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Guy A. Zimmerman, M.D.

Associate Chair of Research, Department of Internal Medicine



  • English

Clinical Details

Schedule An Appointment Clinical Office Address
(801) 581-7806 University Hospital
Pulmonary, Clinic 3
50 N Medical Dr
Salt Lake City, UT 84132


Guy A. Zimmerman, M.D. is a Professor of Medicine and Associate Chair in the Department of Medicine the University of Utah School of Medicine and Health Sciences Center. He has a specialty focus in internal medicine and subspecialty training and experience in pulmonary and critical care medicine. He attended on the inpatient and ICU services of the University of Utah Hospital, the Salt Lake Veterans Administration Medical Center, and the LDS Hospital for 25 years after his appointment to the faculty in 1980, and also saw patients in the University of Utah Medical Center clinics. His current practice is limited to inpatient consultations. Zimmerman received his M.D. degree from Baylor College of Medicine and completed internship, residency, and fellowship training at the University of Utah and the University of Washington in Seattle. He is an elected member of the Association of American Physicians and the American Society for Clinical Investigation, and has been a visiting professor in many schools of medicine and research institutions in the U.S. and abroad.

Board Certification and Academic Information

Academic Departments Internal Medicine - Professor
Academic Divisions Pulmonary
Board Certification American Board of Internal Medicine (Internal Medicine)
American Board of Internal Medicine (Sub: Pulm Diseases)
Cancer Center Programs Cell Response & Regulation

Academic Profile

Board Certification and Academic Information

Academic Departments Internal Medicine - Professor
Academic Divisions Pulmonary
Board Certification American Board of Internal Medicine (Internal Medicine)
American Board of Internal Medicine (Sub: Pulm Diseases)
Cancer Center Programs Cell Response & Regulation

Academic Office Locations

Academic Office Phone Number Academic Office Address
(801) 585-0727 George and Dolores Eccles Institute of Human Genetics
15 N 2030 E
Salt Lake City, UT 84112
(801) 585-0950 George and Dolores Eccles Institute of Human Genetics
Molecular Medicine
15 N 2030 E
Salt Lake City, UT 84112

Academic Bio

In addition to clinical, administrative, and teaching activities, Zimmerman is highly committed to research. He is an investigator of the Huntsman Cancer Institute and a member of the Cell Response and Regulation program. He has studied the cellular and molecular basis for inflammatory, infectious, and thrombotic diseases for over 30 years, and has a National Institutes of Health MERIT Award that has been continuously funded for over two decades. This is one of many grants and research awards that Zimmerman has received during his career.

Zimmerman’s laboratory group investigates molecular mechanisms that regulate cell-cell interactions and cell signaling in the inflammatory and hemostatic systems, and how these systems become dysregulated in human disease. Chronic inflammation is known to be an underlying risk factor for multiple cancer types. His work as physician-investigator began with studies of patients with acute lung injury and their blood cells, and then moved to the laboratory bench to address basic and translational questions generated by observations in human subjects. Current areas of disease interest include systemic infectious syndromes and cardiovascular diseases in addition to acute lung injury. In early studies of interactions between human endothelial cells and leukocytes, Zimmerman indentified key adhesion and signaling factors and discovered mechanisms of intercellular signaling involving juxtacrine molecules that act in concert with selectins and leukocyte integrins. This provided a novel paradigm for cellular targeting and local activation of leukocytes that has been validated in vivo, and contributed to new understanding of molecular events that are involved in inflammatory diseases and defects in innate immune defenses. More recently Zimmerman’s group has extended these observations to studies of gene expression in the inflammatory, hemostatic, and vascular systems, and has identified previously-unrecognized transcriptional and post-transcriptional mechanisms. A major focus is on signal-dependent post-transcriptional gene expression and its regulation. This has resulted in discovery of new mechanisms and pathways of translational control, mRNA stabilization, and pre-mRNA splicing. The group is currently using next generation RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) and other approaches of transcriptome analysis, interrogation of cDNA libraries in combination with polyribosome analysis and other assays of specialized translational control, proteomic strategies, assays of mRNA splicing and stability, novel imaging methods, and cell biologic approaches to dissect pathways and consequences of expression of key genes in informative models (primary human leukocytes, platelets and endothelial cells; human stem cells differentiated to specific mature hematopoietic cell phenotypes; relevant cell lines). Many of the studies are in collaboration with Andrew Weyrich, Ph.D., a Professor and faculty member in the Department of Medicine, and Zimmerman and Weyrich co-direct projects with their research group and co-mentor trainees, continuing Zimmerman’s long interest in the practical application of interactive and “team” biomedical science.

Specific avenues of current investigation include identification of integrin and selectin signaling pathways that are linked to specialized translational control checkpoints, characterization of the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathway of translation control and the subset of genes that it regulates in platelets and myeloid leukocytes, dissection of mechanisms of signal-dependent mRNA processing in activated cells, regulatory pathways mediated by microRNAs, characterization of a novel leukocyte integrin and its signaling roles, and novel mechanisms of activation of leukocytes and platelets triggered by bacterial and malarial toxins. While the studies are based heavily on primary human cells, Zimmerman’s group is also utilizing surrogate models including genetically-altered mice. A major project utilizing mouse models involves investigation of novel mechanisms of inflammation and thrombosis triggered by malarial parasites and their toxins in ongoing studies with collaborators at the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation in Brazil. A second area involves mechanisms of vascular barrier stabilization in murine models of sepsis and systemic inflammation, in collaboration with investigators in the University of Utah Molecular Medicine Program.

In parallel, Zimmerman’s group also has ongoing investigations of cellular responses and phenotypes in inflammatory and thrombotic syndromes in human subjects. These projects include studies of patients with sepsis, acute lung injury, thrombotic conditions associated with aging, cancer, and vascular disease, and neonatal necrotizing enterocolitis and neonatal neutrophil dysfunction. Additional studies, which are being initiated with major new grant support from the NIH to Weyrich and Zimmerman for a translational research center in thrombosis, are focused on thrombotic and inflammatory complications of metabolic syndromes (diabetes, obesity, others) mediated by platelets. The unifying feature of Zimmerman’s studies of these disorders in the “human model” is that each involves dysregulated inflammation and hemostasis – two processes that are intimately linked in many clinical diseases. Thus, students, postdoctoral fellows, and junior faculty in Zimmerman’s group are exposed to parallel lines of investigation that employ modern biologic, genomic, and proteomic approaches in experimental systems that are then extended to the clinic and to questions of human disease in a translational fashion.


Education History

Type School Degree
Residency University of Washington
Fellowship University of Utah School of Medicine
Pulmonary Diseases
Chief Resident Veteran's Affairs Medical Center
Internal Medicine
Chief Medical Resident
Residency University of Utah School of Medicine
Internal Medicine
Internship University of Utah School of Medicine
Internal Medicine
Professional Medical Baylor College of Medicine
Graduate Training Baylor College of Medicine
Cell Biology
Undergraduate Emory University


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