Lung biology researcher, start-up founder gives HudsonAlpha seminar

Mark N. Gillespie, PhD, gave a presentation on Wednesday, March 29, in the auditorium for the HudsonAlpha Research Seminars series. Gillespie’s talk, titled “Oxidant-DNA interactions in the life and death of cells: Destruction, transcription and mutation,” highlighted work in his laboratory at the University of South Alabama.

A native of Chicago, Gillespie received his undergraduate and PhD degrees from the University of Kentucky in 1977 and 1981, respectively. He was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Colorado’s Cardiovascular-Pulmonary Research Laboratory until 1982 after which he was recruited to the University of Kentucky, where he rose to the rank of professor and chairperson of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics.  In 1995, Gillespie relocated to his current affiliation, the University of South Alabama, where he serves as professor and chair of pharmacology, professor of internal medicine, and founding member of the Center for Lung Biology.

Over the past two decades, Gillespie has served as an ad hoc or regular member or chairperson of multiple NIH study sections and held leadership positions in organizations dedicated to lung health and disease. Currently, he serves as associate editor for the American Journal of Physiology: Lung Cell and Molecular Physiology. Gillespie’s research program, supported continuously by the NIH and other agencies for the past 30 years, focuses on selected aspects of lung biology and pathology, most recently concentrating on how oxidative damage and repair in the nuclear and mitochondrial genomes dynamically regulates lung cell responses to oxidant stress. He is a founding member of the start-up biotechnology company Exscien Corp., whose mission is to develop pharmacologic agents to repair oxidative damage to the mitochondrial genome as a therapeutic strategy in oxygen radical-mediated diseases.

Devin Absher, PhD, hosted Wednesday’s seminar.

The next seminar on Wednesday, April 5, will feature William Murphy, PhD, a professor in the Department of Veterinary Integrative Biosciences at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas.

More information on HudsonAlpha Research Seminars, including an upcoming schedule, can be found at