Jason C. Gardner, PhD

Research interests

Pulmonary Innate Immunity and Hematopoiesis


Research in our laboratory is focused on addressing complications in burn patients and other critically ill populations. Pneumonia is a frequent life threatening complication in the critically ill. The response to pneumonia is a delicate balance between an appropriate inflammatory response, which orchestrates effective clearance of microbes from the lung, and excessive inflammatory responses that compromise gas exchange and result in respiratory failure. A primary goal of our research is to define the axis of cytokines, signaling pathways and cellular responses that determine the balance between an effective and deleterious response to pneumonia. Our laboratory is also interested in the anemia of critical illness, which is associated with ongoing inflammation, poor red blood cell production and an attenuated response to erythropoietin. The anemia of critical illness is a primary cause of anemia in the burn patient and a major factor driving the need for transfusion. Transfusions are associated with poor outcomes and increased episodes of infection. Our laboratory is working to define the molecular mechanisms responsible for impaired erythropoiesis following burn injury with a goal of developing therapeutic approaches to reduce transfusions in the burn patient.

Education and training

Bachelor’s Degree: Microbiology, Indiana University, 1996

Doctoral Degree: Pathobiology and Molecular Medicine, University of Cincinnati, 2013

Postdoctoral Training: University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, 2016


  1. Neely, A.N., R.L. Brown, C.E. Clendening, M.M. Orloff, J. Gardner, and D.G. Greenhalgh, Proteolytic activity in human burn wounds. Wound Repair Regen, 1997. 5(4): p. 302-9.
  1. Neely, A.N., C.E. Clendening, J. Gardner, D.G. Greenhalgh, and G.D. Warden, Gelatinase activity in keloids and hypertrophic scars. Wound Repair Regen, 1999. 7(3): p. 166-71.
  1. Neely, A.N., C.E. Clendening, J. Gardner, and D.G. Greenhalgh, Gelatinase activities in wounds of healing-impaired mice versus wounds of non-healing-impaired mice. J Burn Care Rehabil, 2000. 21(5): p. 395-402.
  1. Neely, A.N., T. Mayes, J. Gardner, R.J. Kagan, and M.M. Gottschlich, A microbiologic study of enteral feeding hang time in a burn hospital: can feeding costs be reduced without compromising patient safety? Nutr Clin Pract, 2006. 21(6): p. 610-6.
  1. Neely, A.N., L.A. Regnold, S. Hayes, J. Gardner, and T.J. Cahill, Redesign of portable suction equipment cases: an engineering approach to a disinfection problem. Am J Infect Control, 2006. 34(5): p. 281-4.
  1. DiGiandomenico, A., J. Rao, K. Harcher, T.S. Zaidi, J. Gardner, A.N. Neely, G.B. Pier, and J.B. Goldberg, Intranasal immunization with heterologously expressed polysaccharide protects against multiple Pseudomonas infections. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 2007. 104(11): p. 4624-9.
  1. Smiley, A.K., J. Gardner, J.M. Klingenberg, A.N. Neely, and D.M. Supp, Expression of human beta defensin 4 in genetically modified keratinocytes enhances antimicrobial activity. J Burn Care Res, 2007. 28(1): p. 127-32.
  1. Healy, D.P., J.C. Gardner, B.K. Puthoff, R.J. Kagan, and A.N. Neely, Antibiotic-mediated bacterial filamentation: A potentially important laboratory phenomenon. Clinical Microbiology Newsletter, 2007. 29(3): p. 22-24.
  1. Supp, D.M., J. Gardner, J.M. Klingenberg, and A.N. Neely, Antibiotic resistance in clinical isolates of Acinetobacter baumannii, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Staphylococcus aureus does not impact sensitivity to human beta defensin 4. Burns, 2009. 35(7): p. 949-55.
  1. Osterburg, A., J. Gardner, S.H. Hyon, A. Neely, and G. Babcock, Highly antibiotic-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii clinical isolates are killed by the green tea polyphenol (-)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG). Clin Microbiol Infect, 2009. 15(4): p. 341-6.
  1. Tschop, J., A. Martignoni, M.D. Reid, S.G. Adediran, J. Gardner, G.J. Noel, C.K. Ogle, A.N. Neely, and C.C. Caldwell, Differential immunological phenotypes are exhibited after scald and flame burns. Shock, 2009. 31(2): p. 157-63.
  1. Neely, A.N., J. Gardner, P. Durkee, G.D. Warden, D.G. Greenhalgh, J.J. Gallagher, D.N. Herndon, R.G. Tompkins, and R.J. Kagan, Are topical antimicrobials effective against bacteria that are highly resistant to systemic antibiotics? J Burn Care Res, 2009. 30(1): p. 19-29.
  1. Dugan, A.L., K.A. Gregerson, A. Neely, J. Gardner, G.J. Noel, G.F. Babcock, and N.D. Horseman, Mice treated with a benzodiazepine had an improved survival rate following Pseudomonas aeruginosa infection. J Burn Care Res, 2010. 31(1): p. 1-12.
  1. Healy, D.P., A.D. Sombun, J.C. Gardner, K. Good, P.J. Durkee, L. Toner, M.T. Rieman, A.N. Neely, and R.J. Kagan, Pharmacokinetics of colistin in an adolescent boy with extensive burn injury. J Burn Care Res, 2011. 32(1): p. e7-11.
  1. Gardner, J.C., J.G. Noel, N.M. Nikolaidis, R. Karns, B.J. Aronow, C.K. Ogle, and F.X. McCormack, G-CSF drives a posttraumatic immune program that protects the host from infection. J Immunol, 2014. 192(5): p. 2405-17.
  1. Pasula, R., A.K. Azad, J.C. Gardner, L.S. Schlesinger, and F.X. McCormack, Keratinocyte growth factor administration attenuates murine pulmonary mycobacterium tuberculosis infection through granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF)-dependent macrophage activation and phagolysosome fusion. J Biol Chem, 2015. 290(11): p. 7151-9.
  1. Saito, A., N.M. Nikolaidis, H. Amlal, Y. Uehara, J.C. Gardner, K. LaSance, L.B. Pitstick, J.P. Bridges, K.A. Wikenheiser-Brokamp, D.W. McGraw, J.C. Woods, Y. Sabbagh, S.C. Schiavi, G. Altinisik, M. Jakopovic, Y. Inoue, and F.X. McCormack, Modeling pulmonary alveolar microlithiasis by epithelial deletion of the Npt2b sodium phosphate cotransporter reveals putative biomarkers and strategies for treatment. Sci Transl Med, 2015. 7(313): p. 313ra181.
  1. Gardner, J.C., H. Wu, J.G. Noel, B.J. Ramser, L. Pitstick, A. Saito, N.M. Nikolaidis, and F.X. McCormack, Keratinocyte growth factor supports pulmonary innate immune defense through maintenance of alveolar antimicrobial protein levels and macrophage function. Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol, 2016: p. ajplung 00363 2015.


Jason C. Gardner, PhD
Research Instructor
Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine
[email protected]

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