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Hyperbaric Medicine Research

Stephen Thom, MD, PhD, directs research in his laboratory in the Division of Hyperbaric Medicine. His is directed towards elucidating the mechanisms, progression and consequences of endothelial cell oxidative stress caused by exposure to carbon monoxide (CO). The specific aims relate to evaluation of the biochemical events and functional deficits which follow acute perivascular oxidative injury associated with CO poisoning in rats and in bovine pulmonary artery endothelial cell cultures.

In addition to an elucidation of pathophysiological events, work also has focused on treatment modalities. These include hyperbaric oxygen therapy, which appears to work by inhibiting neutrophil 2 integrin adhesion molecules and thus one of the many inflammatory responses which follows endothelial stimulation. This direction of research has led to studies in new areas such as leukocyte sequestration, functional neurological deficits, and the ameliorating potential of hyperbaric oxygen in a rat model of temporary focal cerebral ischemia.

To learn more, visit the Institute for Environmental Medicine web site.