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NextGen Discovery Series – March 20, 2023


The NextGen Precision Health Discovery Series provides learning opportunities for UM System faculty and staff across disciplines, the statewide community and our other partners to learn about the scope of precision health research and identify potential collaborative opportunities. The series consists of monthly lectures geared toward a broad multidisciplinary audience so all can participate and appreciate the spectrum of precision health efforts. 

Information about this talk, including continuing education, is available below.

For questions about this event or any others in the Discovery Series, please reach out to Veronica Lemme at


"The Perivascular Neuro-Immuno-Adipose Axis in Inflammatory Bowel Disease"

Speaker: Erika Boerman, PhD, Assistant Professor, Medical Pharmacology & Physiology, University of Missouri

Date: March 20, 2023, noon-1 p.m.




This presentation focused on mechanisms of dysfunction in mesenteric arteries in a mouse model of inflammatory bowel disease. Specific mechanisms examined included (1) the function of perivascular sympathetic and sensory nerves, (2) the accumulation of macrophages in perivascular tissue and (3) the function of perivascular adipose tissue in health and IBD.


About the SpeakerDr. Erika Boerman

Erika Boerman is an assistant professor in the Department of Medical Pharmacology and Physiology at the University of Missouri. Research in her lab centers on understanding mechanisms regulating blood flow to tissues and learning how these mechanisms are altered in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). More specifically, we use a combination of molecular, in vitro and in vivo techniques to study the role of perivascular nerves in the regulation of vasomotor control and the pathogenesis of IBD. Dr. Boerman’s vascular interests began with doctoral research at Michigan State University centered on global and local Ca2+ signals in vascular smooth muscle cells. Postdoctoral training followed at the University of Missouri, involving development of a novel intravital preparation to study vasomotor control of mesenteric arteries in aged mice. Subsequently work focused on perivascular sensory nerve dysfunction, impaired smooth muscle and endothelial cell calcium signaling, and altered gene expression profiles related to advanced age in the vasculature. This work led to current interests in investigating the role of perivascular sensory nerves in IBD, where sensory neurotransmitters and alterations in blood flow appear to be linked with disease severity. Early studies defining impaired perivascular nerve function in an IL-10-/- mouse model of IBD led to a NHLBI K99/R00 award. Independent research now focuses on mechanisms by which perivascular sensory nerves, in both the adventitia and perivascular adipose, around mesenteric arteries are impaired with IBD. Preliminary studies showing an important role for accumulated perivascular macrophages in sensory nerve dysfunction with IBD led to an R01 award, starting April 2021. The lab is now developing new transgenic mouse models and techniques to study nerve-immune-adipose interactions and blood flow changes in mesenteric arteries during IBD.


Continuing Professional Education Credit

Successful Completion of this activity, which includes participating in the educational offering, participating in the evaluation process and completing the verification of attendance, enables the learner to satisfy the requirements for continuing education.

Nursing Contact Hours

University of Missouri Sinclair School of Nursing is approved as a provider of nursing continuing professional development by the Midwest Multistate Division, an accredited approver by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation (ANCC). 

1.0 contact hour may be awarded.


The University of Missouri-Columbia School of Medicine is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians. 

The University of Missouri-Columbia School of Medicine designates this live educational activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™. Physicians should only claim the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Financial Relationships

Current ACCME and Midwest Multistate Division, ANCC rules state that participants in continuing education activities should be made aware of any relevant affiliation or financial interest in the previous 24 months that may affect the planning of an educational activity or a speaker’s presentation(s). Each planning committee member and speaker has been requested to complete a financial relationship reporting form for the NextGen Precision Health Discovery Series. No planning committee member or speaker has a relevant financial interest.