Terrence E. Riehl, PhD
Associate Professor of Medicine
Dr. Riehl joined the laboratory of Dr. William F. Stenson in the Division of Gastroenterology in 1987. He received his Masters degree at Rutgers University (1976) and his PhD at Ohio University (1981) in Plant Physiology. He completed Post Doctoral studies at Wake Forest University in the Department of biology, in the area of Developmental Plant Physiology, and in the Department of Chemistry, in the area of micellar chemistry and membrane mimetics. Dr. Riehl’s current research in the area of intestinal injury and repair is carried out under the guidance of Dr. Stenson.
Cyclooxygenase-1 (COX-1) and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) are the enzymes that convert arachidonic acid to prostaglandins (PG). Dr. Riehl uses a variety of knockout mouse models to study the role of prostaglandins, most notably PGE2 , in the host response to intestinal injury. Mouse models of injury have included gamma radiation, DSS, and enteric infection. We have found that in response to injury COX-2 and PGE2 are crucial in the downstream signaling events leading to the activation of Toll-like receptors, which are an important component of the innate immune system. We have also found that improvement of injury, as observed histologically, i.e. reduced apoptosis, and by improved clinical scores, can be afforded by such disparate agents as lipopolysaccharide, azoxymethane, and hyaluronic acid.
Dr. Riehl also collaborates with other researchers within and outside the Division of Gastroenterology in the interest of learning more about the role of cyclooxygenases and their products in the digestive and other organ systems.