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Otago Medical School staff profiles

Dr Joanne Harrison

PositionSenior Research Fellow
DepartmentDepartment of Pharmacology and Toxicology
QualificationsBSc DPhil
Research summaryCardiorenal protection and novel pesticide development

Research

Interests: ischaemic heart disease, heart failure, heme oxygenase, carbon monoxide, inflammation, apoptosis, stress signaling, renal transplant preservation, cardiorenal syndrome, novel pesticides.

I am a Senior Research Fellow currently funded by the Foundation for Research Science and Technology, working in the Cardio-Renal Protection Group, with Dr Ivan Sammut. We are investigating a variety of compounds that may protect against ischaemic injury. This process can arises, for example, as a result of diminished blood flow to heart muscle during events such as angina and cardiac surgery. We are also interested in studying renal injury, particularly as a consequence of diabetes and in protecting kidney transplants from ischaemia reperfusion injury. We use a number of clinically relevant models of ischaemia reperfusion injury including coronary artery ligation, isolated perfused heart, kidney transplantation and cardiomyocyte cultures. These various models allow us to study the effects of ischaemia reperfusion on cardiac and renal haemodynamics and bio-energetics. I have also employed molecular assays to examine markers of apoptosis/necrosis, inflammation and stress signalling. Pharmacological compounds under current investigation include the heme oxygenase metabolites: bilirubin and carbon monoxide, and their effects alone and in combination with more established drugs such as Losartan and Pentoxifylline.

We are also working in collaboration with Lincoln and Auckland Universities, the Department of Conservation and Connovation Ltd on the development of novel pesticides with increased species targeting and reduced environmental impacts. Other published studies include work on: the novel mitochondrially targeted anti-oxidant MitoQ (in collaboration with Professor Robin Smith, Department of Chemistry and Professor Michael Murphy, The Dunn Institute, UK), spermine and clomethiazole (in association with Dr Ian Appleton, Pharmacology) and on Domoic acid in collaboration with Dr Steve Kerr (Pharmacology). These studies were supported by funding from the New Zealand National Heart Foundation, Lottery Health, National Kidney Foundation and the University of Otago Research Committee.

Publications

Yao, Y., Fomison-Nurse, I. C., Harrison, J. C., Walker, R. J., Davis, G., & Sammut, I. A. (2014). Chronic bilateral renal denervation attenuates renal injury in a transgenic rat model of diabetic nephropathy. American Journal of Physiology: Renal Physiology, 307, F251-F262. doi: 10.1152/ajprenal.00578.2013

Read, M. I., Andreianova, A. A., Harrison, J. C., Goulton, C. S., Sammut, I. A., & Kerr, D. S. (2014). Cardiac electrographic and morphological changes following status epilepticus: Effect of clonidine. Seizure, 23(1), 55-61. doi: 10.1016/j.seizure.2013.09.012

Garrett, A. T., Goosens, N. G., Rehrer, N. J., Patterson, M. J., Harrison, J., Sammut, I., & Cotter, J. D. (2014). Short-term heat acclimation is effective and may be enhanced rather than impaired by dehydration. American Journal of Human Biology, 26(3), 311-320. doi: 10.1002/ajhb.22509

Sutherland, B. A., Harrison, J. C., Nair, S. M., & Sammut, I. A. (2013). Inhalation gases or gaseous mediators as neuroprotectants for cerebral ischaemia. Current Drug Targets, 14(1), 56-73. doi: 10.2174/138945013804806433

Winburn, I. C., Gunatunga, K., McKernan, R. D., Walker, R. J., Sammut, I. A., & Harrison, J. C. (2012). Cell damage following carbon monoxide releasing molecule exposure: Implications for therapeutic applications. Basic & Clinical Pharmacology & Toxicology, 111(1), 31-41. doi: 10.1111/j.1742-7843.2012.00856.x

Journal - Research Article

Read, M. I., Andreianova, A. A., Harrison, J. C., Goulton, C. S., Sammut, I. A., & Kerr, D. S. (2014). Cardiac electrographic and morphological changes following status epilepticus: Effect of clonidine. Seizure, 23(1), 55-61. doi: 10.1016/j.seizure.2013.09.012

Yao, Y., Fomison-Nurse, I. C., Harrison, J. C., Walker, R. J., Davis, G., & Sammut, I. A. (2014). Chronic bilateral renal denervation attenuates renal injury in a transgenic rat model of diabetic nephropathy. American Journal of Physiology: Renal Physiology, 307, F251-F262. doi: 10.1152/ajprenal.00578.2013

Garrett, A. T., Goosens, N. G., Rehrer, N. J., Patterson, M. J., Harrison, J., Sammut, I., & Cotter, J. D. (2014). Short-term heat acclimation is effective and may be enhanced rather than impaired by dehydration. American Journal of Human Biology, 26(3), 311-320. doi: 10.1002/ajhb.22509

Sutherland, B. A., Harrison, J. C., Nair, S. M., & Sammut, I. A. (2013). Inhalation gases or gaseous mediators as neuroprotectants for cerebral ischaemia. Current Drug Targets, 14(1), 56-73. doi: 10.2174/138945013804806433

Winburn, I. C., Gunatunga, K., McKernan, R. D., Walker, R. J., Sammut, I. A., & Harrison, J. C. (2012). Cell damage following carbon monoxide releasing molecule exposure: Implications for therapeutic applications. Basic & Clinical Pharmacology & Toxicology, 111(1), 31-41. doi: 10.1111/j.1742-7843.2012.00856.x

Vranyac-Tramoundanas, A., Harrison, J. C., Sawant, P. M., Kerr, D. S., & Sammut, I. A. (2011). Ischemic cardiomyopathy following seizure induction by domoic acid. American Journal of Pathology, 179(1), 141-154. doi: 10.1016/j.ajpath.2011.03.017

Vranyac-Tramoundanas, A., Harrison, J. C., Clarkson, A. N., Kapoor, M., Winburn, I. C., Kerr, D. S., & Sammut, I. A. (2008). Domoic acid impairment of cardiac energetics. Toxicological Sciences, 105(2), 395-407. doi: 10.1093/toxsci/kfn132

Adlam, V. J., Harrison, J. C., Porteous, C. M., James, A. M., Smith, R. A. J., Murphy, M. P., & Sammut, I. A. (2005). Targeting an antioxidant to mitochondria decreases cardiac ischemia-reperfusion injury. FASEB Journal, 19, 1088-1095.

Hesp, B. R., Harrison, J. C., Selwood, A. I., Holland, P. T., & Kerr, D. S. (2005). Detection of domoic acid in rat serum and brain by direct competitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (cELISA). Analytical & Bioanalytical Chemistry, 383(5), 783-786.

Clarkson, A. N., Liu, H., Pearson, L., Kapoor, M., Harrison, J. C., Sammut, I. A., Jackson, D. M., & Appleton, I. (2004). Neuroprotective effects of spermine following hypoxia-ischemia-induced brain damage: A mechanistic study. FASEB Journal, 18(10), 1114-1116.

Sammut, I. A., & Harrison, J. C. (2003). Cardiac mitochondrial complex activity is enchanced by heat shock proteins. Clinical & Experimental Pharmacology & Physiology, 30, 110-115.

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