Research from Casey Romanoski, PhD's Laboratory - led by Genetics PhD student Lindsey Stolze - linked polymorphisms in people's DNA sequence with molecular characteristics of how cells convert genetic code into the building blocks for proteins. This report is among the very first to use molecular Quantiative Trait Locus mapping at such depth, and the first to apply it in human endothelial cells. The authors pinpoint DNA polymorphisms that cause particular genes to be made into cellular building blocks at different rates across people, which serves as a springboard for understanding individualized disease risk and mechanisms to overcome it. PMID: 32442411
Johan Lindqvist, PhD and the laboratory of Henk Granzier, PhD recently published a paper in Nature Communications describing a novel mouse model of nemaline myopathy, a heterogenous disease with unclear pathological mechanisms. This novel mouse model mimics the most common genetic cause of the nemaline myopathy and demonstrates that the muscle weakness in this model is associated with twisted actin filaments and altered tropomyosin and troponin behavior. PMID: 32483185
Helen Amerongen, PhD was recently awarded a 2020 College of Medicine Mentoring Award, which honors faculty members who demonstrate outstanding commitment to the mentorship of junior faculty. Recipients were formally recognized at the May General Faculty Meeting of the College of Medicine – Tucson. Read more here
Research Assistant Professor Darren Cusanovich, PhD was announced as one of four recipients of the UAHS Career Development Award this year. The CDA program, established in 2014, provides research training and funding for junior faculty members to foster academic careers in clinical and translational research. The award will support Dr. Cusanovich's work, in collaboration with Dr. Mohamed Ahmed in Neonatology, using single-cell genomics to better understand the pathogenesis of bronchopulmonary dysplasia, a lung disease that affects prematurely born children. Read more here.
Associate Professor Gregory Rogers, PhD, recently received an R35 MIRA grant, a 5-year award for established investigators from the NIGMS. The goal of this basic science proposal is to utilize Drosophila melanogaster as a model system to dissect the molecular mechanisms that underlie the assembly, growth, and function of centrioles - the core subunits of centrosomes.
Assistant Professor Curtis Thorne, PhD in collaboration with Dr. Koenraad Van Doorslaer were awarded a Technology and Research Initiative Fund (TRIF) grant from the BIO5 Institute. The goal of their project is to rapidly test bioactive, clinically actionable and structurally diverse compounds for their activity in disrupting COVID-19 replication in bronchial tissue models. To accomplish this, Thorne and Van Doorslaer are developing a novel high-throughput assay to tract viral replication at the sub-cellular level with plans to make all data available in realtime to the international scientific community.