Janis Eells, Ph.D.
- Retinal Degenerative Diseases
- Neurodegenerative Diseases
- Pharmacology, Molecular Toxicology
Enderis Hall, Room 477
Phone: (414) 229-5405
Fax: (414) 229-2619
- Ph.D., Pharmacology and Toxicology, University of Iowa, 1981
- M.S., Pharmacology/Microbiology, Idaho State University, 1976
- B.S., Microbiology, Idaho State University, 1973
Interests & Expertise
Mitochondria play a key role in cellular energy metabolism and intracellular signaling processes. These organelles are involved in many complex signaling cascades regulating both cell survival and cell death. Importantly, mitochondrial dysfunction and the resulting oxidative stress are central in the pathogenesis of aging and degenerative diseases including diabetes, cardiovascular disease, macular degeneration and Alzheimer’s disease. Research in my laboratory is directed at understanding the mitochondrial signaling pathways that regulate the processes of cellular aging and degeneration with the long-term goal of learning how to protect cells and tissues against these degenerative processes. Evidence is growing that exposure of cells to low-energy photon irradiation in the near-infrared (NIR) range of the spectrum, collectively termed photobiomodulation (PBM), can restore the function of damaged mitochondria, upregulate the production of cytoprotective factors and prevent apoptotic cell death. Photobiomodulation has been applied clinically in the treatment of soft tissue injuries and acceleration of wound healing for more than 40 years. Photobiomodulation studies in our laboratory have demonstrated improved clinical outcome, increased production of cytoprotective factors and improved cell survival in animal models of Parkinson’s disease, diabetes mellitus and retinal degeneration. Investigations into the mechanisms of photobiomodulation have shown that NIR photons are absorbed by the mitochondrial photoacceptor molecule, cytochrome c oxidase triggering intracellular signaling pathways that culminate in improved mitochondrial energy metabolism, increased cytoprotective factor production and cell survival. Research in my laboratory employs electrophysiological, neuroimaging, histochemical and molecular methodologies.Back to the top
Liang, H.L., Whelan, H.T., Eells, J.T., & Wong-Riley, M.T. (2008). Near-Infrared Light Via Light-Emitting Diode Treatment is Therapeutic Against Rotenone- and 1-Methyl-4-Phenylpyridinium Ion-Induced Neurotoxicity. Neuroscience, 153, 963-974.
Riess, M.L., Camara, A.K., Heinen, A., Eells, J.T., Henry, M.M., & Stowe, D.F. (2008). KATP Channel Openers have Opposite Effects on Mitochondrial Respiration Under Different Energetic Conditions. Journal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology, 51, 483-491.
Lim, J., Sanders, R.A., Yeager, R.L., Millsap, D.S., Watkins, J.B., Eells, J.T., & Henshel, D.S. (2008). Attenuation of TCDD-Induced Oxidative Stress by 670 nm Photobiomodulation in Developmental Chicken Kidney. Journal of Biochemical and Molecular Toxicology, 22, 230-239.
Ying, R., Liang, H.L., Whelan, H.T., Eells, J.T., & Wong-Riley, M.T. (2008). Pretreatment with Near-Infrared Light Via Light-Emitting Diode Provides Added Benefit Against Rotenone and MPP+ Induced Neurotoxicity. Brain Research, 1243, 167-173.
Whelan, H., DeSmet, K.D., Buchman, E.M. Henry, M., Wong-Riley, M.T., Eells, J.T., & VerHoeve, J. (2008). Harnessing the Cell’s Own Ability to Repair and Prevent Neurodegenerative Disease. SPIE, 10117, 1-4.
DeSmet, K.D., Buchman, E., Henry, M., Wong-Riley, M.T., Eells, J.T., VerHoeve, J., & Whelan, H. (2008). Near-Infrared Light as a Possible Treatment Option for Parkinson’s Disease and Laser Eye Injury. SPIE, 7165.
Eells, J.T., DeSmet, K.D., Kirk, D.K., Wong-Riley, M., Whelan, H.T, VerHoeve, J, Nork, T.M., Stone, J. and Valter K. (2008). Photobiomodulation for the Treatment of Retinal Injury and Retinal Degenerative Diseases. In D. Tata & R. W. Waynant (Eds.), Light Activated Tissue Regeneration and Therapy (pp. 39-51). Springer Publishing, New York.
Wong-Riley, M.T., Liang, H.L., Eells, J.T., Chance, B., Henry, M.M., Buchmann, E., Kane, M., & Whelan, H.T. (2005). Photobiomodulation directly benefits primary neurons functionally inactivated by toxins: Role of cytochrome c oxidase. J. Biol. Chem, 280, 4761-4771.
Eells, J.T., Wong-Riley, M.T.T., VerHoeve J., Henry M.M., Buchman, E.V., Kane, M.P., Gould, L.J., Das, R., Jett, M., Hodgson, B.D., Margolis, D. and Whelan, H.T. (2004). Mitochondrial Signal Transduction in Accelerated Wound and Retinal Healing by Near-Infrared Light Therapy. Mitochondrion, 4, 559-567.
Eells, J.T. Henry, M.M., Summerfelt, P., Wong-Riley, M.T.T., Buchman, E.V., Kane, M., & Whelan, H.T. (2003). Therapeutic photobiomodulation for methanol-induced retinal toxicity. Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci., 100, 3439-3444.
Seme, M.T., Summerfelt, P., Henry, M.M., Neitz, J., & Eells, J.T. (2001). Differential recovery of retinal function following mitochondrial inhibition by methanol intoxication. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 42, 834-841.
Eells, J.T., Henry, M.M., Lewandowski, M.F. Seme, M.T., & Murray, T.G. (2000). Development and characterization of a rodent model of methanol-induced retinal and optic nerve toxicity. Neurotoxicology, 21, 321-330.
Eells, J.T., Henry, M.M., Gross, G.J, & Baker J.E. (2000). Increased mitochondrial KATP channel activity during chronic myocardial hypoxia: Is cardioprotection mediated by improved bioenergetics. Circ Res., 7, 915-921.