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Mark J. Cowan, MD

Academic Title:

Associate Professor

Primary Appointment:


Additional Title:

Director-Baltimore VAMC MICU, Chair-VAMC Critical Care Committee, Member-Medicine Residency Selection Committee, Member-MD/PhD Advisory Committee


Baltimore VA Medical Center, Room 3D-122

Phone (Primary):

(410) 605-7496 (office)

Phone (Secondary):

410 605-7000, x6986 (lab)


(410) 605-7915

Education and Training

Dr. Cowan joined the University of Maryland after completing his Pulmonary and Critical Care fellowship and research training at the National Institutes of Health and the University of Michigan in 2002.


Clinically, Dr. Cowan devotes the majority of his time to the MICU's at the University, the VA, and the Midtown Campus, where his interests lie in the management of sepsis and ARDS, and in the medical education of residents and fellows. He was the recipient of the 2004 and 2011 Medical housestaff Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Research/Clinical Keywords

His research interests are in the mechanisms of airway epithelial responses to injury, and specifically on the role of eicosanoids and polyamines in this process. In this endeavor, he has developed exciting preliminary data as well as extensive collaborations with other university departments including physiology, surgery, pharmacology, and the School of Public Health at the College Park University of Maryland Campus. Additional offshoots of this translational research include the role of aerosols in viral lung infection, and epigenetics of lung cancer. He is currently in the process of obtaining national funding to extend his biologically interesting and clinically relevant work.

Highlighted Publications

Huang, X.-L., R. Pawliczak, X.-L. Yao, M. J. Cowan, M. T. Gladwin, M. J. Walter, M., J. Holtzman, P. Madara, C. Logun and J. H. Shelhamer (2003).  "Interferon-y Induces p11 Gene and Protein Expression in Human Epithelial Cells through Interferon-y-activated Sequences in the p11 promoter." J Biol Chem 278: 9298-9308.

Huang, X.-L., R. Pawliczak, X.-L. Yao, P. Madara, S. Alsaaty, J. H. Shelhamer and M. J. Cowan (2003).  "Characterization of the human p11 promoter sequence." Gene 310: 133-142.

Cowan, M. J., X.-L. Yao, R. Pawliczak, X.-L. Huang, C. Logun, P. Madara, S. Alsaaty, T. Wu and J. H. Shelhamer (2004).  “The role of TFIID, the initiator element and a novel 5’ TFIID binding site in the transcriptional control of the TATA-less human cytosolic phospholipase A2-promoter.” Biochim Biophys Acta 1680: 145-157.

Cowan, M.J., T. Coll and J.H. Shelhamer (2006).  “Polyamine-mediated reduction in human airway epithelial migration in response to wounding is PGE2-dependent through decreases in COX-2 and cPLA2 protein levels.”  J Appl Physiol 10:1127-1135.

Cowan MJ, Coll T, and Shelhamer JH (2006).  “Polyamine-mediated reduction in human airway epithelial migration in respone to wounding is PGE2-dependent through decreases in COX-2 and cPLA2 protein levels.”  J Appl Physiol 10:1127-1135.

McCauley M, Gunawardane M, and Cowan MJ (2006).  “Severe metabolic alkalosis due to pyloric obstruction: Case presentation, evaluation, and management.”  Am J Med Sci 332:346-350.

Chen H, Cowan MJ, Hasday JD, Vogel SN, and Medvedev AE (2007).  "Tobacco smoking inhibits expression of proinflammatory cytokines and activation of IL-1R-associated kinase, p38,and NF-kappaB in alveolar macrophages stimulated with TLR2 and TLR4 agonists."  J Immunol 179:6097-6106.

Hecht A, Ma S, Porszasz J, et. al. (2009).  “Methodology for using long-term accelerometry monitoring to describe daily activity patterns in COPD.” COPD 6:121-129.

Sonna LA, Hawkins L, Lissauer ME, Maldeis P, Towns M, Johnson SB, Moore R, Singh IS, Cowan MJ, and Hasday JD (2010).  “Core temperature correlates with expression of selected stress and immunomodulatory genes in febrile patients with sepsis and noninfectious SIRS.”  Cell Stress Chaperones 15:55-66.

Miller JL, Velmurugan K, Cowan MJ, and Briken V (2010).  “The type I NADH dehydrogenase of Mycobacterium tuberculosis counters phagosomal NOX2 activity to inhibit TNF-α-mediated host cell apoptosis.” PLoS Pathog 6(4): e1000864. doi: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1000864.

Shah NG, Tulapurkar ME, Singh IS, Shelhamer JH, Cowan MJ, and Hasday JD (2010).  “Prostaglandin E2 potentiates heat shock-induced protein 72 expression in A549 cells Prostaglandins Other Lipid Mediat 93:1-7.

Albert RK, Connett J, et al. (2011).  "Azithromycin for prevention of exacerbations of COPD." N Engl J Med 365:689-698.

Casaburi R, Porszasz J, et al. (2012).  "Influence of lightweight ambulatory oxygen on oxygen use and activity patterns of COPD patients receiving long-term oxygen therapy."  COPD 9:3-11.

Kunisaki KM, Niewoehner DE, et al. (2012).  "Vitamin D levels and risk of acute exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: a prospective cohort study."  Am J Respir Crit Care Med 185:286-290.

Shah NG, Cowan MJ, Pickering E, Sareh H, Afshar M, Fox D, Marron J, Davis J, Herold K, Shanholtz CB, and Hasday JD (2012).  "Non-pharmacologic approach to minimizing shivering during surface cooling: A proof of principle study." J Crit Care 27:746 e1-8.  Doi:10.1016/j.jcrc.2012.04.016.

Campbell D and Cowan M (2013).  “Septicemia and aortic valve endocarditis due to Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae in a homeless man.”  Case Rep Infect Dis Doi: 10.115/2013/923034.

Giangreco GJ, Campbell D, and Cowan MJ (2013).  “A 32-year-old female with AIDS, Pneumocystis jiroveci pneumonia, and methemoglobinemia.”  Case Rep Crit Care Doi:10.1155/2013/980589.

Koldobskiy D, Groves S, Scharf SM, and Cowan MJ (2014).  “Validation of factors affecting the outcome of cardiopulmonary arrest in a large, urban, academic medical center.”  J Crit Care Med 2014.  Doi: 10.1155/2014/168132.

Campbell D and Cowan MJ (2014).  “Differential systemic MyD88-dependent versus MyD88-independent cytokine ratio by etiologic agent in adults with severe community-acquired pneumonia.”  Res J Infect Dis 2:6.  Doi: 10.7243/2052-5958-2-6.

Gonzalez E, Kase J, Getachew F, Cowan M, Scott P, Kyprianou I, Jones B, and Hitchins V (2014). “Reusable areas of clinically used ventilators carry low numbers of aerobic bacteria.”  All Res J Biol 5:24-29.