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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

Kotzé, Sanet H., Zoie E. Holzknecht, Anitra D. Thomas, Mary Lou Everett, Shanna Taylor, Larry D. Duckett, John Whitesides, Patrice McDermott, Shu S. Lin, and William Parker. “Spontaneous bacterial cell lysis and biofilm formation in the colon of the Cape Dune mole-rat and the laboratory rabbit..” Appl Microbiol Biotechnol 90, no. 5 (June 2011): 1773–83. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00253-011-3207-5.

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Laurin, Michel, Mary Lou Everett, and William Parker. “The cecal appendix: one more immune component with a function disturbed by post-industrial culture..” Anatomical Record (Hoboken, N.J. : 2007) 294, no. 4 (April 2011): 567–79. https://doi.org/10.1002/ar.21357.

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Lee, Yu-Huei, Kuei-Ying Su, Aaron Wyse, Andrew Barbas, Daniel Palestrandt, Karl Shieh, Mary Lou Everett, et al. “Incorporation of secretory immunoglobulin A into biofilms can decrease their resistance to ciprofloxacin..” Microbiol Immunol 55, no. 3 (March 2011): 174–83. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1348-0421.2010.00297.x.

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Bush, Errol L., Andrew S. Barbas, Zoie E. Holzknecht, Guerard W. Byrne, Christopher G. McGregor, William Parker, R Duane Davis, and Shu S. Lin. “Coagulopathy in α-galactosyl transferase knockout pulmonary xenotransplants..” Xenotransplantation 18, no. 1 (January 2011): 6–13. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1399-3089.2011.00621.x.

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Thomas, Anitra D., and William Parker. “Cultivation of epithelial-associated microbiota by the immune system..” Future Microbiology 5, no. 10 (October 2010): 1483–92. https://doi.org/10.2217/fmb.10.108.

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Chen, Eefei, Mary Lou Everett, Zoie E. Holzknecht, Robert A. Holzknecht, Shu S. Lin, Dawn E. Bowles, and William Parker. “Short-lived alpha-helical intermediates in the folding of beta-sheet proteins..” Biochemistry 49, no. 26 (July 6, 2010): 5609–19. https://doi.org/10.1021/bi100288q.

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Lee, Sean M., Aaron Wyse, Aaron Lesher, Mary Lou Everett, Linda Lou, Zoie E. Holzknecht, John F. Whitesides, et al. “Adaptation in a mouse colony monoassociated with Escherichia coli K-12 for more than 1,000 days..” Appl Environ Microbiol 76, no. 14 (July 2010): 4655–63. https://doi.org/10.1128/AEM.00358-10.

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Thomas, Anitra D., Kuei-Ying Su, Jui-Chih Chang, Jason H. Leung, Sean M. Lee, Zoie E. Holzknecht, Mary Lou Everett, William Parker, R Duane Davis, and Shu S. Lin. “Gastroesophageal reflux-associated aspiration alters the immune response in asthma..” Surg Endosc 24, no. 5 (May 2010): 1066–74. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00464-009-0727-5.

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Cheng, Chih Mei, Chong Chao Hsieh, Chang Sheng Lin, Zen Kong Dai, Pin Keng Shih, Mary Lou Everett, Anitra D. Thomas, William Parker, R Duane Davis, and Shu S. Lin. “Macrophage activation by gastric fluid suggests MMP involvement in aspiration-induced lung disease..” Immunobiology 215, no. 3 (March 2010): 173–81. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.imbio.2009.02.001.

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Barbas, Andrew S., Aaron P. Lesher, Anitra D. Thomas, Aaron Wyse, Aditya P. Devalapalli, Yu-Huei Lee, Hung-Enn Tan, Paul E. Orndorff, R Randal Bollinger, and William Parker. “Altering and assessing persistence of genetically modified E. coli MG1655 in the large bowel..” Exp Biol Med (Maywood) 234, no. 10 (October 2009): 1174–85. https://doi.org/10.3181/0812-RM-358.

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