DPLM Faculty Profiles — Dr. Fletcher

Craig A. Fletcher

Craig A. Fletcher, DVM, PhD

Associate Professor

Office: 919-843-9605

E-mail: craig_fletcher@med.unc.edu

Research Interests

My research focuses on (1) the influence of chemokine and chemokine receptor SNPs on inflammation and platelet activation; and (2) determining whether or not chemokines play more of a role in atherogenesis in African Americans than in Caucasians. The central hypothesis is that SNPs in the genes encoding PF4 and Fractalkine and their receptors increase inflammation and thrombosis. In addition, I propose that SNPs in these genes differ between African Americans and Caucasians, and this may account for part of the differential susceptibility to atherosclerotic disease between these two subpopulations. PF4 is a chemokine released from activated platelets, which has potent pro-inflammatory properties. Our hypothesis is that Fractalkine-induced PF4 release is pro-atherogenic. The receptor for PF4 has only very recently been identified as CXCR3B, an isoform of the CXCR3 gene found on endothelium. An important aspect of our research is to identify any polymorphisms that may exist within the CXCR3 gene, and to characterize whether the putative polymorphisms have a functional or pathogenic significance in the context of atherogenesis.

Selected Publications

P Laplante, R Fuentes, D Salem, R Subang, M-A Gillis, A Hachem, N Farhat, ST Qureshi, CA Fletcher, RAS Roubey, Y Merhi, É Thorin, JS Levine, N Mackman and J Rauch . Antiphospholipid antibody-mediated effects in an arterial model of thrombosis are dependent on Toll-like receptor 4 Lupus. 2015 (September).

George NM, Whitaker J, Vieira G, Geronimo J, Bellinger DA, Fletcher CA, Garner JP. Antioxidant Therapies for Ulcerative Dermatitis: A Potential Model for Skin Picking Disorder. PLoS ONE, 2015 (vol & issue): pone.0132092.

Marshall SA, Rinker JA, Harrison LK, Fletcher CA, Herfel TM, Thiele TE. Assessment of the Effects of 6 Standard Rodent Diets on Binge-Like and Voluntary Ethanol Consumption in Male C57BL/6J Mice. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research 2015 Jun 25. doi: 10.1111/acer.12773.