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Scott C. Supowit, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Cell Biology & Anatomy
University of South Carolina School of Medicine

Office:  803-216-3822
Lab:     803-216-3840
Fax:     803-216-3846
Email: scott.supowit@uscmed.sc.edu



North Texas State University – Bachelors of Arts – Philosophy
1975 North Texas State University – Masters of Science – Biology
1981 Baylor University – Ph.D. – Cell and Molecular Biology

Research Focus

Calcitonin gene related–peptide (CGRP) regulates blood pressure and regional organ blood flows both under normal physiological conditions and in a number of cardiovascular disease states. CGRP is made in sensory neurons located in dorsal root ganglia (DRG). Neurons in the DRG send nerve fibers centrally into the spinal cord and peripherally to virtually every organ in the body, particularly the vasculature. CGRP has been shown to play a major role in inflammatory diseases, pain transmission, and regulation of autonomic function. These proteins are also very potent vasodilators and we have previously demonstrated that they play a direct role in the regulation of blood pressure in several rat models of hypertension. More recently, using genetically engineered mice that have a permanent deletion of either the CGRP gene, we confirmed that these proteins play an important role in the regulation of normal blood pressure and the development and maintenance of high blood pressure. We also determined that CGRP plays an important role in regulating blood circulation in the heart, protects the heart and kidneys from damage caused by high blood pressure, and protects the heart against injury caused by a lack of oxygen as the result of a heart attack. More recently, we have demonstrated that CGRP plays a significant protective role against heart failure.  Therefore, the long term goal of our research is to elucidate the role that sensory nerves (via CGRP) play in the regulation of normal blood vessel function, the development and maintenance of high blood pressure, modulation of coronary blood flows, and protective activities in the heart and kidneys.

Recent Publications

  • Li J, Carnevale KA, DiPette DJ, Supowit SC. Renal protective effects of alpha calcitonin gene-related peptide in deoxycorticosterone-salt hypertension. Am J Physiol-Renal Physiol. 2013; 304: F1000-1008.
  • Li J, Levick SP, DiPette DJ, Janicki JS, Supowit SC (2013) Alpha-calcitonin gene-related peptide is protective against pressure overload-induced heart failure. Regul Pep 185:20-28.
  • Meléndez GC, Li J, Law BA, Janicki JS, Supowit SC, Levick SP (2011) Substance P induces adverse myocardial remodelling via a mechanism involving cardiac mast cells. Cardiovasc Res 92:420-429.
  • Supowit SC, Katki KA, Hein TW, Gupta P, Kuo L, Dickerson IM, Dipette DJ (2011) Vascular reactivity to calcitonin gene-related peptide is enhanced in subtotal nephrectomy-salt induced hypertension. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol 301:H683-688.
  • Supowit SC, Zhao H, Katki KA, Gupta P, Dipette DJ Bradykinin and prostaglandin E₁ regulate calcitonin gene-related peptide expression in cultured rat sensory neurons. Regul Pept 167:105-111.
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