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Colleen Cosgrove Hegg

Colleen Cosgrove HeggAssociate Professor
Pharmacology and Toxicology


Research Interests:
Dr. Hegg is studying the role of purinergics in neuroregeneration of olfactory receptor neurons. Her previous studies suggest that the purinergic system plays an integral role in signaling acute damage to the olfactory epithelium. She is currently investigating whether endogenous ATP, released by noxious stimulation due to airborne pollutants or toxicants, acts as a neurotrophic factor in the peripheral olfactory system. The olfactory system has not been extensively studied from a toxicological perspective and Dr. Hegg is poised to initiate studies on the effects of environmental toxicants, including components of cigarette smoke and other airborne toxicants, on olfaction, glial-like sustentacular cell function, toxicity and neuroregeneration.  She also has a long-standing interest in the cellular mechanisms of toxicity, particularly, but not exclusively, in the nervous system.

Educational Background:
Kalamazoo College, B.A., Chemistry, 1990
University of Wisconsin, Ph.D., Environmental Toxicology, 1996

Selected Professional Activities:
Dr. Hegg was a NIH Postdoctoral Training Grant Recipient at the University of Minnesota-Minneapolis where she studied glial-induced AIDS neurotoxicity. She received an NIH training grant while at the University of Wisconsin. She received Biology Department Honors for independent rsearch, the Catherin A. Smith Prize, and an honors scholoarship while at Kalamazoo College. She belongs to the American Physiological Society (Member, Women in Physiology Committee), the Association for Chemoreception Sciences (Member, Finance Committee), and the Society for Neuroscience.


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Laboratory Trainees:

  • Dr. Cuihong Jia, Postdoctoral, Pharmacology and Toxicology
  • Chelsea Hutch, Predoctoral, Neuroscience
  • Tania Iqbal, Predoctoral, Neuroscience