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Gary M. Fiskum

Gary M. Fiskum Ph.D.

Academic Title: Professor
Primary Appointment: Anesthesiology
Secondary Appointments: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Pharmacology
Administrative Title: Vice Chair
Additional Title(s): M. Jane Matjasko Professor for Research in Anesthesiology and Vice Chair, Research
Location: MSTF, 5-34
Phone: (410) 706-4711
Phone: (410) 706-3418
Fax: (410) 706-2550
Lab: (410) 706-2990

Personal History:

Gary Fiskum, Ph.D. received a B.A. in zoology at UCLA and a Ph.D. in Biochemistry at St. Louis University School of Medicine, where he began his research on mitochondria. He continued this line of investigation as a postdoctoral fellow at the Johns Hopkins Univ. School of Medicine under the mentorship of Dr. Albert Lehninger, an internationally famous biochemist and medical educator. In 1981 Dr. Fiskum joined the faculty in the Dept. of Biochemistry at George Washington Univ. School of Medicine where he was tenured in 1987 and promoted to Full Professor in 1991. He moved in 1997 to the Dept. of Anesthesiology at the Univ. of Maryland School of Medicine, where he now serves as the M. Jane Matjasko Professor for Research and the Vice-Chair for Research. His research interests include: adult and pediatric traumatic and ischemic brain injury, mitochondrial bioenergetics, cerebral energy metabolism, oxidative stress, apoptosis, and neuroprotection. Dr. Fiskum has published over 180 original journal articles, reviews and book chapters and is the editor of three books. He and his clinical and basic science collaborators have demonstrated how hyperoxia can be either neuroprotective or detrimental, depending on the form of brain injury and the time during which the injured brain is exposed to hyperoxia. This research resulted in a change in American Heart Association Advanced Cardiac Life Support Guidelines from the long-used indiscriminate use of 100% ventilator oxygen during resuscitation after cardiac arrest to the use of the minimal amount of oxygen necessary to achieve systemic normoxia. Recent work performed in collaboration with engineers at the University of Maryland, College Park has resulted in an animal model of mild traumatic brain injury caused by the intense acceleration experienced by passengers within vehicles targeted by improvised explosive devices. He has organized several international scientific symposia and has mentored numerous students, postdocs and junior faculty. Dr. Fiskum’s research is supported by the U.S. National Institutes of Health, the U.S. Army, and the U.S. Air Force.

Research Interests:

  • Adult and pediatric traumatic and ischemic brain injury
  • Mitochondrial bioenergetics
  • Cerebral energy metabolism
  • Oxidative stress
  • Apoptosis
  • Neuroprotection

Lab Techniques and Equipment:

  • Clinically relevant small and large animal models of acute brain injury
  • Respirometry for isolated mitochondria and cells
  • Primary culture of neurons and astrocytes using an environmental chamber precisely controling ambient oxygen concentrations
  • Fluorescent measurements of cell death
  • Development of transgenic animals
  • Fluorescent live cell imaging of intracellular NAD(P)H, calcium, mitochondrial membrane potential and superoxide
  • Stereologic histology and immunohistochemistry
  • 13C NMR spectroscopy of brain energy metabolites
  • Rodent behavorial tests
  • Enzyme activity measurements 
  • Quantative rtPCR
  • Southern and Western blots
  • ELISA Spectrofluorometry


Selected Publications

Soane, L., Siegel, Z.T., Schuh, R.A., and Fiskum, G., Postnatal developmental regulation of Bcl-2 family proteins in brain mitochondria. J. Neurosci. Res. 86:1267-1276 (2008). (PMID:18058945)

Bambrick L.L. and Fiskum, G., Mitochondrial dysfunction in mouse trisomy 16 brain, Brain Res. 1188: 9-16 (2008) (PMID:18061151)

Ahn, E.S., Robertson, C.L., Vereczki, V., Hoffman, G.E., Fiskum, G., Normoxic ventilatory resuscitation following controlled cortical impact reduces peroxynitrite-mediated protein nitration in the hippocampus. J. Neurosurg. 108:124-31 (2008). (PMID:18173321)

Danilov, C.A. and Fiskum, G., Hyperoxia promotes astrocyte cell death after oxygen and glucose deprivation. Glia, 56:801-808 (2008). (PMID: 18338792)

Casey, P.A., McKenna, M.C., Fiskum, G., Saraswati, M., and Robertson, C.L., Early and sustained alterations in cerebral metabolism after traumatic brain injury in immature rats. J. Neurotrauma, 25: 603-614 (2008). (PMID: 18454682)

Kahraman, S., Zup, S.L., McCarthy, M.M., and Fiskum, G., GABAergic mechanism of propofol toxicity in immature neurons. J. Neurosurg. Anesth. 20:233-240 (2008). (PMID: 18812886)

Fiskum, G., Danilov, C.A., Mehrabian, Z., Bambrick, L.L., Kristian, T., McKenna, M.D., Hopkins, I., Richards, E.M., and Rosenthal, R.E., Postischemic oxidative stress promotes mitochondrial metabolic failure in neurons and astrocytes. Ann. NY Acad. Sci. 1147:129-138 (2008). (PMID: 19076438)

Danilov, C.A., Chandrasekaran, K., Racz, J., Zielke, C., and Fiskum, G., Sulforaphane protects astrocytes against oxidative stress and delayed death caused by oxygen and glucose deprivation. Glia. 57:645-656 (2009) (PMID: 18942756)

Hazelton, J.L., Petrasheuskaya, M., Fiskum, G., and Kristian, T., Cyclophilin D is selectively expressed in mitochondria of GABAergic interneurons. J. Neurosci. Res. 87:1250-1259 (2009). (PMID: 18951528)

Schuh, R.A., Richardson, J.R., Gupta, R.K., Flaws, J.A., and Fiskum, G., Effects of the organochlorine pesticide methoxychlor on dopamine metabolites and transporters in the mouse brain. J. Neurotoxicol. 30:274-280 (2009) (PMID: 19459224)

Scafidi, S., O’Brien, J., Hopkins, I., Robertson, C., Fiskum, G., and McKenna, M.C., Delayed cerebral oxidative glucose metabolism after traumatic brain injury in young rats. J. Neurochem. 109(Supp 1):189-197 (2009) (PMID: 19393027)

132. Siebert, A., Desai, V., Chandrasekaran, K., Fiskum, G., and Samir, J.M., Nrf2 activators provide neuroprotection against 6-hydroxydopamine toxicity in rat organotypic nigrostriatal co-cultures. J. Neurosci. Res. 87:1659-1669 (2009) (PMID: 19125416)

O’Shea, K.M., Khairallah, R.J., Sparagna, G.C., Xu, W., Hecker, P., Frayne-Robillard, I., Des Rosiers, C., Kristian, T., Murphy, R..C., Fiskum, G., and Stanley, W.C., Dietary ω-3 fatty acids alter cardiac mitochondrial phospholipid composition and delay Ca2+-induced permeability transition. J. Mol. Cell. Cardiol. 47:819-827 (2009) (PMID: 19703463)

Balan, I.S., Fiskum, G., and Kristian, T., Visualization and quantification of NAD(H) in brain sections by a novel histo-enzymatic nitrotetrazolium blue staining technique. Brain Res. 1316C:112-119 (2010) (PMID: 20036220)

Soane, L., Dai, W.L., Fiskum, G., and Bambrick, L.L., Sulforaphane protects immature hippocampal neurons against death caused by exposure to hemin or to oxygen and glucose-deprivation. J. Neurosci. Res. 88:1355-1363 (2010) (PMID: 19998483)

Hazelton, J.L., Balan, I.S., Elmer, G.I., Kristian, T., Rosenthal, R.E., Krause, G., Sanderson, T.H., and Fiskum, G., Hyperoxic reperfusion after global cerebral ischemia promotes inflammation and long-term hippocampal neuronal death. J. Neurotrauma 27:753-762 (2010) (PMID: 20059303)

Scafidi, S., Fiskum, G., Lindauer, S.L., Bamford, P., Shi, D., Hopkins, I., and McKenna, M.C., Metabolism of acetyl-L-carnitine for energy and neurotransmitter synthesis in the immature rat brain. J. Neurochem. 114:820-831 (2010) (PMID:20477950)

Khairallah, R.J., Sparagna, G.C., Khanna, N. O'Shea, K.M., Hecker, P.J., Kristian, T., Fiskum, G., Des Rosiers, C., Polster, B.M., and Stanley, W., Dietary supplementation with docosahexaenoic acid, but not eicosapentanoic acid, dramatically alters cardiac mitochondrial phospholipid fatty acid composition and prevents permeability transition, Biochem. Biophys. Acta 1797:1555-1562 (2010) (PMID: 20471951)

Greco, T. and Fiskum, G., Brain mitochondria from rats treated with sulforaphane are resistant to redox-regulated permeability transition, J. Bioenerg. Biomemb. 42:491-497 (2010) (PMID: 20463397)

Scafidi, S., Racz, J., Hazelton, J., McKenna, M.C., and Fiskum, G., Neuroprotection by acetyl-L-carnitine after traumatic injury to the immature rat brain, Develop. Neurosci. 32:480-487 (2011) (PMID: 21228558)
Kahraman S, Bambrick LL, Fiskum G., Effects of FK506 and cyclosporin A on calcium ionophore-induced mitochondrial depolarization and cytosolic calcium in astrocytes and neurons. J Neurosci Res. 89: 1973-1978 (2011) (PMID: 21748780)

Xu S, Zhuo J, Racz J, Shi D, Roys SR, Fiskum G, Gullapalli R., Early microstructural and metabolic changes following controlled cortical impact injury in rat: A magnetic resonance imaging and spectroscopy study. J Neurotrauma 28: 2091-2102 (2011) (PMID: 21761962)

Zhuo, J., Xu, S., Proctor, J., Mullins, R.J., Simon, J.Z., Fiskum, G., and Gullapalli, R.P., Diffusion kurtosis as an in vivo imaging marker for reactive astrogliosis in traumatic brain injury. Neuroimage 59:467-477(2012) (PMID: 21835250)

Greco, T., Shafer, J., and Fiskum, G., Sulforaphane inhibits mitochondrial permeability transition and oxidative stress. Free Rad. Biol. Med. 51: 2164-71 (2011) (PMID: 21986339)

Regenold, W.T., Regenold, W., Pratt, M., Nekkalapu, S., Paul, S.S., Kristian, T., and Fiskum, G., Mitochondrial detachment of hexokinase 1 in mood and psychotic disorders: implications for brain energy metabolism and neurotrophic signaling. J. Psych. Res. 46 (1): 95-104 (2011) (PMID: 22018957)

McCranor, B.J., Bozym, R.A., Vitolo, M.I., Fierk,e C.A., Bambrick, L., Polster, B.M., Fiskum, G., and Thompson, R.B. Quantitative imaging of mitochondrial and cytosolic free zinc levels in an in vitro model of ischemia/reperfusion. J Bioenerg Biomembr. 44:253-263 (2012) (PMID: 22430627)

Balan, I.S., Saladino, A.J., Aarabi, B., Castellani, R.J., Wade, C., Stein, D.M., Eisenberg, H.M., Chen, H.H., and Fiskum, G., Cellular alterations in human traumatic brain injury: changes in mitochondrial morphology reflect regional levels of injury severity. J Neurotrauma. 30(5):367-81 (2013) (PMID: 23131111)

Jevtovic-Todorovic V, Absalom AR, Blomgren K, Brambrink A, Crosby G, Culley DJ, Fiskum G, Giffard RG, Herold KF, Loepke AW, Ma D, Orser BA, Planel E, Slikker W Jr, Soriano SG, Stratmann G, Vutskits L, Xie Z, Hemmings HC Jr., Anaesthetic neurotoxicity and neuroplasticity: an expert group report and statement based on the BJA Salzburg Seminar. Br J Anaesth. 111(2):143-51. (2013). ( PMID:23722106) [Epub ahead of print]

Clerc, P, Young, C.A., Grigore, A.M., Fiskum, G., and Polster, B.M. (2013) Magnesium Sulfate Protects Against the Bioenergetic Consequences of Chronic Glutamate Receptor Stimulation.  PLoS ONE 8: e79982.