Teresa A. Zimmers, PhD

Associate Professor of Surgery

Specialty: General Surgery


The overall aim of my research is to understand the molecular mechanisms regulating organ size. The model system and application we have chosen to study is regulation of skeletal muscle mass in disease. Muscle size is highly plastic and extraordinarily responsive to changes in single genes or pathways. Furthermore, skeletal muscle protein stores and metabolic functions play important and essential roles in the physiologic response to injury and disease. We seek to discover the molecular pathways regulating muscle plasticity in the setting of serious illness. The long term goal is to develop targeted interventions for muscle preservation and functional recovery in chronic disease.


IU Simon Cancer Center


CCRIT Research Seminars

  • IL-6 family ligands and STAT3 signaling in muscle wasting of cancer and burn
  • Sonic Hedgehog, Smoothened, and GLI1 in muscle wasting of cancer cachexia and inflammation
  • Myostatin family ligands and ACVR/SMAD signaling in cancer and burn cachexia
  • Molecular phenotyping of cancer cachexia
  • The role of protein redistribution in the pathobiology of injury and muscle wasting


  1. Bonetto A, Aydogdu T, Jin X, Zhang Z, Zhan R, Puzis L, Koniaris LG and TA Zimmers. JAK/STAT3 pathway inhibition blocks skeletal muscle wasting downstream of IL-6 and in experimental cancer cachexia. Am J Phys Endo Metab, 303(3):E410-21.
  2. Pedroso FE, Spalding PB, Cheung MC, Yang R, Gutierrez JC, Bonetto A, Zhan R, Chan HL, Namias N, Koniaris LG, TA Zimmers. Inflammation, organomegaly and muscle wasting despite hyperphagia and polydipsia in a standardized mouse model of burn injury-induced cachexia. Journal of Cachexia, Sarcopenia Muscle, Epub ahead of print, 2012 Mar 29.
  3. Bonetto A, Aydogdu T, Kunzevitzky N, Guttridge DC, Khuri S, Koniaris LG, TA Zimmers. STAT3 activation in skeletal muscle links muscle wasting and the acute phase response in cancer cachexia. PLoS ONE 6(7): e22538. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0022538. Epub 2011 Jul 20.
  4. Yang R, Cheung MC, Pedroso FE, Byrne MM, Koniaris LG and TA Zimmers. Obesity and weight loss at presentation of lung cancer are associated with opposite effects on survival. J Surg Research, 170(1):e75-83. Epub 2011 Jul 20. PMID: 21704331
  5. Benny Klimek ME, T Aydogdu, MJ Link, M Pons, LG Koniaris, and TA Zimmers. Acute inhibition of myostatin-family proteins preserves skeletal muscle in mouse models of cancer cachexia. Biochemical Biophysical Research Communications, 391(3): p. 1548-54, Epub 2009/12/29, 2010.
  6. Cheung MC, PB Spalding, JC Gutierrez, W Balkan, N Namias, LG Koniaris, and T.A. Zimmers. Body surface area prediction in normal, hypermuscular, and obese mice. J Surgical Research, 153(2): p. 326-31, Epub 2008/10/28, 2009.
  7. Koniaris LG, KW Goodman, J Sugarman, U Ozomaro, J Sheldon, and TA Zimmers. Ethical implications of modifying lethal injection protocols. PLoS Medicine, 5(6): p. 0845-0849, Epub 2008/06/13, 2008.
  8. Housri N, MC Cheung, LG Koniaris, and TA Zimmers. Scientific impact of women in academic surgery. J Surgical Research, 148(1): p. 13-6, Epub 2008/06/24, 2008.
  9. Zimmers TA, J Sheldon, DA Lubarsky, F Lopez-Munoz, L Waterman, R Weisman, and LG Koniaris. Lethal injection for execution: chemical asphyxiation? PLoS Medicine, 4(4): p. 0646-0653, Epub 2007/04/26, 2007.
  10. Koniaris LG, *TA Zimmers, DA Lubarsky, and JP Sheldon. Inadequate anaesthesia in lethal injection for execution. Lancet, 365(9468): p. 1412-4, Epub 2005/04/20, 2005.
  11. Zimmers TA, IH McKillop, RH Pierce, JY Yoo, and LG Koniaris. Massive liver growth in mice induced by systemic interleukin 6 administration. Hepatology, 38(2): p. 326-34, Epub 2003/07/29, 2003.
  12. Zimmers TA, MV Davies, LG Koniaris, P Haynes, AF Esquela, KN Tomkinson, AC McPherron, NM Wolfman, and SJ Lee. Induction of cachexia in mice by systemically administered myostatin. Science, 296(5572): p. 1486-8, Epub 2002/05/25, 2002.

Department of Surgery | 545 Barnhill Drive, Emerson Hall 203, Indianapolis, In 46202 | Phone: (317) 274-5771