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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

Dishaw, Larry J., John P. Cannon, Gary W. Litman, and William Parker. “Immune-directed support of rich microbial communities in the gut has ancient roots..” Dev Comp Immunol 47, no. 1 (November 2014): 36–51. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.dci.2014.06.011.

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Davis, D., S. Azad, W. Parker, C. Green, S. Keshavjee, K. McCurry, L. Singer, M. Budev, and S. Palmer. “Bile Acid, Not pH Probe or Gastrin Predicts Allograft Function at One Year, From the Prospective RESULT (Reflux Surgery in Lung Transplantation).” In Journal of Heart and Lung Transplantation, 33:S41–S41. ELSEVIER SCIENCE INC, 2014.

Scholars@Duke

Bilbo, S. D., L. L. Williamson, and W. Parker. “Early-Life Programming of Neuroendocrine Function by the Immune System: Plasticity or Autoimmunity due to Biome Depletion?.” In Integrative and Comparative Biology, 54:E19–E19. OXFORD UNIV PRESS INC, 2014.

Scholars@Duke

Sanders, Nathan L., R Randal Bollinger, Ryan Lee, Steven Thomas, and William Parker. “Appendectomy and Clostridium difficile colitis: relationships revealed by clinical observations and immunology..” World J Gastroenterol 19, no. 34 (September 14, 2013): 5607–14. https://doi.org/10.3748/wjg.v19.i34.5607.

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Kirman, C. R., L. L. Aylward, M. Suh, M. A. Harris, C. M. Thompson, L. C. Haws, D. M. Proctor, S. S. Lin, W. Parker, and S. M. Hays. “Physiologically based pharmacokinetic model for humans orally exposed to chromium..” Chem Biol Interact 204, no. 1 (June 25, 2013): 13–27. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cbi.2013.04.003.

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Malhotra, Rajeev, Samuel Paskin-Flerlage, Roham T. Zamanian, Patrick Zimmerman, Jonathan W. Schmidt, Donna Y. Deng, Mark Southwood, et al. “Circulating angiogenic modulatory factors predict survival and functional class in pulmonary arterial hypertension..” Pulm Circ 3, no. 2 (April 2013): 369–80. https://doi.org/10.4103/2045-8932.110445.

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Parker, William, and Jeff Ollerton. “Evolutionary biology and anthropology suggest biome reconstitution as a necessary approach toward dealing with immune disorders..” Evol Med Public Health 2013, no. 1 (January 2013): 89–103. https://doi.org/10.1093/emph/eot008.

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Smith, H. F., W. Parker, S. H. Kotzé, and M. Laurin. “Multiple independent appearances of the cecal appendix in mammalian evolution and an investigation of related ecological and anatomical factors.” Comptes Rendus  Palevol 12, no. 6 (January 1, 2013): 339–54. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.crpv.2012.12.001.

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Smith, H. F., W. Parker, S. H. Kotzé, and M. Laurin. “Multiple independent appearances of the cecal appendix in mammalian evolution and an investigation of related ecological and anatomical factors.” Comptes Rendus  Palevol, 2013. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.crpv.2012.12.001.

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