University of Northern Colorado
School of Biological Sciences
Campus Box 92
Greeley, CO 80639
Postdoctoral: Molecular Immunology, Department of Biology, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA
Ph.D.: Anatomy & Neurobiology, Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine, Richmond, VA
B.S.: Biology, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA
2020-Present; Associate Professor, University of Northern Colorado
2017-Present; Graduate Faculty, UNC
2016-2020; Assistant Professor, UNC
2013-2016; Clark Cox Professor in Science, William Woods University, Fulton, MO
2012-2016; Assistant Professor of Biology, WWU
2010-2012; NIH-IRACDA Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Biology, Virginia Commonwealth
University and the Department of Chemistry, Geology, and Physics, Elizabeth City State
Go to this page for a list of courses I teach, including latest syllabi.
American Association of Immunologists
Society for Leukocyte Biology
American Association for Anatomy
American Association for the Advancement of Science
2021-present; Editor-in-Chief, Data in Brief (Elsevier)
2020-2023; Education Committee, AAI
2019-present; Editorial Board Member, Scientific Reports
2019-present; Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee, SLB
2018-present; Section Editor, Biochemistry and Immunology, Data in Brief
2014-present; Textbook reviewer for Macmillan, Sinauer Associates, Garland Science,
and Morton Publishing Company
2014-2017; Reviewer for the Improving Teacher Quality Grants Program, Missouri Department
of Higher Education
2014-2016; Biological Sciences Section Chair, Missouri Academy of Science
2013-2016; Content expert consultant for the Biology Missouri Educator Gateway Assessment,
Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
2009-2018; Reader and judge for the Virginia Academy of Science
Research/Areas of Interest
ResearchGate Google Scholar
Chronic inflammation underlies pathologies as seemingly diverse as cancer, allergy,
and a festering wound. My research focuses on discovering the dysfunctional molecular
signals and circuitry causing cells to become bad actors, and why some people are
more prone to these problems than others. In the lab we do this by examining signal
transduction in cells differentiated from adult stem cells, particularly mast cells,
macrophages, immature myeloid cells, and different populations of mesenchymal stem
cells. We also use in vivo modeling to observe the consequences of targeting certain pathways in inflammatory
diseases. The lab's broad areas include (1) Mast Cell Biology; (2) Inflammatory Modulation; and (3) Immune Cell Dynamics in Cancer. Our ultimate goals are to better understand the
diversity of innate and adaptive immune responses, and contribute knowledge to more
individually tailored approaches for treatment.
Current projects include:
- Signaling networks (esp. TGF-β1) and differential expression of myeloid cells during
inflammation and in response to immunosuppression
- Off-label drug uses and novel compounds, such as plant alkaloids and cannabinoids,
for healthful resolution of inflammatory responses
- Cellular & molecular mechanisms underlying complementary and integrative health practices
such as exercise.
- Trained immunity (a.k.a. "innate memory") of mast cells in cancer and autoimmunity
- Targeting mast cell specific receptors during inflammation
- Smoak P, Harman N, Flores V, Kisiolek J, Pullen NA, Lisano J, Hayward R, Stewart LK.
Kefir is a viable exercise recovery beverage for cancer survivors enrolled in a structured
exercise program. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise in press 2021. link.
- Haas G, Dunn A, Madsen J, Genovese P, Chauvin H, Au J, Ziemkiewicz N, Johnson D, Paoli
A, Lin A, Pullen N, Garg K. Biomimetic sponges improve muscle structure and function
following volumetric muscle loss. Journal of Biomedical Materials Research Part A. in press 2021. link.
- Vita AA, Aljobaily H, Lyons DO, Pullen NA. Berberine delays onset of collagen-induced
arthritis through T cell suppression. International Journal of Molecular Sciences 2021; 22(7): 3522. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms22073522
- Ziemkiewicz N, Hilliard G, Pullen NA, Garg K. The role of innate and adaptive immune
cells in skeletal muscle regeneration. International Journal of Molecular Sciences 2021; 22(6): 3265. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms22063265
- Garritson J, Krynski L, Haverbeck L, Haughian JM, Pullen NA, Hayward R. Physical activity
delays accumulation of immunosuppressive myeloid-derived suppressor cells. PLoS ONE 2020; 15(6): e0234548. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0234548
- Lopatto D, Rosenwald A, DiAngelo JR... Elgin SCR. Facilitating Growth through Frustration:
Using Genomics Research in a Course-Based Undergraduate Research Experience. Journal of Microbiology & Biology Education 2020; 21(1).
- Pullen NA. Using Concept Maps to Encourage the Meaningful Interpretation of Immunology
Facts and Processes. AAI Newsletter (2020) July: 28-29.
- Lyons DO and Pullen NA. Beyond IgE: Alternative Mast Cell Activation Across Different
Disease States. International Journal of Molecular Sciences 2020; 21(4): 1498.
- Vita AA, Aljobaily H, Lyons DO, Pullen NA. Berberine delays onset of collagen induced
arthritis through T cell suppression. bioRxiv 2019; 736264 [Preprint].
- Vita AA, Royse EA, Pullen NA. Nanoparticles and danger signals: oral delivery vehicles
as potential disruptors of intestinal barrier homeostasis. Journal of Leukocyte Biology 2019; 106(1):95-103.
- Lyons DO, Plewes MR, Pullen NA. Soluble transforming growth factor beta-1 enhances
murine mast cell release of Interleukin 6 in IgE-independent and Interleukin 13 in
IgE-dependent settings in vitro. PLoS ONE 2018; 13(11): e0207704. Publication of this article was funded in part by the University of Northern Colorado
Fund for Faculty Publication. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0207704
Pullen NA, Pickford AR, Perry MM, Jaworski DM, Loveson KF, Arthur DJ, Holliday J,
Van Meter TE, Peckham R, Younas W, Briggs S, MacDonald S, Butterfield T, Constantinou
M, Fillmore HL. Current insights into matrix metalloproteinases and glioma progression:
transcending the degradation boundary. Metalloproteinases In Medicine 2018; 5: 13-30.
- Elgin, SC, Hauser, C, Holzen, TM, Jones, C, Kleinschmidt, A, Leatherman, J, Genomics
Education Partnership*. The GEP: Crowd-Sourcing Big Data Analysis with Undergraduates.
Trends in Genetics 2017; 33(2), 81-85. *among the GEP contributing authors.
- Faber TW, Pullen NA, Fernando J, Kolawole EM, McLeod JJA, Taruselli M, Williams K,
Rivera K, Barnstein BO, Conrad DH and Ryan JJ. ADAM10 is Required for SCF-induced
Mast Cell Migration. Cellular Immunology 2014; 290(1): 80-8.
- Morales JK, Saleem SJ, Martin RK, Saunders BL, Barnstein BO, Faber TW, Pullen NA,
Kolawole EM, Brooks KB, Norton SK, Sturgill J, Graham L, Bear HD, Urban JF, Lantz
CS, Conrad DH and Ryan JJ. Myeloid Derived Suppressor Cells Enhance Mast Cell Responses
In Vitro and In Vivo. Journal of Leukocyte Biology 2014; 95(4): 643-50.
- Fernando J, Faber T, Pullen NA, Falanga YT, Kolawole M, Oskeritzian C, Barnstein B,
Bandara G, Li G, Schwartz LB, Gurish M, Spiegel S, Strauss D, Conrad D, Bunting K
and Ryan JJ. Genotype-dependent Effects of TGFβ1 on Mast Cell Function: Targeting
the Stat5 Pathway. The Journal of Immunology 2013; 191(9):4505-13.
- Garg K, Pullen NA, Oskeritzian CA, Ryan JJ and Bowlin GL. Macrophage functional polarization
(M1/M2) in response to varying fiber and pore dimensions of electrospun scaffolds.
Biomaterials 2013; 34(18):4439-51.
- Pullen NA, Barnstein BO, Falanga YT, Wang Z, Suzuki R, Lama Tamang TD, Khurana MC,
Harry EA, Rivera J, Draber P, Bunting KD, Mizuno K, Wilson BS and Ryan JJ. Novel mechanism
for FcεRI-mediated STAT5 tyrosine phosphorylation and the selective influence of STAT5B
over mast cell cytokine production. The Journal of Biological Chemistry 2012; 287(3) 2045-54.
- Pullen NA, Falanga YT, Morales JK, and Ryan JJ. The Fyn-STAT5 pathway: a new frontier
in IgE and IgG-mediated mast cell signaling (peer-reviewed review). Frontiers in Immunology 2012; 3: 117.
- Falanga YT, Chaimowitz NS, Charles N, Finkelman FD, Pullen NA, Barbour S, Dholaria
K, Faber T, Kolawole M, Huang B, Odom S, Rivera J, Carlyon J, Conrad DH, Spiegel S,
Oskeritzian CA, and Ryan JJ. Lyn but not Fyn kinase controls IgG-Mediated Systemic
Anaphylaxis. The Journal of Immunology 2012; 188(9):4360-8.
- Pullen NA, Anand M, Cooper PS and Fillmore HL. Matrix metalloproteinase-1 expression
enhances tumorigenicity as well as tumor-related angiogenesis and is inversely associated
with TIMP-4 expression in a model of glioblastoma. Journal of Neuro-Oncology 2012; 106(3) 461-71.
- Kabolizadeh P, Engelmann BJ, Pullen NA, Ryan JJ, Stewart J, and Farrell NP. Platinum
anti-cancer agents and antidepressants. Desipramine enhances platinum-based cytotoxicity
in human colon cancer cells. Journal of Biological Inorganic Chemistry 2012; 17(1) 123-32.
- Pullen NA and Fillmore HL. Induction of matrix metalloproteinase-1 and glioma cell
motility by nitric oxide. Journal of Neuro-Oncology 2010; 96(2):201-9.
- Rife T, Rasoul B, Pullen N, Mitchell D, Grathwol K and Kurth J. The Effect of a Promoter
Polymorphism on the Transcription of Nitric Oxide Synthase I and Its Relevance to
Parkinson’s Disease. Journal of Neuroscience Research 2009; 87(10):2319-25.
- Golding SE, Pullen NA, Lama Tamang T, Hubbard N, and Barbour S. Undergraduate research
training blossoms at VCU: pollinated by students, nurtured by faculty. Featured vignette,
CUR Quarterly 2012; 33(1): 31.
Honors and Awards
2019; College of Natural and Health Sciences Excellence in Teaching Award
2018-2020; UNC Sponsored Research Fellow
2018; Early Career Faculty Grant, American Association of Immunologists
2016; Undergraduate Faculty Travel Grant (Seattle, WA), American Association of Immunologists
2015; Louis D. Beaumont Dad’s Association Distinguished Professor Award for Excellence
in Teaching, WWU
2015; AAI Undergraduate Science Faculty Program (Long Beach, CA), American Association
2014; Undergraduate Faculty Travel Grant (Pittsburgh, PA), American Association of Immunologists
2013; Clark Cox Distinguished Professor of Science, chair endowed by the Kresge Foundation,
2010; IRACDA Postdoctoral Fellowship, NIGMS, VCU
2008; Jack Denning Burke Award for Excellence in Cell Biology Research, VCU
2007; A.D. Williams Fellowship, VCU