Phone: (706) 721-0698
Fax: (706) 721-7299
Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA, BS in Biochemistry, 1984
Yale University, New Haven, CT, MPhil (1987) and PhD in Cellular and Molecular Physiology, 1990
Hoffmann-La Roche, Inc., Nutley, NJ, post-doctoral fellowship in Pre-Clinical Dermatologic Research, 1991
2009-present Professor, Department of Physiology and College of Graduate Studies, Augusta University, Augusta, GA
2011-present Adjunct Professor, Department of Oral Biology (Dental College of Georgia), Augusta University, Augusta, GA
2011-present VA Research Career Scientist, Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center
2009-present Adjunct Professor, Departments of Cellular Biology and Anatomy, Medicine (Dermatology) and Orthopaedic Surgery, Augusta University, Augusta, GA
2004-2009 Professor, Department of Medicine, Medical College of Georgia, Augusta, GA
1999-2004 Associate Professor, Department of Medicine, Medical College of Georgia, Augusta, GA
1993-1999 Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine, Medical College of Georgia, Augusta, GA
1992-1993 Assistant Professor, Department of Biology, Seton Hall University, South Orange, NJ
My research interests lie in understanding the mechanisms by which hormones, growth factors, cytokines and other signaling molecules instruct cells to respond appropriately to perform their functions. My laboratory currently has one project investigating the regulation of keratinocyte growth and differentiation and a second defining the signaling mechanisms regulating aldosterone secretion from the adrenal gland. In the first project in skin, we are defining the role of the signaling enzymes phospholipase D (PLD) in promoting epidermal keratinocyte differentiation and protein kinase D (PKD) in supporting keratinocyte proliferation and survival. Our data suggest that PLD promotes keratinocyte differentiation and inhibits proliferation whereas PKD acts in an opposite fashion. By regulating these processes PLD and PKD may play a role in the development of skin diseases. Our second project investigates the mechanism by which very low-density lipoprotein (VLDL), the levels of which are elevated in obesity, stimulates the production of aldosterone. As a key hormone involved in sodium homeostasis, aldosterone is an important regulator of blood pressure, and abnormalities in its levels can contribute to various cardiovascular pathologies including hypertension. Since obesity is often associated with high blood pressure, our research may provide one mechanism by which excess weight contributes to hypertension.
In keratinocytes we have obtained data to suggest that PLD, in combination with the glycerol channel aquaporin-3, functions to produce the novel lipid signaling molecule, phosphatidylglycerol, which is involved in regulating early keratinocyte differentiation. By defining the function of this novel PLD-generated lipid signaling system in early keratinocyte differentiation, our research may identify new targets for therapeutic intervention in these skin diseases including non-melanoma skin cancers. In addition, our data indicate that PKD promotes proliferation and/or survival of epidermal keratinocytes. Furthermore, our studies suggest that PKD levels are increased in human basal cell carcinomas. The primary risk factor for the development of basal cell carcinoma is excessive exposure to the ultraviolet radiation of the sun, and we have recently demonstrated that ultraviolet light activates PKD. In addition, overexpression of PKD protects keratinocytes from ultraviolet exposure-induced apoptosis. Thus, we hypothesize that PKD plays a major role in epidermal tumorigenesis, with our results providing a link between PKD, sun exposure and tumorigenesis. Finally, we are also currently investigating the mechanism(s) by which VLDL increases aldosterone production, including possible roles of PLD and PKD, as well as its interaction with other aldosterone agonists such as angiotensin II.
2011-2016 VA Research Career Scientist Award
2014-2015 Completed the Augusta University Executive Leadership Excellence course
2008-2015 Outstanding Performance Award, Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center
2013 Distinguished Teaching Award, Augusta University, The Graduate School
2012 Distinguished Faculty Award, Basic Research, Augusta University, Medical College of Georgia
2012 Selected to attend the Association of American Medical Colleges Mid-Career Women Faculty, Professional Development Seminar in Austin, TX
2011 Nomination and selection as a Fellow of the American Heart Association
2010 Distinguished Research Award, Medical College of Georgia, College of Graduate Studies
2009 Distinguished Service Award, Medical College of Georgia, College of Graduate Studies
Bollag WB. Role of phospholipases in adrenal steroidogenesis. J Endocrinol. 2016 Feb 15. pii: JOE-16-0007.
Bollag WB. Lipid Signaling in Keratinocytes: Lipin-1 plays a PArt. J Lipid Res. 2016 Feb 6. pii: jlr.C067074.
Arun SN, Xie D, Zhong Q, Howard AC, McNeil PL, Bollag WB. Phospholipase D activation by cell wounding and role in membrane repair. J. Lipid Res., 54: 581-591, 2013.
Olala L, Seremwe M, Tsai Y-Y, Bollag WB. A role for phospholipase D in angiotensin II-induced protein kinase D activation in adrenal glomerulosa cells. Mol. Cell. Endocrinol., 66: 31-37, 2013.
Xing Y, Rainey WE, Apolzan JW, Francone OL, Harris RBS, Bollag WB. Adrenal cell aldosterone production is stimulated by very low density lipoprotein (VLDL). Endocrinology, 153: 721-731, 2012.
Voss K, Bollag RJ, Fussell N, By C, Sheehan DJ, Bollag WB. Abnormal aquaporin-3 protein expression in hyperproliferative skin disorders. Arch. Dermatol. Res., 303: 591-600, 2011.
Arun SN, Kaddour-Djebbar I, Shapiro BA, Bollag WB. UVB-induced activation of protein kinase D protects mouse keratinocytes from apoptosis. Oncogene, 30: 1586-1596, 2011.