Endocrine Research

Endocrine ResearchCurrent Projects

Within Aurora Health Care:

  • Nalini Guda, MD.Gastroenterology – pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer research.


  • Christine Kovach, PhD – University of Wisconsin Milwaukee School of Nursing – Alzheimer’s disease research
  • Hariprasad Trivedi, MD– Medical College of Wisconsin – HPA axis in human renal failure.
  • Eric Cohen, MD – Medical College of Wisconsin – radiation nephropathy research
  • Nancy Ghanayem, MD – Medical College of Wisconsin, Children’s Hospital of Milwaukee – congenital heart disease
  • Adrian Miranda, MD – Medical College of Wisconsin, pediatric cyclic vomiting syndrome
  • Thangam Venkatesan, MD– Medical College of Wisconsin, adult cyclic vomiting syndrome
  • Alexander Ng, PhD – Marquette University – multiple sclerosis research
  • William Cullinan, PhD – Marquette University – stress research
  • Joshua Gowin, PhD – University of Texas – stress research
  • Lynnette Nieman, MD – NIH – Cushing’s syndrome
  • Diana Bravata, MD –  California Pacific Medical Center, San Francisco , CA , - bariatric surgery


  1. The HPA axis and endocrine pancreas response to intermittent hypoxia in the neonate. The purpose of this rat model is to emulate the apnea of prematurity in humans. We are currently determining if prevention of hypothermia which normally occurs accentuates the stress response.
  2. The ACTH-independent control of the adrenal cortex during continuous acute hypoxia in the neonate.  We have discovered that newborn rats display a large adrenocortical response to hypoxia without a measurable increase in ACTH.  We are currently examining possible mechanisms of this effect.
  3. The HPA and SNS axes in response to cyclic vomiting syndrome (CVS) in children and adults.  CVS is a devastating disease that severely disrupts lifestyle.  It is associated with migraine.  We are currently collaborating with investigators to determine if the hormonal stress response (measured by the salivary surrogates cortisol and alpha-amylase) precedes episodes of CVS.
  4. The HPA axis circadian rhythm in end-stage renal disease (ESRD).  This just completed study demonstrates that salivary cortisol is a useful surrogate for plasma cortisol in ESRD and that a significant number of ESRD patients have a disrupted HPA axis circadian rhythm.
  5. The long term (epigenetic) consequences of neonatal hypoxia.  We are evaluating pituitary function in adults exposed to neonatal hypoxia.

For more information, please contact:

Hershel Raff, PhD
Scientific Director and Clinical Supervisor,  Aurora St. Luke’s Medical Center
Professor of Medicine, Surgery, and Physiology, Medical College of Wisconsin
Endocrinology – Aurora St. Luke’s Medical Center
2801 W KK River Pky Suite 245
Milwaukee, WI 53215
Phone 414 649-6411
Fax 414 649-5747