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M Mangino PhD

  • Research Project 1
Research Project 2
Academic Profile


VCU Center for Clinical & Translational Research

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Martin Mangino, PhD Martin J. Mangino, PhD

Professor of Surgery, Division of Acute Care Surgical Services, Departments of Surgery, Emergency Medicine, and Physiology and Biophysics

Dr. Mangino is the Laboratory Director and Research Director of the VCU Trauma Center.  His laboratory conducts basic, translational, and clinical research in areas of Trauma, Critical Care, and Transplantation.

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Techniques used in the lab include modern cell and molecular biology approaches to hypothesis testing, isolated tissue and organ perfusion studies, animal models including shock and transplantation models, and clinical studies. The lab conducts systems biology studies using LC/MS/MS for lipidomic analysis. The lab is currently funded by grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIDDK), the Department of Defense (US Army), and multiple Industry Partners.

Laboratory trainees typically include General Surgery Residents, post-doctoral fellows, undergraduate, and graduate students.

Project 1: Organ Preservation & Mechanisms of Ischemia

Project 2: Trauma, Critical Illness, and Combat Casualty Care


Tao Tian, PhD
Tao Tian, PhD
Senior Scientist
Molecular and Cell Biology
Senior Scientist, Molecular and Cell Biology

Dr. Tian manages all of the cell based studies in the lab that include hepatocyte, cholangiocyte, and renal tubule epithelial cell based organ preservation systems. Tao’s main research project is in the role of epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition in cholangiocyte responses to preservation injury and in ischemic cholangiopathy in livers procured from DCD donors.

Ru Li, MD, PhD
Ru Li, MD, PhD
Senior Scientist
Cell-Molecular Biology & Surgical Modeling
Senior Scientist, Cell-Molecular Biology and Surgical Modeling

Dr. Li models surgical research problems and tests hypothesis using state of the art cell, molecular, and surgical platforms. Trained as both an orthopaedic surgeon and a molecular and cell biologist, Ru plays a key role in advancing the lab's direction in understanding the basic mechanisms of ischemic injury in organ transplantation, shock and resuscitation injury, and critical illness. He also begins our program in regenerative medicine using stem cell technology, bone, and matrix biology. Dr. Ru is helping the lab establish new methods for the recovery, preservation, and transplantation of composite vascularized allografts (VCAs) for combat casualty and civilian care involving limb reattachments and complex composite tissue transplants (face transplants and tissue flap reconstructions).

Heather Reichstetter LVT, RLAT
Heather Reichstetter LVT, RLAT
Lab Manager
Research Associate and Lab Manager

Heather provides veterinary support for all projects and supports the lab administration and compliance requirements. She runs the labs transgenic colony and is involved in liver preservation projects.

Charles Blocher, MS, Cardiothoracic Specialist, Dept of Surgery
Charles Blocher, MS
Cardio-Pulmonary Specialist

Scientist and Cardiopulmonary Specialist

Chuck is involved in cardiopulmonary changes in shock and resuscitation. He is an expert in porcine models of cardiovascular disease and helps the lab with pre-clinical translational studies in shock and trauma.

Loren Liebrecht, Post-Doctoral Fellow 2017
Loren Liebrecht, MD
Post-Doctoral Research Fellow
Post-Doctoral Research Fellow

Dr. Liebrecht is a post-doctoral research fellow working on two projects. One involves the molecular signaling pathways that alter moesin functionality in hepatocytes with cold preservation injury. The other project explores the mechanisms of trauma-induced coagulopathies and how new low volume resuscitation solutions developed by the lab interact with platelet and coagulation function in patients after early admission for severe trauma. Loren is also developing novel small rescue molecules to inhibit interactions of large PEG polymers with platelets, red blood cells, and other chemical components of coagulation, which will make these solutions safer.

Ria Fyffe, PhD Student
Ria Fyffe, PhD Student
Department of Physiology & Biophysics
PhD Student

Ria is a second year pre-doctoral student in the Molecular Biology & Genetics program in Physiology. Her main focus is on the role of lysophosphatidic acid (LPA) in hepatocyte hypothermic preservation injury and in other RhoA-dependent pathways involved in hepatocyte survival and cytoskeletal system reorganization. This project aims to better understand the molecular mechanisms underlying preservation injury, and to examine how the addition of growth promoting factors, such as LPA, to the preservation solution could potentially reduce cold ischemic injury to the liver, which could expand the liver donor pool.

Nina Wicramaratne, MD
Nina Wickramaratne, MD
General Surgery Resident — Research Fellow

Dr. Wickramaratne is a second year general surgery resident working on a two year research fellowship. She is currently working on a project to develop and describe mechanisms for a novel low volume resuscitation solution developed by the lab. These solutions greatly increase tolerance to the low volume state in severe hypovolemia. Nina is conducting studies that elucidate the microcirculatory mechanisms of how the solution components increase oxygen transfer and capillary efficiency in shock. The use of these solutions in other critical care and surgical environments is also being explored.  

Kristine Kenning, MD
Kristine Kenning, MD

General Surgery Resident — Research Fellow

Dr. Kenning is a second year general surgery resident conducting research in the Mangino and Quader labs for two years. Her projects involve testing the mechanisms and use of novel low volume resuscitation solutions in acute resuscitation after hemorrhagic shock and in expanding the organ donor pool for transplantation. Kristine is conducting studies that attempt to successfully recover organs from donors that are currently unacceptable for transplantation by an experimental process known as ex-vivo reanimation that utilizes perfusion of those organs outside of the donor to "recondition" them to a level that allows them to be transplanted. The techniques use signaling to activate new mitochondrial synthesis and new drugs to protect heart grafts against inflammation after reperfusion. 


P.O. Box 980454
Richmond, VA 23298-0454

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  last updated: 07/10/2018




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