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Gabsang Lee Lab
Human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) provide unprecedented opportunities for cell replacement approaches, disease modeling and drug discovery in a patient-specific manner. The Gabsang Lee Lab focuses on the neural crest lineage and skeletal muscle tissue, in terms of their fate-determination processes as well as relevant genetic disorders.
Previously, we studied a human genetic disorder (familial dysautonomia, or FD) with hiPSCs and found that FD-specific neural crest cells have low levels of genes needed to make autonomous neurons--the ones needed for the "fight-or-flight" response. In an effort to discover novel drugs, we performed high-throughput screening with a compound library using FD patient-derived neural crest cells.
We recently established a direct conversion methodology, turning patient fibroblasts into "induced neural crest (iNC)" that also exhibit disease-related phenotypes, just as the FD-hiPSC-derived neural crest. We're extending our research to the ne...ural crest's neighboring cells, somite. Using multiple genetic reporter systems, we identified sufficient cues for directing hiPSCs into somite stage, followed by skeletal muscle lineages. This novel approach can straightforwardly apply to muscular dystrophies, resulting in expandable myoblasts in a patient-specific manner.
Gail Geller Lab
The Gail Geller Lab primarily conducts empirical quantitative and qualitative research on the ethical and social implications of genetic testing in the adult, pediatric and family contexts. We have focused on clinical-patient communication under conditions of uncertainty; professionalism and humanism in medical education; cross-cultural variation in concepts of health and disease; and clinician suffering and moral distress. We explore these topics in a range of health care contexts, including genomics, complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) and palliative care. Our researchers have a longstanding interest in medical socialization, provider-patient communication under conditions of uncertainty and cultural differences in attitudes toward health and disease. We also explore the intersection of CAM and bioethics, as well as the role of palliative care in chronic diseases, such as muscular dystrophy and sickle cell disease.
The GI Biomarkers Laboratory studies gastrointestinal cancer and pre-cancer biogenesis and biomarkers. The lab is led by Dr. Stephen Meltzer, who is known for his research in the molecular pathobiology of gastrointestinal malignancy and premalignancy. Research in the lab has led to several groundbreaking genomic, epigenomic and bioinformatic studies of esophageal and colonic neoplasms, shifting the gastrointestinal research paradaigm toward genome-wide approaches.
The Goley Lab is broadly interested in understanding cellular organization and dynamic reorganization, with particular focus on the roles of the cytoskeleton in these phenomena. We use cell biological, biochemical, genetic and structural approaches to dissect cytoskeletal processes with the aim of understanding how they work in molecular detail. Currently, we are focused on investigating the mechanisms underlying cytokinesis in bacteria. A deep understanding of cytoskeletal function in bacteria will aid in the identification of targets for novel antibiotic therapies and in efforts in synthetic biology.
Work in the Green Lab is centered on the ribosome. The overall fidelity of protein synthesis appears to be limited by the action of the ribosome, which is the two-subunit macromolecular machine responsible for decoding and translating messenger RNAs (mRNAs) into protein in all organisms. Our work is divided into four general project areas. The longest-standing research area concerns the interactions of eubacterial ribosomes and release factors. The goal is to understand the mechanism of action of release factors on the ribosome. A second research area involves biochemical and structure/function studies of the miRNA pathway, particularly the mechanism of action of the Argonaute proteins and their interacting factors. A third area of work in the lab is centered around regulation of eukaryotic translation, specifically in understanding the mechanism behind various mRNA quality control pathways and the interactions of proteins therein, as well as with the ribosome. The newest area of rese...arch in the lab extends our strengths in ribosome biochemistry to characterize the translation status of the cell using the ribosome profiling. We are using this technique to better understand the role of several factors involved in eukaryotic and prokaryotic translation fidelity. view more
Gregg Semenza Lab
The Gregg Semenza Lab studies the molecular mechanisms of oxygen homeostasis. We have cloned and characterized hypoxia-inducible factor 1 (HIF-1), a basic helix-loop-helix transcription factor.
Current research investigates the role of HIF-1 in the pathophysiology of cancer, cerebral and myocardial ischemia, and chronic lung disease, which are the most common causes of mortality in the U.S.
The Kazazian Lab focuses on the biology of LINE-1 (L1) retrotransposons. Retrotransposons are pieces of genomic DNA that have the ability to duplicate themselves and insert into a new genomic location. Current studies use innovative DNA sequencing to locate all human-specific L1s in any genome. By understanding L1 biology, we hope to better understand the role of these genomes and their behavior in complex human disease, such as cancer and mental disorders. The lab is also examining how to carry out gene therapy of hemophilia A using AAV vectors.
Herschel Wade Lab
The emergence of structural genomics, proteomics and the large-scale sequencing of many genomes provides experimental access to regions of protein sequence-structure-function landscapes which have not been explored through traditional biochemical methods. Protein structure-function relationships can now be examined rigorously through the characterization of protein ensembles, which display structurally convergent--divergent solutions to analogous or very similar functional properties.
In this modern biochemical context, the Herschel Wade Lab will use protein libraries, chemistry, biophysics, molecular biology and structural methods to examine the basis of molecular recognition in the context of several important biological problems, including structural and mechanistic aspects of multi-drug resistance, ligand-dependent molecular switches and metal ion homeostasis.
Research in the Holland Lab focuses on the molecular mechanisms that control accurate chromosome distribution and the role that mitotic errors play in human health and disease. We use a combination of chemical biology, biochemistry, cell biology and genetically engineered mice to study pathways involved in mitosis and their effect on cell and organism physiology. One of our major goals is to develop cell and animal-based models to study the role of cell-division defects in genome instability and tumorigenesis.
Howard Levy Lab
Research interests in the Howard Levy Lab center on the integration of genetics into primary care, education of non-geneticist providers about genetics, and the natural history and management of Ehlers-Danlos syndrome and related disorders of connective tissue.
J. Hunter Young Lab
Research in the J. Hunter Young Lab focuses on the genetic epidemiology and physiology of cardiovascular disease and its risk factors, especially hypertension, diabetes and obesity. Current activities include an observational study of hypertension among African Americans; a genetic epidemiology study of worldwide cardiovascular disease susceptibility patterns; and several population-based observational studies of cardiovascular and renal disease. A recent focus group study found that changes in housing and city policies might lead to improved environmental health conditions for public housing residents.
James Hamilton Lab
The main research interests of the James Hamilton Lab are the molecular pathogenesis of hepatocellular carcinoma and the development of molecular markers to help diagnose and manage cancer of the liver. In addition, we are investigating biomarkers for early diagnosis, prognosis and response to various treatment modalities. Results of this study will provide a molecular classification of HCC and allow us to identify targets for chemoprevention and treatment. Specifically, we extract genomic DNA and total RNA from liver tissues and use this genetic material for methylation-specific PCR (MSP), cDNA microarray, microRNA microarray and genomic DNA methylation array experiments.
Jeffry Corden Laboratory
Jeffry Corden's lab is using genetic and biochemical approaches to investigate the functional role of the C-terminal domain (CTD) in the biogenesis of mRNA. We use both yeast and mammalian systems to conduct research.
A major effort in the lab is directed at studies of proteins that bind the CTD. Using the yeast two-hybrid approach, we've identified a family of proteins that interact with the CTD. These proteins are similar to the serine/arginine-rich proteins involved in pre-mRNA splicing. A current focus of the laboratory is to determine how these proteins function in mRNA biogenesis and how CTD phosphorylation regulates this function. Other research in our lab investigates the mechanism by which RNA sequences in the nascent transcript trigger Pol II termination.
The Jeremy Nathans Laboratory is focused on neural and vascular development, and the role of Frizzled receptors in mammalian development. We use gene manipulation in the mouse, cell culture models, and biochemical reconstitution to investigate the relevant molecular events underlying these processes, and to genetically mark and manipulate cells and tissues. Current experiments are aimed at defining additional Frizzled-regulated processes and elucidating the molecular mechanisms and cell biologic results of Frizzled signaling within these various contexts. Complementing these areas of biologic interest, we have ongoing technology development projects related to genetically manipulating and visualizing defined cell populations in the mouse, and quantitative analysis of mouse visual system function.
Joanna Peloquin Lab
The Joanna Peloquin Lab focuses on inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). We're working on individualized care for IBD patients through functional genomic studies, specifically those related to diet, host and microbiota interactions.
Joseph Mankowski Lab
The Joseph Mankowski Lab studies the immunopathogenesis of HIV infection using the SIV/macaque model. Our researchers use a multidisciplinary approach to dissect the mechanism underlying HIV-induced nervous system and cardiac diseases. Additionally, we study the role that host genetics play in HIV-associated cognitive disorders.
Molecular and Comparative Pathobiology
Katherine Wilson Lab
Research in the Wilson Lab focuses on three components of nuclear lamina structure: lamins, LEM-domain proteins (emerin), and BAF.
These three proteins all bind each other directly, and are collectively required to organize and regulate chromatin, efficiently segregate chromosomes and rebuild nuclear structure after mitosis. Mutations in one or more of these proteins cause a variety of diseases including Emery-Dreifuss muscular dystrophy (EDMD), cardiomyopathy, lipodystrophy and diabetes, and accelerated aging.
We are examining emerin's role in mechanotransduction, how emerin and lamin A are regulated, and whether misregulation contributes to disease.
The Lamichhane Lab strives to understand the fundamental mechanisms used by Mycobacterium tuberculosis to survive, grow and cause disease. Although our lab uses genetic and biochemical approaches to study this organism, we pursue questions irrespective of the expertise required to answer those questions. We work to identify the essential components of the peptidoglycan layer and how the physiology of this layer is maintained. We also explore what non-coding RNAs exist in M. tuberculosis and investigate what their relevance is to the physiology and virulence of this pathogen.
Li Gao Lab
The Li Gao Lab researches functional genomics, molecular genetics and epigenetics of complex cardiopulmonary and allergic diseases, with a focus on translational research applying fundamental genetic insight into the clinical setting. Current research includes implementation of high-throughput technologies in the fields of genome-wide association studies (GWAS), massively parallel sequencing, gene expression analysis, epigenetic mapping and integrative genomics in ongoing research of complex lung diseases and allergic diseases including asthma, atopic dermatitis (AD), pulmonary arterial hypertension, COPD, sepsis and acute lung injury/ARDS; and epigenetic contributions to pulmonary arterial hypertension associated with systemic sclerosis.
Liliana Florea Lab
Research in the Liliana Florea Lab applies computational techniques toward modeling and problem solving in biology and genetic medicine. We work to develop computational methods for analyzing large-scale sequencing data to help characterize molecular mechanisms of diseases. The specific application areas of our research include genome analysis and comparison, cDNA-to-genome alignment, gene and alternative splicing annotation, RNA editing, microbial comparative genomics, miRNA genomics and computational vaccine design. Our most recent studies seek to achieve accurate and efficient RNA-seq correction and explore the role of HCV viral miRNA in hepatocellular carcinoma.