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William Parker, PhD

Associate Professor of Surgery
Office: 487 Med Sci Res Bldg, Durham, NC 27710
Campus Mail: DUMC Box 2605 Med Ctr, Durham, NC 27710

1. Transplantation: We have been studying transplantation and organ rejection now for about 25 years. Work through the years has included extensive study of xenotransplantation and aspiration-induced pulmonary rejection, with Jeffrey Platt, Randy Bollinger, Duane Davis, and Shu Lin. New studies with organ preservation and Dr. Andrew Barbas are now underway.

2. Gut immunity: Research has focused on the promicrobial aspects of the immune system. In collaboration with Dr. Randy Bollinger, we have focused on the model of "immune inclusion" in the gut. Earlier work led to a determination of the apparent function of the human vermiform appendix. Ongoing studies are aimed at probing the evolution of the microbiota in the gut in response to changing environments, a process that may be important in a wide range of inflammatory diseases.

3. Protein folding: Research has focused on the potential role of amphiphilic α-helical potential in the folding of all proteins, including predominantly β-sheet proteins. We are currently conducting experiments aimed at evaluating the working hypothesis that α-helical "dormant domains" are involved in the folding of β-sheet proteins.

4. The biota alteration theory, or biome depletion theory: What is widely known as the “hygiene hypothesis” is more appropriately described as the biota alteration or biome depletion theory: Changes in symbiont composition in the ecosystem of the human body in Western culture has led to immune dysfunction and subsequent disease. We are working on several aspects of this theory. Our earlier studies probe the immunological differences between laboratory-raised and wild-raised animals as a means of assessing differences between humans with and without Western culture, respectively. Other studies probe the role of biome enrichment, in particular the addition of helminths, in the treatment of disease. Studies are ongoing in both humans and in animals, with particular attention to the role of biome depletion in cognitive dysfunction.

Education and Training

  • Ph.D., University of Nebraska Omaha, 1992

Publications

Kou, HH, and Parker, W. "Intestinal worms eating neuropsychiatric disorders? Apparently so." Brain Research 1693, no. Pt B (August 2018): 218-221.

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Freischlag, K, Ezekian, B, Schroder, P, Everitt, J, Yoon, J, Swiderska-Syn, M, Parker, W, Diehl, A, Kwun, J, and Knechtle, S. "Long-Term HIF-1 alpha Stabilization is Associated with Fibrosis in Rat Lung Allografts." American Transplant Congress. Seattle, WA. June 2, 2018 - June 6, 2018.: WILEY, June 1, 2018.

Scholars@Duke

Freischlag, K, Ezekian, B, Schroder, P, Everitt, J, Yoon, J, Swiderska-Syn, M, Parker, W, Diehl, A, Kwun, J, and Knechtle, S. "Long-Term HIF-1 alpha Stabilization is Associated with Fibrosis in Rat Lung Allografts." American Transplant Congress. Seattle, WA. June 2, 2018 - June 6, 2018.: WILEY, June 1, 2018.

Scholars@Duke

Chang, J-C, Finn, SM, Davis, RP, Sanders, NL, Holzknecht, ZE, Everett, ML, Barbas, AS, Parker, W, and Lin, SS. "Early Immune Response to Acute Gastric Fluid Aspiration in a Rat Model of Lung Transplantation." Experimental and Clinical Transplantation : Official Journal of the Middle East Society for Organ Transplantation (April 26, 2018).

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Villeneuve, C, Kou, HH, Eckermann, H, Palkar, A, Anderson, LG, McKenney, EA, Bollinger, RR, and Parker, W. "Evolution of the hygiene hypothesis into biota alteration theory: what are the paradigms and where are the clinical applications?." Microbes and infection 20, no. 3 (March 2018): 147-155.

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Zhang, M, Mathew, AJ, and Parker, W. "Production of Hymenolepis diminuta in the Laboratory: An Old Research Tool with New Clinical Applications." Methods in Molecular Biology (Clifton, N.J.) 1799 (January 2018): 27-38.

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Parker, W. "Not infection with parasitic worms, but rather colonization with therapeutic helminths." Immunology letters 192 (December 2017): 104-105. (Letter)

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Beinart, D, Finn, SMB, Scheuermann, U, Holzknecht, ZE, Barbas, AS, Parker, W, and Lin, SS. "Murine model of oropharyngeal gastric fluid aspiration-A new assessment method for intrapulmonary liquid distribution using digital pixel calculation." Experimental Lung Research 43, no. 9-10 (November 2017): 434-438.

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Smyth, K, Morton, C, Mathew, A, Karuturi, S, Haley, C, Zhang, M, Holzknecht, ZE, Swanson, C, Lin, SS, and Parker, W. "Production and Use of Hymenolepis diminuta Cysticercoids as Anti-Inflammatory Therapeutics." Journal of clinical medicine 6, no. 10 (October 24, 2017).

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Liu, J, Morey, RA, Wilson, JK, and Parker, W. "Practices and outcomes of self-treatment with helminths based on physicians' observations." Journal of Helminthology 91, no. 3 (May 2017): 267-277.

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