Elizabeth J. Kovacs, PhD

Elizabeth Kovacs, PhD

Education & Training

  • BA, Biology, Reed College (1978)
  • PhD, Cell Biology, University of Vermont (1984)
  • Postdoctoral Fellowship, Immunoregulation, Biological Response Modifiers Program, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health (1984-1987)
  • Fellow, Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine (ELAM) Program for Women, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA (2009-2010)

Professional Experience

  • Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine
    • Department of Cell Biology, Neurobiology and Anatomy, 1984-2016, Professor 1998-2016
    • Alcohol Research Program, Founder and Director, 1999-2016
    • Burn and Shock Trauma Institute, 1992-2016, Director of Research 2006-2016
    • Immunology and Aging Program, Member, 1998-2016
    • Department of Surgery, Professor 1998-2016, Vice Chair of Research 2006-2016
    • Loyola Biomedical Internship Program, Founder and Director 2006-2016
    • Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Professor 2010-2016
  • University of Colorado Denver / Anschutz Medical Campus
    • Pulmonary Science and Critical Care Medicine, Department of Medicine, Adjoint Professor, 2015
    • Department of Surgery, Division of GI, Trauma and Endocrine Surgery, Professor, 2016-Date
    • Burn Research, Director, 2016-Date
    • Alcohol Research Program, Director, 2017-Date
    • Immunology Graduate Program, Faculty Member, 2016-Date
    • Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP), Faculty Member, 2016-Date
    • GI, and Liver Innate Immunity Program (GALIIP), Faculty Member, 2017-Date

Research and Grants

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?term="Kovacs EJ" [Author]

Grants from the National Institutes of Health and the Veterans Administration:

  • Aging, macrophage mediators, and burn trauma (2020-2025)
    • National Institute on Aging, R01 AG018859, $2,565,102, PI
  • Alcohol and lung immunity in the aged (2018-2021)
    • National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, R21 AA026295, $408,187, PI
  • Alcohol and Immunology Research Interest Group (AIRIG) Meetings (2019-2022)
    • National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, R13 AA020768, $60,000, multi-PI
  • Multi-organ Inflammatory Response after Burn Trauma (2019-2023)
    • Veterans Administration Merit Award, BX004335, $1,050,000, PI
  • Alcohol and Burn Trauma: Multi-organ Inflammatory Response (2019-2024)
    • National Institute on General Medical Science, R35 GM131831, $2,152,940, PI
  • Clinical resource for lung and alcohol investigations infection (2018-2023)
    • National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, R24 AA019661, $2,339,372, Co-PI

Research Interests

Overall focus: The effects of advanced age and alcohol misuse on inflammatory responses after burn trauma or infection.

  • Binge alcohol intoxication and inflammatory/immune responses after injury and/or infection: Systemic and organ-specific inflammatory response after burn injury with or without pulmonary infection, including the gut-liver axis in the development of systemic and pulmonary inflammation. Alcohol effects on macrophage and neutrophil recruitment, activation, phenotype and function. Alcohol intoxication and lung microbiome. Mesenchymal stem cells and inflammatory responses.
  • Inflamm-aging, “macroph-aging” and immunosenescence: Initiation and resolution of inflammation after pulmonary infection in the aged. Intestinal barrier integrity and gut microbiome with advanced age. Aging, innate immunity and lung microbiome. Macrophage phenotype and function across the age spectrum. Sex differences, hormone replacement and inflammatory responses after burn, trauma and infection in the aged.
  • Translational studies in burn trauma and respiratory failure patients: Systemic and pulmonary inflammatory response after burn injury, smoke inhalation, trauma and infection. Effect of smoke inhalation on acute lung injury and acute respiratory distress syndrome. Alcohol misuse in burn and trauma patients. Gut – lung axis in burn trauma and respiratory failure patients.
  • Alcohol and advanced age: Alcohol mediated effects on lung infection in the aged. Effects of aging and alcohol on the gut-liver axis including intestinal barrier integrity and gut microbiome. Gut – brain axis after alcohol in the aged.


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Room: 6111

Aurora, CO 80045


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