The IUPUI Center for Cachexia Research, Innovation and Therapy (CCRIT), founding member of the Mid-West Cachexia Consortium, will bring together institutions, investigators, resources and patients in Indiana, Ohio and beyond to “improve basic, translational and clinical studies of cachexia in order to diagnose and treat cachexia using a multi-disciplinary approach involving cutting-edge pharmacological, physical, molecular genetic, imaging, bio-behavioral and psychosocial approaches and therapies.”


  • Robust, multi-disciplinary group
  • Shared resources, ideas, techniques, models
  • Multi-disciplinary inter- and intra-institutional collaboration
  • Joint publications
  • Multi-investigator grant applications
  • Novel discoveries in cancer cachexia
  • Novel discoveries in other cachexias
  • Impact on patient care


Name Focus of Cachexia Research
Andrea Bonetto, PhD I am particularly interested in the effects of chemotherapy on muscle homeostasis and function. By taking advantage of both in vitro and in vivo experimental models, I am investigating whether commonly used chemotherapy regimens can directly affect the skeletal muscle by promoting muscle mass loss, increasing fatiguability and reducing muscle functionality and strength. Moreover, by taking advantage of pharmacologically active molecules capable of promoting muscle mass growth I am evaluating whether increasing muscle mass can benefit tolerability to and efficacy of antineoplastic drugs, as well as increase the overall survival in cancer.
Marion Couch, MD, PhD (Working Group Co-Leader)
Larry Einhorn, MD
Theresa Guise, MD Research interests include musculoskeletal complications of cancer and cancer treatment, with a specific focus on understanding bone loss and muscle dysfunction in the setting of bone metastases and cancer treatment-induced bone loss.
Leonidas Koniaris, MD My interest is understanding muscle loss, dysmetabolism and cachexia as complicating factors for surgically directed therapies, including liver resection, pancreas resection and removal of sarcomas and other solid tumors.
Murray Korc, MD
Patrick Loehrer, MD
Khalid Mohammad, MD, PhD
Hari Nakshatri, DVM, PhD My interests are in understanding how growth factors/cytokines secreted by cancer cells affect cardiac and skeletal muscle function and aging and to develop circulating microRNAs as biomarkers of systemic effects of cancer.
Bert O’Neil, MD
Christophe Poirier, PhD
Isaac Rhea, MD
David Roodman, MD, PhD My interests are in understanding the role of metastatic bone disease to tumor cachexia.
Safi Shahda, MD  
Sunil Tholpady, MD
David Waning, PhD My research is focused on understanding the musculoskeletal complications of breast and prostate cancer metastatic to bone, including bone-muscle crosstalk, skeletal muscle weakness, and cachexia.
Teresa Zimmers, PhD (Working Group Co-Leader)
Keith Avin, PhD, DPT, PT
Mary Beth Brown, PT, ATC, PhD My interest is in better defining exercise as a treatment of disease. Exercise is an underutilized medicine, in part because so little data exists to assist practitioners in its appropriate prescription for specific patient groups. My current research charge is to evaluate exercise in pulmonary vasculature disease, both in patients and in rodent models. By defining acute and chronic exercise responses and their underlying mechanisms, we hope to determine which exercise approaches best maximize benefit and minimize potential detriment for this population.
Eugene Ceppa, MD
Mimi Ceppa, MD
Melissa Fishel, PhD
Michael House, MD I am interested in understanding the biologic factors which drive cachexia in patients with pancreatic adenocarcinoma and how these factors impact outcomes after pancreatic surgery.  Knowledge of the molecular events which drive the physiology of pancreatic cancer cachexia will offer new therapies for improving the long-term outcomes and quality of life for patients who undergo curative and palliative operations for pancreatic cancer.
Marc Kohli, MD
Yunlong Liu, PhD
Todd McKinley, MD, PhD
Sharon Moe, MD My research studies the causes and consequences of muscle dysfunction in chronic kidney disease, with ongoing studies in rat model of CKD to study the mechanisms by which uremia induces muscle wasting and how this relates to bone abnormalities.  In addition, we have ongoing clinical research studies to document physical function changes and muscle biomarker changes in dialysis patients undergoing a parathyroidectomy.  We also have a longitudinal cohort study following patients new to dialysis to determine the predictors of worsening muscle function and mass over time on dialysis.
Attila Nakeeb, MD
Jason Organ, PhD
Max Schmidt, MD, PhD
Katie Sears, MD
Rajiv Sood, MD
Fletcher White, PhD My interest is in understanding neuroimmune mechanisms as complicating factors for cachexia.
Nicholas Zyromski, MD

External Members

Name Affiliation
Denis Guttridge, PhD Ohio State University
Gregory Lesinski, PhD Ohio State University
Tatiana Kostrominova, PhD IU Northwest
Martha Belury, PhD Ohio State University
Martin Fernandez-Zapico, MD Mayo Clinic
Theresa Pluth Yeo, RN, MSN, MPH, ACNP, PhD Thomas Jefferson University
Jordan Winter, MD Thomas Jefferson University