Photo of Diane Peters

Diane Peters

Assistant Professor

(410) 614-2075

855 N Wolfe Street
Rangos 280

Pharmacology and Molecular Sciences

Pharmacology and Molecular Sciences

The Peters lab applies a translational medicine approach to study the pathobiology of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), with the ultimate goal of developing mechanistically novel IBD therapeutics. Our laboratory uses preclinical rodent colitis models and genetically modified mice to characterize pathways involved in inflammation and pain in IBD, with validation of all findings in human patient samples. We employ molecular pharmacology to interrogate pathways critical to colitis initiation and progression, and work closely with Johns Hopkins Drug Discovery to develop rationally-designed small molecule drugs targeting pathways of interest.

Current efforts in the lab include the development of small molecule glutamate carboxypeptidase (GCPII) inhibitors for use in IBD. GCPII is an enzyme that is highly and specifically upregulated in IBD and we, and others, have shown that GCPII inhibitors protect mice from developing colitis. Expanding on this finding, ongoing activities in our lab include validating GCPII as a clinical biomarker in defined IBD patient populations, exploring the biology of GCPII in the colon, and profiling mechanism(s) of actions of GCPII inhibitors in colitis.

Vornov JJ, Peters DE, Nedelcovych M, Hollinger K, Rais R, Slusher BS. Looking for Drugs in All the Wrong Places: Use of GCPII Inhibitors Outside the Brain. Neurochem Res. 2020 Jun;45(6):1256-1267.

Peters DE, Norris LD, Slusher BS. Spontaneous loss-of-function Dock2 mutation alters murine colitis susceptibility and is a confounding variable in inflammatory bowel disease research. Crohn’s and Colitis 360. 2019 September; 1(3). doi: otz030.

Peters DE*, Wein AN*, Valivullah Z*, Hoover BJ, Tatineni A, Ma Q, Fattah R, Bugge TH, Leppla SH, Liu S. An anthrax toxin variant with an improved activity in tumor targeting. Sci Rep. 2015 Nov 20;5:16267.  *equal contributors

Peters DE, Hoover B, Cloud LG, Liu S, Molinolo AA, Leppla SH, Bugge TH. Comparative toxicity and efficacy of engineered anthrax lethal toxin variants with broad anti-tumor activities. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 2014 Sep 1;279(2):220-9.

Peters DE, Zhang Y, Molinolo AA, Miller-Randolph S, Szabo R, Bugge TH, Leppla SH, Liu S. Capillary morphogenesis protein-2 is required for mouse parturition by maintaining uterine collagen homeostasis. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2012 Jun 8;422(3):393-7.

Peters DE*,Schafer JM,* Peters DE.* Efficient targeting of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma by systemic administration of a dual uPA and MMP-activated engineered anthrax toxin. PLoS One. 2011;6(5):e20532. *equal contributors