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Pamela Hesker, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Courses Taught

Introduction to Biology (BIOL 1100), Biology for Education Majors (BIOL 2800), Principles of Genetics (BIOL 3030)


Ph.D., University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill

Research Interests

The immune system is intricately regulated in order to maintain responsiveness to dangerous pathogens and to prevent unnecessary damage to healthy tissue. Hesker's research is aimed at understanding molecular pathways that regulate the immune response. Previous work has incorporated in vitro and in vivo approaches to study inflammation and innate immune responses to both acute challenge with bacteria, as well as chronic disease states such as Familial Mediterranean Fever and Rheumatoid Arthritis.

Hesker is active in the local biotechnology community through collaborations with local start-ups and investors.

Publications and Media Placements

Decker C*, Hesker P*, Zhang K, Faccio R. Targeted inhibition of phospholipase C γ2 adaptor function blocks osteoclastogenesis and protects from pathological osteolysis. J Biol Chem. 2013 Nov 22;288(47):33634-41. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M113.477281. Epub 2013 Sep 30. PubMed PMID: 24081142; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3837110. *These authors contributed equally to the work.

Hesker PR, Krupnick AS. The role of natural killer cells in pulmonary immunosurveillance. Frontiers in Bioscience. 2013 Jan 1;5:575-87. PMID: 23277070.

Hesker PR, Nguyen M, Kovarova M, Ting JP, Koller BH. Genetic loss of murine pyrin, the familial mediterranean fever protein, increases interleukin-1β levels. PLoS One. 2012;7(11):e51105. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0051105. Epub 2012 Nov 30. PMID: 23226472.

Kovarova M*, Hesker PR*, Jania L*, Nguyen M, Snouwaert JN, Xiang Z, Lommatzsch SE, Huang MT, Ting JP, Koller BH. NLRP1-dependent pyroptosis leads to acute lung injury and morbidity in mice. Journal of Immunology. 2012 Aug 15;189(4):2006-16. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.1201065. Epub 2012 Jun 29. PMID: 22753929. *These authors contributed equally to the work.