Faculty Researcher, Biodesign Center for Immunotherapy, Vaccines and Virotherapy
Faculty Researcher, Biodesign Virginia G. Piper Center for Personalized Diagnostics
Alexandra Lucas moved to the University of Florida in 2006 from Canada where she trained at McGill University and the Universities of Alberta and Western Ontario. Dr. Lucas moved from the John P. Robarts’ Research Institute and University of Western Ontario in London, ON, Canada, where she has been a professor and principal investigator studying inflammation in vascular disease. More recently Dr. Lucas’s research group has examined the roles of serine protease inhibitors (serpins) as well as the glyocalyx and chemokines in transplant vasculoapthy. This work has led to studies on the roles of serpins and glycosaminoglycans both as mediators and as potential therapeutic targets in transplant rejection as well as in acute inflammatory viral hemorrhagic fevers and in aggressive pancreatic cancer. Dr. Lucas is a co-inventor and co-founding scientist for Viron Therapeutics, Inc., a biotechnology company that has now successfully completed a clinical trial analyzing a viral anti-inflammatory serpin, a purified protein therapeutic as a new class of therapeutic agent, holding 17 patents. Dr. Lucas is a practicing interventional cardiologist in addition to running an active basic research lab in vascular inflammatory research with over 127 papers and reviews and 18 patents published as well as two new patents in preparation for submission by the University of Florida. She has held AHA and NIH funding. Dr. Lucas has been an active member of the Canadian Society for Atherosclerosis and Thrombosis Board having also served as Editor-in-Chief for two journals and serves on an American Heart Association grant panel as well as reviewing for the NIH. Dr. Lucas has recently been an invited plenary speaker, presenting research from her lab on serpins and the glycocalyx in inflammatory vascular disease and viral sepsis. She is additionally on the editorial board for several journals. Dr. Lucas also practices karate and is a co-director for an annual medical mission to Fort Liberté in Haiti.