(Philadelphia, PA) - James G. Hecker, PhD, MD, has been appointed Assistant Professor in the Department of Anesthesia, at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.

In 1982, Dr. Hecker attended the University of Washington, where he earned his PhD in Chemical/Biomedical Engineering. He went on to receive his MD from the University of Virginia in 1989. He completed his residency in Anesthesiology and fellowship in Molecular Biology (with a National Institutes of Health Research Training Grant), at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.

Dr. Hecker is actively researching ways to deliver genes for short-term gene expression without using viruses. This non-viral gene approach uses lipids to enable DNA and messenger RNA to get into cells and organs. His primary goal is to use these methods to deliver genes to protect the brain or spinal cord before risky types of surgery, or to minimize secondary injury to the brain or spinal cord after stroke or traumatic injury. To support his research, he has received grants from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke-one of the National Institutes of Health, the Foundation for Anesthesia and Education Research, and the American Heart Association, among others.

He is a member of several professional societies including the Society for Neuroscience, the American Society of Gene Therapy, National Society of Neurotrama, the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the International Anesthesia Research Society. He is an ad-hoc reviewer for the Journal of Neuroscience and Molecular Therapy. Dr. Hecker has authored or co-authored research in publications including the American Journal of Anesthesiology, Molecular Therapy and Biomedical Engineering. He has been invited to lecture on several occasions, most recently at the 5th Annual National Meeting of the American Society of Gene Therapy in Boston, on the topic, "Clinical Applications: When is Short Term Expression Better?"

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