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Ammon Peck, Ph.D.

Oral Biology, College of Dentistry
Pathology, Immunology and Laboratory Medicine, College of Medicine

Phone: 352-392-3045

  • Ph.D., University of Wisconsin, Medical Microbiology, 1972
  • B.S., Syracuse University, Bacteriology, 1968

Main Interests

Currently, three areas of active research are being maintained.

Autoimmune diabetes research:

First research endeavors in this area involved application of a novel bone marrow transplantation procedure involving in vitro-grown hematopoietic stem cells to produce bone marrow chimerics between diabetes susceptible and diabetes resistant laboratory mice. Demonstrated that autoimmune diseases are prevented by altering the genetics of the bone marrow, and warned of the ability to transfer autoimmune diseases to recipients through bone marrow transplantation. (Both situations are now recognized as possible complications in human autoimmune diabetes.) More recently, our research has focused on the neogenesis of the endocrine pancreas. Our discoveries may represent the first time a complete organ has been regenerated in vitro from single stem cells, a process that has been accorded world-wide attention. First, presented at the 1995 American Diabetes Association, the 5th International Diabetes Workshop, and a special session of the 5th International Pancreas and Islet Transplantation Association meeting, this research has been covered by CNN, AP, and the BBC. Discussions have been initiated at both the University of Florida and Karolinska Institutet to look at the feasibility of using these in vitro-generated islets for implantation into diabetic patients.

Autoimmune xerostomia & xerophthalmia:

This work, carried out in collaboration with Dr. Michael Humphreys-Beher (Department of Oral Biology, College of Dentistry), led to the first award to the University of Florida (1995-1997) from the National Institutes of Health under the Women’s Health Supplemental Grant program. Our work has resulted in the NOD mouse model becoming recognized as “the most appropriate animal model of the human disease, Sj√∂gren’s syndrome”. In 1996, Christopher Robinson, a graduate student in the laboratory working on this project, won the prestigious Hatton Research Award given to the best scientific research by a predoctoral student in the area of dental research by the American Dental Association. Recent work has identified autoantibody reactive with the muscarinic M3 acetylcholine receptor as the probable cause of onset of autoimmune exocrinopathy, opening a whole new area for both diagnosis and intervention therapy.


Research in this area has demonstrated the importance of the gut-associated bacterium, Oxalobacter formigenes, in regulating the homeostasis of oxalate in both animals and humans. This work has received international media attention, including a special interview and presentation in 1994 on the BBC, later broadcast to seventy-six countries worldwide. This work also received special note by the Mother Teresa Society in 1995. Recently, our research has led to the development of a new designer drug, OxControlTM, that is currently entering clinical trials for the prevention of enteric hyperoxaluria in patients with a variety of conditions (i.e., cystic fibrosis patients, IBS patients and individuals with recurrent kidney stone disease).

Recent Publications

  • Nguyen, C., Cornelius, J., Singson, E., Killedar, S., Cha, S., & Peck, A.B. (2005). Role of complement and B lymphocytes in Sjogren’s syndrome-like autoimmune exocrinopathy of NOD.B10-H2(b) mice. Mol Immunol., [Epub ahead of print]
  • Cha, S., Brayer, J., Gao, J., Brown, V., Killedar, S., Yasunari, U., & Peck, A.B. (2004). A dual role for interferon-gamma in the pathogenesis of Sjogren’s syndrome-like autoimmune exocrinopathy in the nonobese diabetic mouse. Scand J Immunol., 60(6), 552-65.
  • Federici, F., Vitali, B., Gotti, R., Pasca, M.R., Gobbi, S., Peck, A.B., & Brigidi, P. (2004). Characterization and heterologous expression of the oxalyl coenzyme A decarboxylase gene from Bifidobacterium lactis. Appl Environ Microbiol., 70(9), 5066-73.
  • Gao, J., Cha, S., Jonsson, R., Opalko, J., & Peck, A.B. (2004). Detection of anti-type 3 muscarinic acetylcholine receptor autoantibodies in the sera of Sjogren’s syndrome patients by use of a transfected cell line assay. Arthritis Rheum., 50(8), 2615-21.
  • Peck, A.B., & Ramiya, V. (2004). In vitro-generation of surrogate islets from adult stem cells. Transpl Immunol., 12(3-4), 259-72.
  • Cornelius, J.G., & Peck, A.B. (2004). Colonization of the neonatal rat intestinal tract from environmental exposure to the anaerobic bacterium Oxalobacter formigenes. J Med Microbiol., 53(Pt 3), 249-54.
  • Peck, A.B., Yin, L., & Ramiya, V. (2004). Animal models to study adult stem cell-derived, in vitro-generated islet implantation. ILAR J., 45(3), 259-67.
  • Khan, S.R., Johnson, J.M., Peck, A.B., Cornelius, J.G., & Glenton, P.A. (2002). Expression of osteopontin in rat kidneys: induction during ethylene glycol induced calcium oxalate nephrolithiasis. J Urol., 168(3), 1173-81.
  • Yang, L., Li, S., Hatch, H., Ahrens, K., Cornelius, J.G., Petersen, B.E., & Peck, A.B. (2002). In vitro trans-differentiation of adult hepatic stem cells into pancreatic endocrine hormone-producing cells. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 99(12), 8078-83.
  • Grant, M.B., May, W.S., Caballero, S., Brown, G.A., Guthrie, S.M., Mames, R.N., Byrne, B.J., Vaught, T., Spoerri, P.E., Peck, A.B., & Scott, E.W. (2002). Adult hematopoietic stem cells provide functional hemangioblast activity during retinal neovascularization. Nat Med., 8(6), 607-12.
  • Cha, S., Nagashima, H., Brown, V.B., Peck, A.B., & Humphreys-Beher, M.G. (2002). Two NOD Idd-associated intervals contribute synergistically to the development of autoimmune exocrinopathy (Sjogren’s syndrome) on a healthy murine background. Arthritis Rheum., 46(5), 1390-8.
  • Peck, A.B., Cornelius, J.G., Chaudhari, M., Shatz, D., & Ramiya, V.K. (2002). Use of in vitro-generated, stem cell-derived islets to cure type 1 diabetes: how close are we? Ann N Y Acad Sci., 958, 59-68.
  • Cha, S., Nagashima, H., Peck, A.B., & Humphreys-Beher, M.G. (2002). IDD3 and IDD5 alleles from nod mice mediate Sjogren’s syndrome-like autoimmunity. Adv Exp Med Biol., 506(Pt B), 1035-9.
  • Humphreys-Beher, M.G., Brayer, J., Cha, S., Nagashima, H., Diggs, S., & Peck, A.B. (2002). Immunogenetics of autoimmune exocrinopathy in the nod mouse: more than meets the eye. Adv Exp Med Biol., 506(Pt B), 999-1007.
  • Cha, S., Peck, A.B., & Humphreys-Beher, M.G. (2002). Progress in understanding autoimmune exocrinopathy using the non-obese diabetic mouse: an update. Crit Rev Oral Biol Med., 13(1), 5-16.