Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Orthopaedic Surgery
Research Interests: Bioanalytical and biophysical chemistry. Structure, function, and medical applications of the biomatrix surrounding cells, with special expertise in hyaluronan polysaccharide. Identification of biomarkers and bioactive fragments derived from extracellular matrix. Development of medical diagnostic assays. Discovery and development of biotherapeutics and biomaterials.
Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons
NIH Postdoctoral Fellow, Ophthalmology Research
Postdoctoral Fellow, Biochemistry
Case Western Reserve University
Rivas, F., Erxleben, D., Smith, I., Rahbar, E., DeAngelis, P.L., Cowman, M.K. and Hall, A.R.
(2022) Methods for Isolating and Analyzing Physiological Hyaluronan: A Review, Am. J. Physiol.
Cell Physiol., https://doi.org/10.1152/ajpcell.00019.2022
Ruiz, A., Duarte, A., Bravo, D., Ramos, E., Zhang, C., Cowman, M.K., Kirsch, T., Milne, M., Luyt, L.G., Raya, J.G. (2022) “In vivo multimodal imaging of hyaluronan-mediated inflammatory response in articular cartilage” Osteoarthritis and Cartilage 30, 329-340. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.joca.2021.11.006
Hemed-Shaked, M.; Cowman, M. K.; Kim, J. R.; Huang, X.; Chau, E.; Ovadia, H.; Amar, K.-O.; Eshkar-Sebban, L.; Melamed, M.; Lev, L. B.; Kedar, E.; Armengol, J.; Alemany, J.; Beyth, S.; Okon, E.; Kanduc, D.; Elgavish, S.; Wallach-Dayan, S. B.; Cohen, S. J.; Naor, D. (2021) "MTADV 5-MER peptide suppresses chronic inflammations as well as autoimmune pathologies and unveils a new potential target-Serum Amyloid A" Journal of Autoimmunity 124, 102713. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jaut.2021.102713
Kirsch, T., Zhang, F., Braender-Carr, O., Cowman, M.K. (2021) “Protective Effects of a Hyaluronan-binding Peptide (P15-1) on Mesenchymal Stem Cells in an Inflammatory Environment” Int. J. Molec. Sci. 22, 7058. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms22137058
Shortt, C., Luyt, L.G., Turley, E.A., Cowman, M.K., and Kirsch, T. (2020) “A Hyaluronan-Binding Peptide (P15-1) Reduces Inflammatory and Catabolic Events in IL-1β-Treated Human Articular Chondrocytes” Scientific Reports Jan 29;10(1):1441. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-57586-7
Liu, X., Shortt, C., Zhang, F., Bater, M.Q., Cowman, M.K. and Kirsch, T. (2020) “Extracellular Vesicles Released from Articular Chondrocytes Play a Major Role in Cell-Cell Communication” J. Orthop. Res. 38, 731-739. https://doi.org/10.1002/jor.24525
Cowman, M.K. (2019) “Methods for Hyaluronan Molecular Mass Determination by Agarose Gel Electrophoresis” in Vigetti, D. and Theocharis, A., eds. The Extracellular Matrix: Methods and Protocols, Methods in Molecular Biology, Vol. 1952, Springer Science + Business Media, New York, pp 91-102. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4939-9133-4_8
Cowman, M.K., Shortt, C., Arora, S., Fu, Y., Villavieja, J., Rathore, J., Huang, X., Rakshit, T., Jung, G.I., and Kirsch, T. (2019) Role of Hyaluronan in Inflammatory Effects on Human Articular Chondrocytes” Inflammation, 42, 1808-1820. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10753-019-01043-9
- Tolg, C., Cowman, M. and Turley, E.A. (2018) "Mouse Mammary Gland Whole Mount Preparation and Analysis" Bio-protocol 8, e2915. https://doi.org/10.21769/BioProtoc.2915
- Tolg, C., Cowman, M.K., Turley, E.A. (2018) “HA Isolation from Mammary Gland” Bio-protocol 8, e2865. https://doi.org/10.21769/BioProtoc.2865
- Park, D.S.J., Regmi, S.C., Svystonyuk, D.A., Teng, G., Belke, D., Turnbull, J., Guzzardi, D.G., Kang, S., Cowman, M.K., Schmidt, T.A., Fedak, P.W.M. (2018) "Human Pericardial Proteoglycan 4 (Lubricin): Implications for Post-Cardiotomy Intrathoracic Adhesion Formation" J. Thorac Cardiovasc Surgery 156, 1598-1608. PMID:29859675 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jtcvs.2018.03.170
- Huang, X., Schmidt, T.A., Shortt, C., Arora, S., Asari, A., Kirsch, T., and Cowman, M.K. (2018) "A Competitive AlphaScreen Assay for Detection of Hyaluronan" Glycobiology 28, 137-147. PMID:29300896 https://doi.org/10.1093/glycob/cwx109
- Tolg, C., Yuan, H., Flynn, S.M., Basu, K., Ma, J., Tse, K.C.K., Kowalska, B., Vulkanesku, D., Cowman, M.K., McCarthy, J.B., Turley, E.A. (2017) “Hyaluronan Modulates Growth Factor Induced Mammary Gland Branching in a Size Dependent Manner” Matrix Biology 63, 117-132. PMID:28232112 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.matbio.2017.02.003
- Cowman, M.K. (2017) "Mutual Macromolecular Crowding as the Basis for Polymer Solution Non-ideality" Polym Adv Technol 28, 1000-1004. https://doi.org/10.1002/pat.3950
- Cowman, M.K., Schmidt, T.A., Raghavan, P., and Stecco, A. (2015) “Viscoelastic Properties of Hyaluronan in Physiological Conditions” F1000Research 2015, 4:622. PMID:26594344 https://doi.org/10.12688/f1000research.6885.1
- Schwertfeger, K.L., Cowman, M.K., Telmer, P., Turley, E.A., and McCarthy, J.B. (2015) "Hyaluronan, Inflammation and Breast Cancer Progression," Frontiers in Immunology 6:236. PMID:26106384 https://doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2015.00236
- Cowman, M.K., Lee, H-G., Schwertfeger, K.L., McCarthy, J.B., and Turley, E.A. (2015) "The Content and Size of Hyaluronan in Biological Fluids and Tissues", Frontiers in Immunology 6:261. PMID:26082778 https://doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2015.00261
- Yuan, H., Amin, R., Ye, X., de la Motte, C.A., and Cowman, M.K. (2015) "Determination of Hyaluronan Molecular Mass Distribution in Human Breast Milk" Anal. Biochem. 474, 78-88. PMID:25579786 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ab.2014.12.020
- Ludwig, T., Cowman, M., Jay, G., Schmidt, T. (2014) "Effects of Concentration and Structure on Proteoglycan 4 Rheology and Interaction with Hyaluronan" Biorheology 51, 409-422. PMID:25818000 https://doi.org/10.3233/BIR-14037
- Doudevski, I., Rostagno, A., Cowman, M., Liebmann, J., Ritch, R., and Ghiso, J. (2014) "Clusterin and complement activation in exfoliation glaucoma" Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 55, 2491-2499. PMID:24550356 https://doi.org/10.1167/iovs.13-12941
- Hill, D.R., Rho, H.K., Kessler, S.P., Amin, R., Homer, C.R., McDonald, C., Cowman, M.K., and de la Motte, C.A. (2013) "Human milk hyaluronan enhances innate defense of the intestinal epithelium" J. Biol. Chem. 288, 29090-29104. PMID:23950179 https://doi.org/10.1074/jbc.M113.468629
- Yuan, H., Tank, M., Alsofyani, A., Shah, N., Talati, N., LoBello, J.C., Kim, J.R., Oonuki, Y., de la Motte, C.A., and Cowman, M.K. (2013) "Molecular mass dependence of hyaluronan detection by sandwich ELISA-like assay and membrane blotting using biotinylated HA binding protein" Glycobiology 23, 1270-1280. PMID:23964097 https://doi.org/10.1093/glycob/cwt064
- Hill, D.R., Kessler, S.P., Rho, H.K., Cowman, M.K., and de la Motte, C.A. (2012) “Specific-sized Hyaluronan Fragments Promote Expression of Human b-Defensin 2 in Intestinal Epithelium” J. Biol. Chem. 287, 30610-31624. PMID:22761444 https://doi.org/10.1074/jbc.M112.356238
- Tolg, C., Zalinska, E., Hamilton, S., McCulloch, L., Akentieva, N., Winnik, F., Savani, R., Bagli, D.J., Luyt, L.G., Amin, R., Cowman, M.K., McCarthy, J.B., and Turley, E.A. (2012) “A RHAMM mimetic peptide blocks hyaluronan fragment signaling and promotes skin excisional wound repair by reducing inflammation” Am. J. Pathology 181, 1250-1270. PMID:22889846 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ajpath.2012.06.036
- Cowman, M.K., Hernandez, M., Kim, J.R., Yuan, H., and Hu, Y. (2012) "Macromolecular Crowding in the Biomatrix", in Structure and Function of Biomatrix: Control of Cell Behavior and Gene Expression, E.A. Balazs, ed., Matrix Biology Institute, Edgewater, NJ, pp. 45-66.
- Kwiecinski, J.J., Dorosz, S.G., Hill, T.E., Abubacker, S., Cowman, M.K., and Schmidt, T.A. (2011) "The Effect of Molecular Weight on Hyaluronan's Cartilage Boundary Lubricating Ability – Alone and in Combination with Proteoglycan 4" Osteoarthritis and Cartilage 19, 1356-1362. PMID:21683677 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.joca.2011.07.019
- Bhilocha, S., Amin, R., Pandya, M., Yuan, H., Tank, M., LoBello, J., Shytuhina, A., Wang, W., Wisniewski, H-G., de la Motte, C.A., and Cowman, M.K. (2011) "Agarose and polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis methods for molecular weight analysis of 5-500 kDa HA" Anal. Biochem., 417, 41-49. doi: 10.1016/j.ab.2011.05.026 PMID:21684248 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ab.2011.05.026
- Cowman, M.K., Chen, C.C., Pandya, M., Yuan, H., Ramkishun, D., LoBello, J., Bhilocha, S., Russell-Puleri, S., Skendaj, E., Mijovic, J., and Jing, W. (2011) "Improved Agarose Gel Electrophoresis Method and Molecular Weight Calculation for High Molecular Weight Hyaluronan" Anal. Biochem., 417, 50-56. PMID:21683677 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ab.2011.05.023
- Garg, H.G., Cowman, M.K., and Hales, C.A., eds. (2008) "Carbohydrate Chemistry, Biology, and Medical Applications", Elsevier, Amsterdam.
- Cowman, M.K. (2019) “Methods for Hyaluronan Molecular Mass Determination by Agarose Gel Electrophoresis” in Vigetti, D. and Theocharis, A., eds. The Extracellular Matrix: Methods and Protocols, Methods in Molecular Biology, Vol. 1952, Springer Science + Business Media, New York, pp 91-102. PMID:30825168 https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4939-9133-4_8
- Cowman, M.K. (2017) “Hyaluronan and Hyaluronan Fragments”, in Advances in Carbohydrate Chemistry and Biochemistry, D.C. Baker, ed., Elsevier/Academic Press, Burlington, Vol. 74, pp 1-59. PMID:29173725 https://doi.org/10.1016/bs.accb.2017.10.001
- Founding Chair, Biomedical Engineering Department, 2019-2020
- Director, Biomatrix Research Center, 2015-2016
- Visiting Professor, Biomedical Engineering, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, Scotland, 2014-2019
- Associate Dean for Bioengineering, 2013-2019
- Associate Provost for Programs, Planning, and Development, 2011-2013
- Director-at Large, New York Section, American Chemical Society, 2007-2008
- Director, Westchester subsection, American Chemical Society, 2006-2010
- Director, Othmer Institute for Interdisciplinary Studies, 2006-2008
- Department Head, Chemistry, 1993-1995
- Member of International Society for Hyaluronan Sciences, American Chemical Society, Biophysical Society, Society for Glycobiology, American Society for Matrix Biology, Orthopaedic Research Society, American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists, New York Academy of Sciences.
- Scientific Program and Planning Committees: "Hyaluronan 2000", "MMC-9" (Macromolecule-Metal Complexes 2001), "Hyaluronan 2003", “Hyaluronan 2007”, "Hyaluronan 2013", "Hyaluronan 2015", Hyaluronan 2017, "Hyaluronan 2019".
- Founding Member, Treasurer (2004-2008), Secretary (2009-2013), Trustee (2014-2015, President-Elect (2015), President (2016-2019), International Society for Hyaluronan Sciences, 2004-present
- Distinguished Scientist Award, Westchester Chemical Society, 2007
- Distinguished Teacher Award, Polytechnic University, 2006
Biocompatible materials containing stable complexes of TSG-6 and hyaluronan and method of using same, (US Patent No. 8,093,365. Issued January 10, 2012.)
Biocompatible materials containing stable complexes of TSG-6 and hyaluronan and method of using same, (US Patent 8,420,601 (divisional). Issued April 16, 2013)
Nanocomposite Hyaluronic Acid-Clay Based Hydrogels., (US Patent 8,367,117. Issued February 5, 2013. )
Compositions and Methods for Cartilage Defect Repair using a RHAMM - Mimetic Pepide , (US Patent 10, 449, 229. Issued October 22, 2019)
Method for separating hyaluronan and quantifying its molecular mass distribution in biological samples. US Patent 10,723,812. Issued July 28, 2020
NYU Tandon professors Mary Cowman and Jin Ryoun Kim recently published a paper describing a novel peptide with broad therapeutic potential to combat chronic inflammation in multiple diseases. The peptide, called Amilo 5-MER, was discovered by Professor David Naor and his colleague Dr. Shmuel Jaffe Cohen in the Faculty of Medicine at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in Israel. They showed that Amilo 5-MER has anti-inflammatory effects that reduce pathological and clinical symptoms in mouse models for rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, and multiple sclerosis.
Based on Naor's finding that the peptide binds to several proteins associated with inflammation, including Serum Amyloid A (SAA), Cowman and Kim proposed a working mechanism for the peptide. In a collaboration between the Israeli and Tandon teams they were able to show that the peptide inhibits aggregation of SAA into more pro-inflammatory and pro-amyloidogenic forms. Amyloid-type aggregation of proteins is associated with many diseases, and the Amilo 5-MER peptide has been found to bind to other aggregating proteins that play key roles in chronic inflammations and neurodegenerative diseases. Thus, the peptide could have significant therapeutic value in many other pathological conditions, such as Alzheimer's Disease, AA amyloidosis, and even COVID-19.
The project was supported by the Ines Mandl Research Foundation (IMRF), which is dedicated to providing research funding in the fight against connective tissue disease. It is the legacy of Dr. Ines Mandl, who was the first woman to graduate from the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn (today’s NYU Tandon School of Engineering) with a Ph.D. in chemistry in 1949.
- Mary Cowman,
- Jin Ryoun Kim