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Dr. Borgia


Donald Torry
Professor and Chair
phone: 217.545.2181

Dr. Torry is a Professor and Chairman in the Department of Medical Microbiology, Immunology and Cell Biology and is a Clinical Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at SIU School of Medicine. He has served as a member of the International Federation of Placental Associations, the Society for the Study of Reproduction and the American Society for Reproductive Immunology for which he has served as Secretary (1996-2000), Treasurer (1999-2002) and President (2002-2006). He is a permanent member of the Pregnancy and Perinatology Study Section at the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD., and sits on the Editorial Boards of the American Journal for Reproductive Immunology and the Journal of Reproductive Immunology.

Dr. Torry was the recipient of the 2011 American Journal of Reproductive Immunology Award (previously the Blackwell Munksgaard Award) for outstanding contributions to the area of reproductive immunology from the American Society for Reproductive Immunology.


1983 B.S. Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, IL
Biology/Chemistry Education
1985 M.A. Southern Illinois University
Carbondale, IL
1989 Ph.D. Southern Illinois University
Carbondale, IL
1989-1992 Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Department of Pathology, Harvard Medical School and
Division of Molecular Genetics,
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Boston, MA

Research Focus
One of the most important adaptations to pregnancy is the intense vascular growth and remodeling associated with development of a competent placenta. Adequate vascular development and perfusion of the placental bed is essential for normal pregnancy and vascular deficiencies contribute to many obstetrical complications. In spite of this clinical relevance, little is known regarding angiogenic growth factor production by trophoblast during gestation and the molecular regulation or cellular responses of the trophoblast to angiogenic growth factors. My laboratory is currently investigating the novel angiogenic growth factor, placenta growth factor (PlGF), and its receptor (flt1) as potential regulators of trophoblast function and vascularity during pregnancy. Our previous findings show that expression of PlGF is negatively regulated in placental trophoblast by hypoxia. However, PlGF expression is readily induced by low oxygen tension in other non trophoblast cells. Whether this unique and cell type specific regulation of PlGF expression is mediated at the transcriptional and/or post transcriptional levels is not known. Primary human trophoblast also express the PlGF-specific receptor, flt-1, and exogenous PlGF induces stress activated signal transduction responses which function to protect the cells from apoptosis. These studies may be clinically important because we, and several other groups, have found that expression of PlGF is severely decreased in pregnancies complicated with preeclampsia. Thus, aberrant production of PlGF by trophoblast could influence vascular endothelium as well as trophoblast function, both of which contribute significantly to the pathophysiology of perfusion compromised pregnancies.

General Laboratory Techniques:
Cell culture, primary human trophoblast and human umbilical vein endothelial cell isolation and culture, Real-Time PCR, qRT-PCR, RNA isolation, protein assays, Western blotting, Immunoprecipitation, Reporter gene assays (β-Galactosidase, Renilla & Firefly luciferase), transient transfections, Immunohistochemistry, Enzyme-linked Immunosorbant assays (ELISA), Cloning and recombinant DNA techniques, adenovirus and lentivirus mediated gene delivery in primary human cells.

Selected Publications

Torry RJ, Bai L, Miller SJ, Labarrere CA and Torry DS.  Increased vascular endothelial growth factor expression in human heart tissue following microvascular fibrin deposition:  association with capillary phenotypic changes.  Journal of Molecular and Cellular Cardiology 33(1):175-184, 2001.

Seubert DE, Maymon E, Pacora P, Gervasi M-T, Berry SM, Torry DS and Romero R.  A study of the relationship between placenta growth factor and gestational age, parturition, rupture of membranes and intrauterine infection.  American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology 182:1633-1637, 2000.

Tidwell SC, Ho H-N, Chiu, WH, Torry, RJ, Torry DS.  Low Maternal Serum Levels of Placenta Growth Factor as an Antecedent of Clinical Preeclampsia.  American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 184:1267-1272, 2001.

Yang W, Ahn H, Hinrichs M, Torry RJ and Torry DS.  Placenta growth factor (PlGF)-4 is a novel isoform of PlGF expressed in human trophoblast and endothelial cells.  Journal of Reproductive Immunology. 60:53-60, 2003.

Torry DS, Arroyo J, Mukherjea D, and Torry RJ.  Function of placenta growth factor: Implications for abnormal placentation.  J Society for Gynecologic Investigation, 10:178-188, 2003.

Arroyo J, Torry RJ and Torry DS.  Differential regulation of placenta growth factor (PlGF)-mediated signal transduction in human primary term trophoblast and endothelial cells.  Placenta 25:379-386, 2004.

Torry DS, Hinrich M, and Torry RJ.  Determinants of placental vascularity.  American Journal of Reproductive Immunology 51:257-268, 2004.

Petroff MG, Kharatyan E, Torry DS and Holets L.  The immunomodulatory proteins B7-DC, B7-H2, and B7-H3 are differentially expressed across gestation in the human placenta.  American Journal of Pathology 167(2):465-473, 2005.

Welch P, Miller P, Amankwah K, Miller P, McAsey M and Torry DS.  Correlations placenta perfusion and PlGF expression in early human pregnancy.  American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 194(6):1625-1629, 2006.

Torry DS, Leavenworth J., Chang M., Maheshwari V., Groesch K, Torry RJ.  Angiogenesis and Implantation Failures.  Journal of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics, 24(7):303-315, 2007.

Chang M, Mukherjea D, Gobble RM, Groesch KA, Torry RJ and Torry DS.  Glial cell missing 1 regulates placental growth factor (PGF) gene transcription in human trophoblast.  Biology of Reproduction, 78:841-851, 2008.

Hung Wen Lin, Chao-Zong Liu, Deshou Cao, Po-Yi Chen, Mei-Fang Chen, Shinn-Zong Lin, Mansoor Mozayan, Alex Chen, Louis Premkumar, Donald Torry, Tony Lee.  Endogenous methyl palmitate modulates nicotinic receptor-mediated transmission in the superior cervical ganglion. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA. 105(49):19526-31, 2008.

Torry RJ, RJ Tomanek, W Zheng, SJ Miller, CA Labarrere and DS Torry.  Hypoxia increases Placenta Growth Factor Expression in Human Myocardium and Cultured Neonatal Rat Cardiomyocytes.  Journal of Heart and Lung Transplantation, 28 (2): 183-190, 2009.

Patricia Redecha, Nico van Rooijen, Donald Torry and Guillermina Girardi.  Pravastatin prevents miscarriages in mice: Role of tissue factor in placental and fetal injury. Blood 113 (17):4101-4109, 2009.

Gobble RM, Groesch KA, Chang M, Torry RJ, and Torry DS.  Differential regulation of human PlGF gene expression in trophoblast and nontrophoblast cells by oxygen tension.  Placenta 10:869-75, 2009.

Leavenworth, JD, Groesch, KA, Hu, X, Malm, S, Torry, RJ, Abrams, R, and Torry, DS.  Dysregulation of Promyelocytic Leukemia (PML) Protein Expression in Preeclamptic Placentae.  Reproductive Sciences 17(4):339-349, 2010.

Groesch, K, Torry, RJ, Wilber AC, Abrams R, Bieniarz A, Guilbert LJ, and Torry DS.  Nitric Oxide Generation Affects Pro- and Anti-Angiogenic Growth Factor Expression in Primary Human Trophoblast.  Placenta 32(12):926-931, 2011.  PMCID: PMC3269960.

Bany BM and Torry DS.  Regulation of Maternal Blood Pressure by the Conceptus During Early Pregnancy - Commentary.  Biology of Reproduction, 86(3):61, 2012.  PMID:22262688.