Octavia M. Peck-Palmer, PhD
Associate Professor of Pathology

Dr. Peck-Palmer is a member of the Division of Clinical Chemistry and Medical Director of the Automated Testing Laboratories at UPMC Presbyterian and UPMC Shadyside. Dr. Peck-Palmer completed a COMACC accredited clinical chemistry postdoctoral fellowship in the Department of Pathology, Division of Laboratory and Genomic Medicine at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, MO. Simultaneously, Dr. Peck-Palmer completed a postdoctoral fellowship in the Department of Anesthesiology were she conducted basis research.

Office Location:
UPMC Presbyterian South Tower, Room 5936
200 Lothrop Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
Contact Information:
Office Telephone: 412-578-9489
Fax: 412-647-3998
Email: palmerom@upmc.edu


  • BS - Columbia College, Columbia, South Carolina, 2000
  • PhD - Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, South Carolina, 2005

Clinical Expertise

Dr. Peck-Palmer’s clinical expertise includes General Chemistry, Sample Processing, and Laboratory Automation.

Research Interests

Dr. Peck-Palmer’s main research interests include identifying the cellular signaling pathways that are involved in the host response to infection. Her laboratory uses both population cohorts and in vitro models to examine differential immune host response to infection. Understanding how individuals respond to infection may serve as a foundation for guideline development for clinical trial design, subject recruitment, and development of personalized therapeutic strategies and curative therapies. Dr. Peck-Palmer is a Clinical Scholar and a PI of several federally funded grants to identify biological mechanisms underlying the health disparity in the incidence of infection-related hospitalization and severe sepsis and to identify biomarkers for susceptibility to infection.


Clinical Chemistry

Selected Publications

View Dr. Palmer's publications on PubMed

  1. Peck OM, Fan Tempel G, Teti G, Haluska P, Cook J. Staphylococcus aureus and Lipopolysaccharide Induce Homologous Tolerance but Heterologous Priming: Role of Interferon-γ. Shock 21:254-260, 2004.
  2. Peck OM, Williams D, Breuel K, Kalbfleisch J, Fan H, Tempel G, Teti G, J, Cook JA. Differential Regulation of cytokine and chemokine production in lipopolysaccharide induced tolerance and priming. Cytokine 26: 202-208, 2004.
  3. Fan H, Peck OM, Tempel G, Halushka PV, and James A. Cook. "Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) coupled Gi protein signaling pathways regulate extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK1/2) phosphorylation and AP-1 activation independent of NFκB activation." Shock 22: 57-62, 2004.
  4. Fan H, Peck OM, Tempel G, Halushka PV, and James A. Cook. Lipopolysaccharide and Gram-positive Bacteria Induced Cellular Inflammatory Responses: Role of Heterotrimeric Gαi Proteins. Am J Physiol Cell Physiol 289:C293-301, 2005.
  5. Peck OM, Fan H, Tempel G, Teti G, Halushka PV, and James A. Cook. The Phosphatidylinositol 3 kinase Pathway Regulates Tolerance To Lipopolysaccharide and Priming Responses To Staphylococcus aureus and Lipopolysaccharide. Shock 26:31-36, 2006.
  6. Palmer O, Grenache DG, Gronowski A. Review of the NACB Laboratory Medicine Practice Guidelines for Point of Care Reproductive Testing. Point of Care: The Journal of Near-Patient Testing & Technology 6:265-272, 2007.
  7. Peck-Palmer O, Unsinger J, Chang, Davis C, McDunn J, Hotchkiss RS. Deletion of MyD88 Markedly Attenuates Sepsis-Induced T and B Lymphocyte Apoptosis But Worsens Survival. J Leukoc Biol 83:1009–1018, 2008.
  8. Schwulst S, Munser J, Peck-Palmer O, Unsinger J, Chang KC, McDunn J, Hotchkiss RS. "BIM siRNA Decreases Lymphocyte Apoptosis and Improves Survival in Sepsis" Shock 30:127-134, 2008.
  9. Peck-Palmer O, Unsinger J, Chang KC, McDunn J, Hotchkiss RS. Modulation of Bcl-2 Family Blocks Sepsis-Induced Depletion of Dendritic Cells and Macrophages. Shock 31: 359-366, 2009.
  10. Tanhehco YC, Peck Palmer OM, Derrico LS, Sepulveda JL, Blair HC. Biases in antibody-based single-phase assays for free thyroxine due to protein-bound analyte. Clin Chim Acta 406:176-178, 2009.
  11. Mayr FB, Yende S, Linde-Zwirble WT, Peck-Palmer OM, Barnato AE, Weissfeld LA, Angus DC. Infection Rate and Acute Organ Dysfunction Risk as Explanations for Racial Differences in Severe Sepsis. JAMA 303:2495-2503, 2010.
  12. Peck Palmer OM. Quo Vadis: Define Success. Clin Chem. 2012 (In press)
  13. Peck Palmer, O. M. Impact of age, gender, diet, exercise and ethnicity on common laboratory test results. In A. Dasgupta, & J.L. Sepulveda (Eds.), Accurate Results in the Clinical Laboratory A Guide to Error Detection and Correction (pp. 1-30). Salt Lake, City: Elsevier. (submitted).
  14. Lee S, McLaughlin JN, Frederick DR, Zhu L, Wasserloss K, Kaminski I, Peck-Palmer O, Wang T, Pearce L, Peterson J, Person C, Latoche JD, Oury T, Fattman CL, Beer-Stolz D, Alcorn JF, Angus DC, Pitt BR, Kaynar AM. Metallothionein-induced zinc partitioning exacerbates hyperoxic acute lung injury. Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol. (submitted)