Adela Cota-Gomez, PhD
Associate Professor, Medicine-Pulmonary Sciences & Critical Care

Graduate School :
  • PhD, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center (1999)
Undergraduate School:
  • BS, University of California–Riverside (CA) (1992)
Languages: English, Spanish
Department: Medicine-Pulmonary Sciences & Critical Care

Research Interests

The implementation of modern Highly Active Anti-Retroviral Therapy (HAART) has rendered infection with HIV a chronic condition, but while HAART has proven successful in controlling viral load and preventing the progression to immunodeficiency, chronic infection with HIV confers an increased risk of non-infectious pulmonary complications including pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). The prevalence of PAH in HIV patients (HIV-PAH) is as much as 1000 times greater than in individuals without HIV, suggesting that there is something about the chronic state of HIV infection that contributes to disease. The viral and host factors involved in this pathogenesis remain enigmatic and thus my research interests are focused on uncovering molecular mechanisms involved in the pathogenesis of HIV-PAH.


  • Simenauer, A., Nozik-Grayck, E., Cota-Gomez, A. The DNA Damage Response and HIV Associated Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension. Int. J. Mol. Sci 2020 May 6;21:3305
  • Manes TL, Simenauer A, Geohring JL, Flemming J, Brehm M, Cota-Gomez A. The HIV-Tat protein interacts with Sp3 transcription factor and inhibits its binding to a distal site of the sod2 promoter in human pulmonary artery endothelial cells. Free Radic Biol Med. 2019 Dec 19;147:102-113. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 31863909
  • Simenauer A, Assefa B, Rios-Ochoa J, Geraci K, Hybertson B, Gao B, McCord J, Elajaili H, Nozik-Grayck E, Cota-Gomez A. Repression of Nrf2/ARE regulated antioxidant genes and dysregulation of the cellular redox environment by the HIV Transactivator of Transcription. Free Radic Biol Med. 2019 Sep;141:244-252. PubMed PMID: 31238128
  • Lozupone C, Cota-Gomez A, Palmer BE, Linderman DJ, Charlson ES, Sodergren E, Mitreva M, Abubucker S, Martin J, Yao G, Campbell TB, Flores SC, Ackerman G, Stombaugh J, Ursell L, Beck JM, Curtis JL, Young VB, Lynch SV, Huang L, Weinstock GM, Knox KS, Twigg H, Morris A, Ghedin E, Bushman FD, Collman RG, Knight R, Fontenot AP. Widespread Colonization of the Lung by Tropheryma whipplei in HIV Infection. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. (2013) 187(10):1110-7 PMCID: PMC3734615
  • Cota-Gomez, A., Flores ,A.C., Ling, X.F., Varella-Garcia, M., and Flores, S.C. HIV-Tat Increases Oxidant Burden in the Lungs of Transgenic Mice. Free Radic. Biol Med. (2011) 51(9): 1697-1707.
  • *Marecki, J.C, *Cota-Gomez,A., Honda, J.R., Vaitaitis, G., Porntadavity, S., St. Clair, D., and Flores, S.C. HIV-1 tat regulates the SOD2 basal promoter by altering Sp1/Sp3 binding activity. Free Rad. Biol. Med. (2004) 37(6): 869-880. PMID: 15706661. *Equal contribution
  • Cota-Gomez, A., Flores, N.C., Cruz,C., Scheinman, R., Ichikawa, H., Cashen, T., Schaack, J. and Flores, S.C. 2002. The Human Immunodeficiency Virus Tat Protein Activates Human Umbilical Vein Endothelial Cell E-Selectin Expression via an NF-kB-Dependent Mechanism. J. Biol.Chem. 277:14390-14396 PMID: 11827962
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Professional Memberships

  • American Society for Microbiology, Full Member
  • American Society for Virology, Full Member
  • Society for Free Radical Biology and Medicine, Full Member
  • American Thoracic Society, Full Member
Personal Interests
Promoting diversity, justice and equity in science

Volunteer Activities
March for Science; 9Health Fair

Public Speaking
Molecular biology of non-infectious pulmonary vascular disease in HIV patients.

General Information

Graduate Schools:
  • PhD, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center (1999)
Undergraduate Schools:
  • BS, University of California–Riverside (CA) (1992)
Languages: English, Spanish
Department: Medicine-Pulmonary Sciences & Critical Care