Dr. Regal was named the Co-Interim Regional Campus Dean of the University of Minnesota Medical School, Duluth Campus. She became active in this role on April 19, 2021 through Summer 2022.
The overall goals of my research program involve understanding basic immune mechanisms of cardiopulmonary disease. I have a long-standing interest in the complement system as a mediator of adverse events in disease states such as anaphylaxis, asthma and most currently pregnancy-induced hypertension. These interests have also involved defining mechanisms of pulmonary immunotoxicity of small molecule workplace allergens such as trimellitic anhydride. My research approach involves experimentation at the molecular, biochemical and physiological levels using animal models of disease. Current research projects include:
Pregnancy-induced Hypertension Preeclampsia and related hypertensive disorders of pregnancy affect ~10% of all pregnancies in the United States, significantly impacting the health of both mother and child. The initiating event of preeclampsia involves impaired blood flow to the placenta and the end result for the mother is high blood pressure and protein in the urine, along with growth restriction in the fetus. During pregnancy, the immune system including the plasma complement system, is tightly regulated to allow fetal survival. In women with preeclampsia the complement system is excessively activated, and our long-term goal is to determine the therapeutic utility of manipulating the complement system to prevent preeclampsia or minimize consequences for the mother and child. We hypothesized that complement system activation and white blood cell recruitment lead to hypertension in the mother and growth restriction in the fetus. Thus, we are manipulating the complement system and white blood cell function in a model of placental ischemia induced high blood pressure to determine the critical mechanisms responsible for the pregnancy complications. Our most recent studies are defining the role of natural antibody and the B lymphocyte in initiating complement activation in vivo, and assessing the importance of endogenous complement regulators in limiting the activation.
Dr. Regal's lab is currently funded through the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute of NIH and the American heart Association.
- Director, AHC Women's Mentoring Program
- Director, AHC Duluth Research Seminar Series
- Editorial Board, Hypertension
- Editorial Board, Toxicological Sciences
- Associate Editor, Journal of Immunotoxicology
- Fellow, Academy of Toxicological Sciences
Chemotherapy of Infection; Anti-inflammatory Drugs; Drugs for Pulmonary Disorders
Mentoring/Advising: undergraduates, graduate & post-doctoral fellows