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Michael R. Ruggieri, Sr., PhD

Professor, Cardiovascular Sciences
Professor, Center for Translational Medicine

Michael Ruggieri, Sr.
Contact Information

Contact Information



About Me

Research Interests

I have been working in clinically translatable basic science investigations, primarily mechanisms of neural control of visceral smooth muscle. The general approach has been to use animal models of clinically relevant human disorders to identify potential etiologic and pathogenic mechanisms and then verify these mechanisms in human tissue specimens, eventually leading to clinical trials. These clinical conditions have included gastroesophageal reflux disease, lower urinary tract denervation, bladder outlet obstruction, interstitial cystitis/painful bladder syndrome, and overactive bladder. For example, my laboratory was one of the first groups to demonstrate that human urinary bladder muscle strips from patients with certain pathologic conditions show purinergic nerve mediated contractions (J. Urol. 144, 176, 1990). Very recently, in collaboration with Gastroenterologist Dr. Larry Miller, from North Shore – Long Island Jewish Health System, we identified a defect in certain smooth muscle fibers of the gastroesophageal junction in Barrett’s esophagitis that reveals a mechanism for gastroesophageal reflux (Neurogastroenterol. Motil. 26, 430, 2014). This NIH funded project has also uncovered a specific nicotinic receptor subtype as a potential target for development of drugs to treat gastroesophageal reflux disease. Additional currently funded projects include neurosurgical reinnervation of the urinary bladder, urethra and anal sphincter to restore continence and emptying functions to the urinary bladder and colon following spinal injury with co-principal investigator Dr. Mary Barbe of the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology at Temple University. In collaboration with Dr. Wenhui Hu of the Department of Neuroscience, Temple University, we are investigating the effects of selective up and down regulation of NFκB in astroglial versus neuronal cells on gastrointestinal inflammation and contractile function. In another NIH funded project, in collaboration with Dr. Anna Malykhina at the Department of Surgery, University of Pennsylvania, we are studying the pathologic changes in bladder sensory and motor function in a mouse model of coronovirus-induced encephalomyelitis as a model of multiple sclerosis (MS) and characterize the urologic phenotype as compared to lesion location in MS patients.

Education, Training & Credentials

Educational Background

  • PhD, Pharmacology, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
  • BA, Psychology, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA


  • American Society of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics
  • American Urological Association
  • International Continence Society
  • Society for Basic Urological Research
  • Society for Neuroscience
  • Society for Urodynamics and Female Urology

Digital Bibliography

View PubMed Publications