigates the precise location of ROS generation in neurons and how these ROS control neuronal activation. We are particularly interested in mitochondrial-produced ROS and how these signaling intermediates regulate redox-sensitive proteins that ultimately control neuronal ion channel activity. In addition, we investigate how antioxidant enzymes in neurons may work to decrease neuronal activation and lower blood pressure. In examining these unknowns, the laboratory strives to advance opportunities to develop new therapeutics that may need to be targeted to specific neuronal cell populations and/or subcellular compartments for the improved treatment of hypertension. One such new therapy that we are currently investigating, in collaboration with UNMC’s Center for Drug Delivery and Nanomedicine (CDDN), is an antioxidant protein, called superoxide dismutase (SOD), wrapped by very small polymers to make what has been called, SOD nanozyme. We have shown that SOD nanozyme is taken up by neurons resulting in increased levels of functional SOD within the cell. In addition to examining the therapeutic efficacy of SOD nanozyme in animal models of hypertension, future studies will be designed to determine if new antioxidant therapeutics can be targeted to specific subcellular compartments to decrease levels of the damaging ROS.

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Recent Publications:

  1. Zucker I.H., Zimmerman M.C.  The renin-angiotensin system in 2011: new avenues for translational research. Curr Opin Pharmacol. 2011; 11(2):101-4. PMID: 21371939.
  2. Zimmerman M.C., Takapoo M., Jagadeesha D.K., Stanic B., Banfi B., Bhalla R.C., Miller F.J.  Activation of NADPH oxidase 1 increases intracellular calcium and migration of smooth muscle cells. Hypertension.2011; 58(3):446-53. PMCID: 21810651 - PMC3160712.
  3. Deo S.H., Fisher J.P., Vianna L.C., Kim A., Chockalingam A., Zimmerman M.C., Zucker I.H., Fadel P.J. Statin therapy lowers muscle sympathetic nerve activity and oxidative stress in patients with heart failure. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 2012; 303(3):H377-85. PMID: 22661508 – PMC3423160.
  4. Tong J., Yi X., Luxenhofer R., Banks W.A., Jordan R., Zimmerman M.C., Kabanov A.V. Conjugates of superoxide dismutase 1 with amphiphilic poly(2-oxazoline) block copolymers for enhanced brain delivery: synthesis, characterization, and evaluation in vitro and in vivo. Mol Pharm. 2012; [Epub ahead of print]. PMID: 23163230  - PMC3570234.
  5. Rosenbaugh E.G., Savalia K.K., Manickam D.S., Zimmerman M.C. Antioxidant-based therapies for angiotensin II-associated cardiovascular diseases. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. 2013; 304: R917–R928  PMID: 2355249 - PMC3680755