Nelson Ruiz-Opazo, PhD

Professor, Medicine

Nelson Ruiz-Opazo
617.638.4384
700 Albany St Ctr for Adv Biomed Res

Biography

Research interests span the molecular genetics of hypertension and target organ complications, and the identification of DEspR (the dual endothelin-1/signal peptide of VEGF receptor) as a novel therapeutic target in cancer with a focus on cancer stem cell (CSC) pathological extended survival in anoikis conditions and adverse metabolic conditions, CSC tumorigenicity and multipotential self-sufficiency to metastasize. More recently, inter-disciplinary collaborations advance translational research into the role of DEspR+ neutrophils in neutrophil-mediated secondary tissue injury relevant to acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), COVID19-ARDS, and intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH).

Research expertise spans molecular and cell biology analysis of cancer stem cells (CSC), CSC-derived tumor cell phenotypes, xenograft modeling using CSCs in nude rat strain, and conducting survival analysis to test efficacy and safety of novel targeted therapies in cancer focusing on high unmet need cancers – pancreatic peritoneal carcinomatosis, glioblastoma. In molecular genetics research, expertise spans GWAS analysis of F2-genetic hypertensive cohorts and associated candidate genes, GWAS analysis of genetic F2 intercross linkage studies of Learning and Memory and associated candidate genes, hypertension genetic studies in isolated human populations, transgenic rat modeling. In ARDS and ICH, expertise spans adaptive application of basic science approaches to ex vivo analysis of neutrophil subsets within the context of the pathological microenvironment present in the patient.

Other Positions

  • Member, Evans Center for Interdisciplinary Biomedical Research, Boston University
  • Member, Genome Science Institute, Boston University
  • Member, Ambulatory Pediatrics, Boston University

Education

  • Albert Einstein College of Medicine, PhD
  • Albert Einstein College of Medicine, MS
  • Universidad Austral de Chile, MS
  • Universidad Austral de Chile, BS

Publications

  • Published on 4/4/2022

    Herrera VLM, Walkey AJ, Nguyen MQ, Gromisch CM, Mosaddhegi JZ, Gromisch MS, Jundi B, Lukassen S, Carstensen S, Denis R, Belkina AC, Baron RM, Pinilla-Vera M, Mueller M, Kimberly WT, Goldstein JN, Lehmann I, Shih AR, Eils R, Levy BD, Ruiz-Opazo N. A targetable 'rogue' neutrophil-subset, [CD11b+DEspR+] immunotype, is associated with severity and mortality in acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and COVID-19-ARDS. Sci Rep. 2022 Apr 04; 12(1):5583. PMID: 35379853.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 11/17/2021

    deKay JT, Emery IF, Rud J, Eldridge A, Lord C, Gagnon DJ, May TL, Herrera VLM, Ruiz-Opazo N, Riker RR, Sawyer DB, Ryzhov S, Seder DB. DEspRhigh neutrophils are associated with critical illness in COVID-19. Sci Rep. 2021 11 17; 11(1):22463. PMID: 34789851.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 9/13/2021

    Herrera VLM, Walkey AJ, Nguyen MQ, Gromisch CM, Mosaddhegi JZ, Gromisch MS, Jundi B, Lukassen S, Carstensen S, Denis R, Belkina AC, Baron RM, Pinilla-Vera M, Muller M, Kimberly WT, Goldstein JN, Lehmann I, Shih AR, Eils R, Levy BD, Ruiz-Opazo N. Increased Neutrophil-Subset Associated With Severity/Mortality In ARDS And COVID19-ARDS Expresses The Dual Endothelin-1/VEGFsignal-Peptide Receptor (DEspR): An Actionable Therapeutic Target. Res Sq. 2021 Sep 13. PMID: 34545358.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 4/14/2021

    Gromisch CM, Tan GLA, Pasion KA, Moran AM, Gromisch MS, Grinstaff MW, Carr FJ, Herrera VLM, Ruiz-Opazo N. Humanized anti-DEspR IgG4S228P antibody increases overall survival in a pancreatic cancer stem cell-xenograft peritoneal carcinomatosis ratnu/nu model. BMC Cancer. 2021 Apr 14; 21(1):407. PMID: 33853558.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 9/11/2018

    Herrera VL, Colby AH, Ruiz-Opazo N, Coleman DG, Grinstaff MW. Nucleic acid nanomedicines in Phase II/III clinical trials: translation of nucleic acid therapies for reprogramming cells. Nanomedicine (Lond). 2018 08; 13(16):2083-2098. PMID: 30204054.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 11/10/2017

    Oh YS, Berkowitz DE, Cohen RA, Figueroa CA, Harrison DG, Humphrey JD, Larson DF, Leopold JA, Mecham RP, Ruiz-Opazo N, Santhanam L, Seta F, Shyy JYJ, Sun Z, Tsao PS, Wagenseil JE, Galis ZS. A Special Report on the NHLBI Initiative to Study Cellular and Molecular Mechanisms of Arterial Stiffness and Its Association With Hypertension. Circ Res. 2017 11 10; 121(11):1216-1218. PMID: 29122942.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 2/1/2017

    Colby AH, Berry SM, Moran AM, Pasion KA, Liu R, Colson YL, Ruiz-Opazo N, Grinstaff MW, Herrera VL. Highly Specific and Sensitive Fluorescent Nanoprobes for Image-Guided Resection of Sub-Millimeter Peritoneal Tumors. ACS Nano. 2017 02 28; 11(2):1466-1477. PMID: 28099801.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 6/14/2016

    Herrera VL, Steffen M, Moran AM, Tan GA, Pasion KA, Rivera K, Pappin DJ, Ruiz-Opazo N. Confirmation of translatability and functionality certifies the dual endothelin1/VEGFsp receptor (DEspR) protein. BMC Mol Biol. 2016 Jun 14; 17(1):15. PMID: 27301377.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 4/14/2016

    Herrera VL, Colby AH, Tan GA, Moran AM, O'Brien MJ, Colson YL, Ruiz-Opazo N, Grinstaff MW. Evaluation of expansile nanoparticle tumor localization and efficacy in a cancer stem cell-derived model of pancreatic peritoneal carcinomatosis. Nanomedicine (Lond). 2016 May; 11(9):1001-15. PMID: 27078118.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 1/11/2016

    Decano JL, Pasion KA, Black N, Giordano NJ, Herrera VL, Ruiz-Opazo N. Sex-specific genetic determinants for arterial stiffness in Dahl salt-sensitive hypertensive rats. BMC Genet. 2016; 17:19. PMID: 26754450.

    Read at: PubMed

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