Department of Physiology and Pharmacology

Beata Lecka-Czernik

Professor
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery
with a joint appointment in the Department of Physiology & Pharmacology

Phone:  (419) 383-4140
FAX:  (419) 383-2871

E-mail: 
beata.leckaczernik@utoledo.edu



Training
     
     •  M.S., Biology, 1980, Warsaw University, Warsaw, Poland
     •  Ph.D., Genetics, Institute of Biochemistry and Biophysics, Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw, Poland
     •  Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, Arkansas

Appointments   

     •  Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Genetics, Institute of Biochemistry and Biophysics, Polish Academy
        of Sciences, Warsaw, Poland, 1985-1988
     •  Research Associate and Adjunct, Department of Genetics, Institute of Biochemistry and Biophysics, 
        Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw, Poland, 1988-1990
     •  Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Gerontology, University of Arkansas
         for Medical Sciences (UAMS), Little Rock Arkansas, 1991-1995
     •  Research Assistant Professor, Department of Geriatrics and Reynolds Center on Aging, UAMS, Little 
        Rock, Arkansas, 1995-2004
     •  Faculty Member of the Arkansas Cancer Research Center, UAMS, Little Rock, Arkansas, 2003-2007
     •  Associate Professor, Geriatric Research (non-tentured track), Department of Geriatrics and Reynolds
        Institute on Aging, UAMS, Little Rock, Arkansas, 2005-2007
     •  Professor, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery with a joint appointment in the Department of 
        Physiology & Pharmacology, University of Toledo College of Medicine, Health Science Campus,
        Toledo, Ohio, 2007-present

Research Interests:

Diabetes, obesity, and osteoporosis are major public health concerns due to their prevalence in our increasingly sedentary and aging society. The peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma (PPARg) transcription factor is a protein that regulates glucose metabolism and energy expenditure. This protein also regulates lineage commitment of bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (MSC). PPARg protein is a target for a class of anti-diabetic drugs TZDs, which decrease glucose levels and increase insulin sensitivity. Although their beneficial anti-diabetic profile, prolonged treatment with these drugs leads to the bone loss and increased number of bone fractures in diabetic patients. Dr. Lecka-Czernik's research has demonstrated that TZDs affect bone mass by changing lineage commitment of MSC toward formation of fat cells (adipocytes) and away from formation of bone forming cells (osteoblast). As a result, TZD administration to animals, as well as to humans, leads to the bone loss and the gain of fat in the bone marrow. Her research also demonstrated that the similar mechanism involving PPARg protein is responsible for bone loss with aging.

Ongoing research projects:

1. Development of an animal model of therapeutic intervention to prevent TZD-associated bone loss.
2.   Improve bone fracture healing in diabetic patients by means of stem cell-based and siRNA-based therapies.
3.  Determine age- and diabetes-related mechanisms which decrease MSC potential to regenerate bone. 


Please see the complete list of Dr. Lecka-Czernik's publications here

Last Updated: 8/9/17