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Faculty Detail    
Campus Address KAUL 664 Zip 6823
Phone  205-934-0062
Other websites

Faculty Appointment(s)
Appointment Type Department Division Rank
Primary  Pathology   Pathology Gen Administration Associate Professor
Secondary  Biomedical Engineering  Biomedical Engineering Associate Professor
Center  Biomedical Engineering  Biomatrix Eng Regen Med (BERM) Ctr Associate Professor
Center  Center for Biophysical Sciences/Engineering  Center for Biophysical Sciences/Engineering Associate Professor
Center  Comp Arthritis, MSK, Bone & Autoimmunity Ctr  Comp Arthritis, MSK, Bone & Autoimmunity Ctr Associate Professor
Center  Comprehensive Diabetes Center  Comprehensive Diabetes Center Associate Professor
Center  Vision Sciences  Vision Science Research Center Associate Professor

Graduate Biomedical Sciences Affiliations
Integrative Biomedical Sciences 
Molecular and Cellular Pathology Program 

Biographical Sketch 
Dr. Kucik graduated with Honors from UW-Madison in 1982. He then earned his MD and PhD as an MSTP student at Washington University in St. Louis, studying how cells rearrange their adhesion molecules to locomote. Working with Elliot Elson, PhD, and Michael Sheetz, PhD, he helped to develop the technique of Single Particle Tracking to understand membrane protein movements in living cells. Also as part of his thesis, he published one of the earliest studies using the Laser Tweezers for biological experiments. As a Howard Hughes Fellow with Eric J. Brown, MD, Dr. Kucik directly demonstrated for the first time how integrins rearrange to modulate leukocyte adhesion. At UAB since 1997, he has continued to push the frontiers of technology to understand cell adhesion and cell behavior in the bloodstream. Clinically, Dr. Kucik works as a Staff Pathologist at University Hospital, and is Chief of Pathology at the Birmingham VA Medical Center.

Society Memberships
Organization Name Position Held Org Link
Academy of Clinical Laboratory Physicians and Scientists  Membership Committee 
American Association of Blood Banks 
American Society for Cell Biology 
American Society for Gravitational and Space Biology  Membership Committee 
American Society for Investigative Pathology 
American Society for Investigative Pathology 
Biophysical Society 
Committee on Space Research 
Radiation Research Society 

Research/Clinical Interest
Radiation-induced atherosclerosis and regulation of leukocyte adhesion
White blood cell adhesion to blood vessel walls constitutes an essential early step in the defense against infection, without which an immune response cannot develop. On the other hand, too much adhesion can lead to atherosclerosis and other major health problems. Using a flow-cell system that mimics conditions in the blood vessel, dynamic adhesion is analyzed by high-time-resolution digital imaging and computer analysis. Cultured endothelium and leukocytes from knockout mice enable us to define the functions of specific adhesion molecules. This work is also important to understand how cancer cells metastasize to distant sites via the bloodstream. In a separate project, we are working to understand how increased endothelial adhesiveness contributes to the mechanism of radiation-induced atherosclerosis. As part of a NASA project to determine the cardiovascular risk of long duration space flight, our lab conducts experiments at Brookhaven National Laboratory using ion beams to simulate cosmic radiation. The consequences for both mice and cultured endothelial cells are then determined to understand the risk not only of cosmic radiation exposure, but of therapeutic radiation, occupational exposure, and other forms of terrestrial radiation as well.

Selected Publications 
Publication PUBMEDID
Kucik DF, Elson EL, Sheetz MP: Forward transport of glycoproteins on leading lamellipodia in locomoting cells. Nature 1989;340(6231):315-317  2473406 
Kucik DF, Dustin ML, Miller, JM, Brown EJ: Adhesion-activating phorbol ester increases the mobility of leukocyte integrin LFA-1. in cultured lymphocytes. J. Clin. Invest. 1996; 97(9):2139-2144.  8621804 
Scott MG, Kucik DF, Goodnough LT, Monk T. Blood substitutes: evolution and future application. Clin. Chem. 1997, 43(9):1724-1731.  9299967 
Kucik DF, Elson EL, Sheetz MP: Weak dependence of the diffusion rates of membrane protein aggregates on aggregate size supports a viscous model of retardation of diffusion. Biophys J. 1999, 76: 314-322.  9876143 
Zhou, X, Li, J. and DF Kucik. The microtubule cytoskeleton participates in control of ?2 integrin avidity. J. Biol. Chem. 2001, 276:44762-44769  11579083 
Kucik, DF. Rearrangement of integrins in avidity regulation by leukocytes. Immunol. Res. 2002 26:219-226  12403358 
Kevil, C.G., D.C. Bullard, and D.F. Kucik. High temporal- and spatial-resolution analysis demonstrates that ICAM-1 modulates monocyte adhesion by stabilizing slow rolling. Am. J. Physiol. 2003 Jul;285(1):C112-8.  12637264 
Ni, N., Kevil, C.G., D.C. Bullard, and D.F. Kucik. Avidity Modulation activates leukocyte-endothelium adhesion under flow and requires cooperativity among adhesion receptors. Biophys. J. 2003 85:4122-4133.  14645099 
Kucik D.F., R. L. Rouleau, L. W. Smith, X. Wu and K. B. Gupta. Use of an integrated flow-chamber adhesion assay for measuring leukocyte adhesion properties in simulated and actual microgravity. Grav. & Space Biol. 2006 19(2):125-126.   
Yu, T., Wu, X., Gupta, K.B., and Kucik D.F. Affinity, lateral mobility and clustering contribute independently to beta2-integrin-mediated adhesion. American Journal of Physiology 2010, 299(2):C399-410.   
Yu, T., Yu, S., Parks, B.W., Gupta, K., Wu, X., Khaled, S. Chang, P.Y., Srivastava, R., Kabarowski, J. H. S., and D.F. Kucik. Iron-ion irradiation accelerates atherogenesis in the Apo-E mouse model. Radiat Res., Radiat Res. 2011 Jun;175(6):766-73.  21466380 
Khaled S, Gupta KB, Kucik DF. Ionizing radiation increases adhesiveness of human aortic endothelial cells via a chemokine-dependent mechanism. Radiat Res. 2012 May;177(5):594-601.   22087741 
Wu X, Yu T, Bullard DC, Kucik DF. SDF-1α (CXCL12) regulation of lateral mobility contributes to activation of LFA-1 adhesion. Am J Physiol Cell Physiol. 303(6):C666-72. Epub. 2012 Aug 8.   22875786 
White, C.R., Yu, T., Gupta, K., Babitz, S.K, Black, L.L., Kabarowski, J.H. and D.F. Kucik. Early changes in vascular reactivity in response to 56Fe irradiation in apoE -/- mice. Acta Astronautica 2015 108:40-45   
White, C.R., Yu, T., Gupta, K., Kabarowski, J.H. and D.F. Kucik. Heavy-ion (56Fe) Irradiation Leads to Impaired Aortic Relaxation Prior to Atherosclerotic Plaque Formation in ApoE -/- Mice. J. Radiat. Res., in press.   

leukocytes, integrins, selectins, cytoskeleton, adhesion, flow, radiation, atherosclerosis, biophysics