Andrej Romanovsky

Biography

Andrej A. Romanovsky, MD, PhD, FAPS, is a physiologist and neuroscientist with primary expertise in body temperature regulation. In 2019, he left his Professor position at St. Joseph's Hospital (DBA Dignity Health, presently CommonSpirit Health) in Phoenix, Arizona, to work on the development of drugs for disorders of thermoregulation and hot flashes. Dr. Romanovsky helped to found the pharmaceutical startups Zharko Pharma, Catalina Pharma, and Synventa and currently works with these companies as an officer, Board member, or consultant. His primary affiliation is with Zharko Pharma in Olympia, Washington.

Andrej was born in St. Petersburg, Russia (at that time, USSR). After graduating from high school with a USSR National Scholastic Gold Medal, he entered the Pavlov First St. Petersburg State Medical University, where he received his MD with Distinction in 1984. Following Residency in Pathophysiology at the Institute of Experimental Medicine in St. Petersburg (1984-1986), he joined the PhD program at the Institute of Physiology of the National Academy of Sciences in Minsk, Belarus. In 1989, he received a PhD in Physiology and, and at the age of 29 became the youngest Senior Scientist in the history of that institute. Following postdoctoral training in Neuroscience at the University of Tennessee Medical School in Memphis (1991-1994), Dr. Romanovsky took the position of Associate Scientist and Director of the Thermoregulation Laboratory at the Legacy Health System in Portland, Oregon (1994-2000). In 1999, he became Professor at St. Joseph's Hospital, where for the next 20 years he directed FeverLab, his basic-research laboratory studying thermoregulation and systemic inflammation. In addition to the institutions mentioned above, Dr. Romanovsky worked for several months as a visiting scientist at the University of Pécs Medical School in Hungary and at the Kanazawa University Medical School in Japan. Prof. Romanovsky’s research was funded by the National Institutes of Health, the State of Arizona, and a number of foundations and pharmaceutical companies. Dr. Romanovsky presented his research at numerous scientific conferences all over the world, including the Nobel Conference on Inflammatory Reflex in Stockholm, Sweden (2006).

Dr. Romanovsky has published more than 130 articles in peer-reviewed scientific journals, including top-tier journals such as Blood, Clinical Infectious Diseases, Journal of Neuroscience, Nature Neuroscience, Pharmacological Reviews, and PLoS Biology. He happened to be the senior author of the very first article published by the journal PLoS One. At the time of this writing, Dr. Romanovsky’s Hirsch index is 50 (Google Scholar). His most frequent co-authors (all Andrej’s former postdocs are now independent researchers and professors) are Drs. Alexandre A. Steiner, Andras Garami, M. Camila Almeida, Samuel P. Wanner, Andrei I. Ivanov, and Vladimir A. Kulchitsky, as well as Andrej’s mentor Prof. Miklós Székely. Dr. Romanovsky is the Editor of two volumes on Thermoregulation: From Basic Neuroscience to Clinical Neurology published by Elsevier within the Handbook of Clinical Neurology series in 2018. In 2013, Dr. Romanovsky started the journal Temperature with Landes Bioscience (now with Taylor & Francis, Milton Park, Oxfordshire, UK) and has remained the Editor-in-Chief of this journal. Dr. Romanovsky has served as Associate Editor, Guest Editor, and Board member for 10 professional journals. He has served on study sections and reviewed grant applications for the National Institutes of Health (including the EUREKA panel), the National Science Foundation, the Medical Research Council (UK), the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Dutch Research Council, the National Research Foundation (South Africa), the government of Hong Kong, and other agencies in many countries. Dr. Romanovsky served as a member of the Thermal Physiology Section of the International Union of Physiological Sciences (2004-2012) and of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Pavlov First St. Petersburg State Medical University (2012). He was awarded a John F. Perkins fellowship by the American Physiological Society (1994) and a fellowship by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (1994). In 2019, he was elected as a Fellow of the American Physiological Society.

Andrej’s hobby is tree farming. He has co-founded the family partnership Tree Fever: Forestland Conservation and Development and since 2011 has been operating a Douglas-fir tree farm growing timber in western Washington. Tree Fever Farm has been certified by the American Tree Farm System since 2012 and is an active participant in the Conservation and Stewardship Program and other programs run by the Natural Resources Conservation Service. Andrej wrote two articles on tree farming, and his research on tree farming was supported by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture via a Western Sustainable Research and Education farmer grant.

Education

  • PhD Physiology, Institute of Physiology of the National Academy of Sciences, Minsk, Belarus 1989
  • MD (with distinction) Ivan Pavlov First Medical School, St. Petersburg, Russia 1984

Google Scholar

Research Interests

Dr. Andrej A. Romanovskys research interests and representative publications are listed below.

Research focus 1: TRPV1 antagonists: Drug development

Garami A, Shimansky YP, Rumbus Z, Vizin RCL, Farkas N, Hegyi J, Szakacs Z, Solymar M, Csenkey A, Chiche DA, Kapil R, Kyle DJ, Van Horn WD, Hegyi P, Romanovsky AA. Hyperthermia induced by transient receptor potential vanilloid-1 (TRPV1) antagonists in human clinical trials: Insights from mathematical modeling and meta-analysis. Pharmacol Ther 208:107474, 2020.

Garami A, Pakai E, McDonald HA, Reilly RM, Gomtsyan A, Corrigan JJ, Pinter E, Zhu DXD, Lehto SG, Gavva NR, Kym PR, Romanovsky AA. TRPV1 antagonists that cause hypothermia, instead of hyperthermia, in rodents: Compounds' pharmacological profiles, in vivo targets, thermoeffectors recruited and implications for drug development. Acta Physiol 223: e13038, 2018.

Garami A, Shimansky YP, Pakai E, Oliveira DL, Gavva NR, Romanovsky AA. Contributions of different modes of TRPV1 activation to TRPV1 antagonist-induced hyperthermia. J Neurosci 30: 1435-1440, 2010.

Gavva NR, Treanor JJS, Garami A, Fang L, Surapaneni S, Akrami A, Alvarez F, Bak A, Darling M, Gore A, Jang GR, Kesslak JP, Ni L, Norman MH, Palluconi G, Rose MJ, Salfi M, Tan E, Romanovsky AA, Banfield C, Davar G. Pharmacological blockade of the vanilloid receptor TRPV1 elicits marked hyperthermia in humans. Pain 136: 202-210, 2008.

 

Research focus 2: Roles of transient receptor potential (TRP) channels in thermoregulation

de Oliveira C, Garami A, Lehto SG, Pakai E, Tekus V, Pohoczky K, Youngblood BD, Wang W, Kort ME, Kym PR, Pinter E, Gavva NR, Romanovsky AA. Transient receptor potential channel ankyrin-1 is not a cold sensor for autonomic thermoregulation in rodents. J Neurosci 34: 4445-4452, 2014.

Almeida MC, Hew-Butler T, Soriano RN, Rao S, Wang W, Wang J, Tamayo N, Oliveira DL, Nucci TB, Aryal P, Garami A, Bautista D, Gavva NR, Romanovsky AA. Pharmacological blockade of the cold receptor TRPM8 attenuates autonomic and behavioral cold defenses and decreases deep body temperature. J Neurosci 32: 2086-2099, 2012.

Romanovsky AA, Almeida MC, Garami A, Steiner AA, Norman MH, Morrison SF, Nakamura K, Burmeister JJ, Nucci TB. The transient receptor potential vanilloid-1 channel: a thermosensor it is not. Pharmacol Rev 61: 228-261, 2009.

Steiner AA, Turek VF, Almeida MC, Burmeister JJ, Oliveira DL, Roberts JL, Bannon AW, Norman MH, Louis J-C, Treanor JJS, Gavva NR, Romanovsky AA. Nonthermal activation of transient receptor potential vanilloid-1 channels in abdominal viscera tonically inhibits autonomic cold-defense effectors. J Neurosci 27: 7459-7468, 2007.

 

Research focus 3: Body temperature control: Thermoregulation concepts

Romanovsky AA. The thermoregulation system and how it works. Hand Clin Neurol 156: 3-43, 2018.

Romanovsky AA. Skin temperature: its role in thermoregulation. Acta Physiol 210, 498-507, 2014.

Rance NE, Dacks PA, Mittelman-Smith MA, Romanovsky AA, Krajewski-Hall SJ. Modulation of body temperature and LH secretion by hypothalamic KNDy (kisspeptin, neurokinin B and dynorphin) neurons: A novel hypothesis on the mechanism of hot flushes. Front Neuroendocrinol 34: 211-227, 2013.

Romanovsky AA. Thermoregulation: some concepts have changed. Functional architecture of the thermoregulatory system. Am J Physiol 292: R37-R46, 2007.

Romanovsky AA, Ivanov AI, Shimansky YP. Selected contribution: Ambient temperature for experiments in rats: a new method for determining the zone of thermal neutrality. J Appl Physiol 92: 2667-2679, 2002.

 

Research focus 4: Behavioral thermoregulation: Pathways and mechanisms

Wanner SP, Almeida MC, Shimansky YP, Oliveira DL, Eales JR, Coimbra CC, Romanovsky AA. Cold-Induced thermogenesis and Inflammation-associated cold-seeking behavior are represented by different dorsomedial hypothalamic sites: a three-dimensional functional topography study in conscious rats. J Neurosci 37: 6956-6971, 2017.

Garami A, Pakai E, Oliveira DL, Steiner AA, Wanner SP, Almeida MC, Lesnikov VA, Gavva NR, Romanovsky AA. Thermoregulatory phenotype of the Trpv1 knockout mouse: thermoeffector dysbalance with hyperkinesis. J Neurosci 31: 1721-1733, 2011.

Almeida MC, Steiner AA, Branco LGS, Romanovsky AA. Neural substrate of cold-seeking behavior in endotoxin shock. PLoS One 1: e1, 2006.

Romanovsky AA, Shido O, Sakurada S, Sugimoto N, Nagasaka T. Endotoxin shock: thermoregulatory mechanisms. Am J Physiol 270: R693-R703, 1996.

 

Research focus 5: Thermoregulation in systemic inflammation: Fever and hypothermia: Physiological mechanisms and mediators

Garami A, Steiner AA, Romanovsky AA. Fever and hypothermia in systemic inflammation. Handb Clin Neurol 157: 565-597, 2018.

 

Saper CB, Romanovsky AA, Scammell TE. Neural circuitry engaged by prostaglandins during the sickness syndrome. Nat Neurosci 15: 1088-1095, 2012.

Steiner AA, Romanovsky AA. Leptin: At the crossroads of energy balance and systemic inflammation. Prog Lipid Res 46: 89-107, 2007.

Steiner AA, Ivanov AI, Serrats J, Hosokawa H, Phayre AN, Robbins JR, Roberts JL, Kobayashi S, Matsumura K, Sawchenko PE, Romanovsky AA. Cellular and molecular bases of the initiation of fever. PLoS Biol 4: e284, 2006.

Steiner AA, Chakravarty S, Rudaya AY, Herkenham M, Romanovsky AA. Bacterial lipopolysaccharide fever is initiated via Toll-like receptor 4 on hematopoietic cells. Blood 107: 4000-4002, 2006.

Research Activity

For current research and drug development projects, see the website of Dr. Romanovsky's company, Zharko Pharma, https://zharkopharma.com/.