News & Announcements Archive
Associate Professor Leonard Lipovich, PhD named WSU Charles H. Gershenson Fellow. Presentation and ceremony to be held April 26, 2018 at the McGregor Memorial Conference Center. Charles H. Gershenson Distinguished Faculty Fellowship Awards were created to recognize and provide support for members of the faculty whose continuing achievements and current activities in scholarship, research or in the fine and performing arts, are nationaly distinguished. The fellowships are part of the benefaction to the University by Charles H. Gershenson who formerly served on the Board of Governors. The term of each fellowship is two years. There have been approximately 80 fellowships awarded since their inception in 1985.
Center PhD students excel early in 2018, winning awards and fellowships. Rayanne Burl, PhD student of the Granneman Laboratory, was awarded an F31 fellowship by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases - the fellowship begins April 1, 2018 and is for three years. Alexander Yang, MD-PhD student of the Granneman Laboratory, was awarded an F30 fellowship by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases - the fellowship begins April 1, 2018 and is for five years. Two of the Center’s PhD students won awards at the Wayne State University Graduate and Postdoctoral Research Symposium, Poster Presentation session, held on March 6, 2018. Stephanie Gladyk of the Grossman Laboratory won first place. Hasini Kalpage of the Hüttemann Laboratory won third place.
Jordan Zhou won the American Association of Immunologists Young Investigator Award for First Place in Oral presentation at the 21st Translational Research Cancer Centers Consortium (TRCCC) meeting in February, 2018. Jordan is advised by Kang Chen, PhD and the title of his presentation was "A Germinal Center Checkpoint of AIRE in B cells Limits Antibody Diversication."
Bhanu P. Jena, PhD, Department of Physiology and Center for Molecular Medicine & Genetics, was named one of five advisory board members of the Victor Babes National Institute in Burcharest, Romania. Dr. Jena is the George E. Palade University Professor and Distinguished Professor. Visit Victor Babes National Institute at www.ivb.ro/v3/ro/advisory-board/
Samiran Ghosh, PhD, Center for Molecular Medicine & Genetics and Department of Family Medicine and Public Health Sciences, was awarded the 'Young Researcher Award" on 12/29/2017 by the International Indian Statistical Association (IISA). The award was in recognition of Dr. Ghosh's contribtuions in statistical applications and case studies. Visit the IISA website for more details.
Lobelia Samavati, MD and her research team develop method to detect Cystic Fibrosis Serological Biomarkers. Press Release
Center faculty members take home 8 awards at School of Medicine ceremony. Article
Luca, Pique-Regi, & Theis awarded $35K CMMG interdisciplinary research stimulation. For 2017 the Center announced an internally funded research stimulation program with the goal being to foster new interdisciplinary collaborative efforts within the Center and the University that will lead to new funding opportunities, such as multi-PI R01 or larger applications. The program will provide one year of support ($25K - $35K) that can be used to (partially) support a research assistant/associate who will work under the guidance of the PIs. Funds can also be used for supplies. The multi-PI program is open to ideally two (or three) PIs that include members of the University Faculty eligible to be Principal Investigators on applications for external funding, and that include at least one primary member of the Center faculty who will be listed as the contact PI on the application. It is expected that a joint grant application for external funding will be submitted during or soon after the period of support. The winning proposal for 2017 was titled "Functional genomic analysis of host-microbiome interactions in the female reproductive system" - submitted by Drs. Francesca Luca (CMMG), Roger Pique-Regi (CMMG), and Kevin Theis (Microbiology, Immunology, & Biochemistry). The project includes 3 aims: 1) Identify appropriate treatment conditions representative of the host-microbiome relationship in the vagina 2) Characterize the effect of exposure to vaginal microbial isolates on gene regulation in primary human vaginal epithelial cells and 3) Develop a novel experimental protocol to extract live microbial communities from vaginal swabs. The professors will submit a final report on the success of the project and present findings at the CMMG 2018 Retreat.
Gow Lab students & postdocs publish in Journal of Metabolic Disease and Journal of Neurochemistry.
- Maheras KJ*, Pindolia K, Wolf B, Gow A (2016) Developmental Window of Sensorineural Deafness in Biotinidase-Deficient Mice, J Metabol Inherited Dis
- Southwood CM, Garshott DM, Richardson CR*, Seraji-Bozorgzad N, Fribley AM, Gow A (2016) Dimethyl Fumarate Ameliorates Myoclonus Stemming From Protein Misfolding In Oligodendrocytes, J. Neurochem, DOI: 10.1111/jnc.14035
Wayne State University School of Medicine Associate Professor of Molecular Medicine and Genetics, and of Neurology Leonard Lipovich, Ph.D., is among a team of international multidisciplinary scientists to contribute to an atlas published in Nature that reveals how thousands of long non-coding RNAs in humans, once considered genetic “junk,” are directly involved in diseases and other genetic traits. Link to news article. Link to Nature.
Luca & Pique-Regi laboratories sponsored by NIH to study environmental impacts on asthma in youth. Asthma in the Lives of Family Today (ALOFT) will identify the behavioral and biological pathways through which family social environments impact youth asthma – the most common cause of youth hospitalization in the United States other than infections. The research teams will utilize next-generation genetic sequencing techniques to conduct genome-wide gene expression analyses on the previous study participants, as well as the new sample of participants.
DETROIT – Researchers in the Center for Molecular Medicine and Genetics at the Wayne State University School of Medicine have developed a novel approach to studying host-microbiome interactions, the first step toward learning the cause-and-effect relationship between the microbes that live in our gut and our gut cells using a functional genomic approach. Full story here
PhD trainee Jaime Stafford of the Tainsky laboratory wins Top Rated Abstract at ACMG 2016. Jaime Stafford, a second year PhD student in Dr. Michael Tainsky’s lab recently received the “Top Rated Abstract” award at the Annual Clinical Genetics Meeting (ACMG) in Tampa Florida, this March. This award went to top 10% of all abstracts submitted to the international conference. She presented a poster for her research on the discovery of novel germline variants in hereditary ovarian cancer (coauthors; Nancy Levin, Nancie Petrucelli, Michael Simon, Gregory Dyson, and Michael Tainsky). This was Jaime’s first time attending a conference as a graduate student at Wayne State.
Ashley Brown, a member of the annual CMMG Summer Undergraduate Research Program (SURP), was awarded first prize in the 4th annual Joint Summer Undergraduate Research Symposium held at the WSU School of Medicine on August 5, 2015. Her project was titled "Phontypic consequences of oligodendrocyte metabolic stress," and her work was conducted in the laboratory of Dr. Alexander Gow, Professor and Associate Director of the Center.
Our former colleague and friend James Garbern, MD, Ph.D., who was Associate Professor of Neurology and of Molecular Medicine and Genetics from 1995 through 2010, died on November 11, 2011. He was 58. In 2010, Dr. Garbern accepted a position as Professor of Neurology at the University of Rochester Medical Center. Dr. Garbern is survived by his wife Angela, and by his daughters Jessica and Stephanie. In lieu of flowers or gifts, Dr. Garbern’s family has asked that those who are interested send donations to the PMD Foundation in his memory, a cause so meaningful to Jim and one he worked so hard to find a cure for.
First year Molecular Biology and Genetics Ph.D. student, Ze Zheng, placed first in the Oral Presentation's Session Three at Graduate Student Research Day held on Thursday, September 29, 2011.
Biology textbooks maintain that the main function of sex is to promote genetic diversity. But Henry Heng, Ph.D., associate professor in WSU's Center for Molecular Medicine and Genetics, says that's not the case. Heng and fellow researcher Root Gorelick, associate professor at Carleton University in Canada, propose that although diversity may result from a combination of genes, the primary function of sex is not about promoting diversity. Rather, it's about keeping the genome context – an organism's complete collection of genes arranged by chromosome composition and topology – as unchanged as possible, thereby maintaining a species' identity. "If sex was merely for increasing genetic diversity, it would not have evolved in the first place," said Heng. This is because asexual reproduction – in which only one parent is needed to procreate – leads to higher rates of genetic diversity than sex.
A Wayne State University medical researcher has been awarded a $1.7 million grant from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health. Kezhong Zhang is assistant professor of molecular medicine and genetics and of immunology and microbiology in the School of Medicine at Wayne State. He will use the grant to explore how molecular elements in the body regulate the development of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). More
Henry H.Q. Heng, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Molecular Medicine and Genetics and of Pathology, and Stephen Krawetz, Ph.D., Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology and of Molecular Medicine and Genetics have been awarded the 2010 SOM Faculty Research Excellence Award. They join former Center honorees Russell Finley, Jr., Alexander Gow, Maik Huttemann, Jeffrey Loeb and Derek Wildman.
Leonard Lipovich, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Molecular Medicine and Genetics and of Neurology, has been awarded an American Cancer Society Institutional Research Grant. Dr. Lipovich's award was for "Long non-protein-coding RNA (IncRNA) molecules in estrogen-responsive breast cancer."More
Monica Uddin, Ph.D., joins the Center as Assistant Professor of Molecular Medicine and Genetics and of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences. Her research interests include types of mental illness; assessing gene-environment interactions in psychiatric disorders; and investigating developmental differences in the molecular contributions to mental illness. Prior to her appointment at Wayne State University, Dr. Uddin was Research Assistant Professor in the Center for Social Epidemiology and Population Health at the University of Michigan.
Graham Johnson, who attended the 4th Utah-Florence Symposium on the Genetics of Male Infertility, received a trainee award for outstanding research in the field from Gamete Analytics. Graham is a Graduate Research Assistant in Dr. Stephen Krawetz’s lab. Gregory Kapatos, Ph.D., Professor of Molecular Medicine and Genetics and of Pharmacology, is a recipient of the 2010 Outstanding Graduate Mentor Award in Health Sciences. His achievements will be recognized at the Academic Recognition Ceremony on April 27, 2010.
Jeffrey Loeb, M.D., Ph.D., Associate Professor and Associate Director of Molecular Medicine and Genetics and Associate Professor of Neurology, has been elected to the Epilepsy Foundation’s Professional Advisory Board for a four-year term. More
Alexander Gow, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Molecular Medicine and Genetics, and of Neurology and of Pediatrics, and Derek Wildman, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Molecular Medicine and Genetics and of Obstetrics and Gynecology have been awarded the 2009 SOM Faculty Research Excellence Award.
Gerald Feldman, M.D., Ph.D., Professor of Molecular Medicine and Genetics, and of Pathology, and of Pediatrics has been awarded the 2009 SOM Teaching Award.
Najla Kfoury has been awarded the 2009 Graduate Student Research Award for her first author publication, "Identification of neuronal target genes for CCAAT/enhancer binding proteins," featured in Molecular and Cellular Neurosciences. Ms. Kfoury is a graduate student in the laboratory of Prof. Gregory Kapatos.
Roberto Romero, M.D., Chief of the Perinatology Research Branch and Professor of Molecular Obstetrics and Genetics in the Center, along with investigators from the NIH, were featured in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology for their research on the administration of magnesium sulfate to pregnant women to prevent cerebral palsy in preterm infants. More
Gregory Kapatos, Ph.D., Professor of Molecular Medicine and Genetics and of Pharmacology has been awarded the Gowland Hopkins Award.
Angela Trepanier, M.S., C.G.C., Assistant Professor of Molecular Medicine and Genetics and Director of the Genetic Counseling Program, served as an advisor for a new consumer guide to genetic counseling. More
Gregory Kapatos, Ph.D., Professor of Molecular Medicine and Genetics and of Pharmacology has been awarded the Gowland Hopkins Award. This prestigious honor is awarded to those that have made a demonstrable contribution to the field of pteridine biochemistry. Dr. Kapatos will receive this award and be the keynote speaker at the14th International Symposium on the Chemistry and Biology of Pteridines and Folates to be held in Korea in June, 2009.
Jeffrey Loeb, M.D., Ph.D., Associate Professor and Associate Director of Molecular Medicine and Genetics and Associate Professor of Neurology was an invited speaker at a recent educational conference about treatment options for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, better known as Lou Gehrig's disease.
Derek E. Wildman, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Molecular Medicine and Genetics and of Obstetrics and Gynecology and a member of the Perinatology Research Branch, has been awarded the 2008-2009 Junior Faculty Award – Sciences by the Wayne State University Academy of Scholars. Each year the Academy selects two junior faculty members to receive this significant honor.
Fei Song, M.D., Ph.D., Assistant Professor in the Department of Neurology, also holds a joint appointment in the Center as an Assistant Professor of Molecular Medicine and Genetics. Dr. Song's primary research is immunomodulation, immunotherapy, molecular signal pathway and targeted therapeutics in human neurological disorder diseases including multiple sclerosis (MS) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) as well as their animal models.
Stephen A. Krawetz, the Charlotte B. Failing Professor of Fetal Therapy and Diagnosis, Director of Translational Reproductive Systems, Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology and of Molecular Medicine and Genetics, and member of the Institute for Scientific Computing; Amelia Linnemann, Graduate Research Assistant, Center for Molecular Medicine and Genetics; and Adrian Platts, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and the Center for Molecular Medicine and Genetics have gained important insights about interactions between the human genome and the nuclear matrix, a finding that could lead to genetic treatments for myriad diseases and disorders. The findings were published in the journal Human Molecular Genetics and featured on the cover. More
Abdul Abou-Samra, MD, Ph.D., Chief, Division of Endocrinology, and Professor of Internal Medicine at Wayne State University, has now started a joint appointment in the Center as Professor of Molecular Medicine and Genetics. Dr. Abou-Samra’s primary research area is the molecular endocrinology of the parathyroid hormone.
Carin Yates, MS, CGC, joins the Center as Assistant Professor of Molecular Medicine and Genetics and Co-Director of the Genetic Counseling Masters Degree Program. Her primary research interests are infertility and genetic counseling. Prior to her appointment at Wayne State University, Ms Yates was an Instructor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and lead genetic counselor at Northwestern University.
Karin Przyklenk, Ph.D., Director of the Cardiovascular Research Institute and Professor in the Departments of Physiology and Emergency Medicine, has joined the Center as an Associate Member. Dr. Przyklenk’s primary research area is in cardiac pathophysiology.
Mary Anne Housey. It is with profound sadness that we announce the death of our dear friend and colleague, Mary Anne Housey. Mary Anne was a dedicated member of our administrative staff for 10 years and she will be deeply missed.
Alexander Gow, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Molecular Medicine and Genetics, of Pediatrics and of Neurology has published the paper, “Claudin 11 Stops the Leaks” in the December 1, 2008 issue of the Journal of Cell Biology. His findings could lead to new treatment investigations for autism and schizophrenia. More
Center MD/Ph.D. student Lesley Lawrenson for receiving a three year Department of Defense Predoctoral Traineeship for her project, “Genomic Instability as a Driving Force for Breast Cancer.” Her thesis advisors are Profs. Henry Heng and Wayne Lancaster. • Center MD/Ph.D. student Daniel Barkmeier for receiving a predoctoral fellowship from the Epilepsy Foundation of America for his research in animal models that simulate epileptic events. Mr. Barkmeier is a member of Prof. Jeffrey Loeb’s lab. More
Center MD/Ph.D. student John Lillvis for winning an award of 1000 Euros at the International Meeting on Aortic Aneurysms held in Belgium in Octoberfor for his abstract on aortic aneurysms. Mr. Lillvis is a member of Prof. Helena Kuivaniemi’s lab.
Maik Hüttemann, Assistant Professor of Molecular Medicine and Genetics and of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, for receiving to School of Medicine's 2008 Research Excellence Award. Angela Trepanier, Assistant Professor of Molecular Medicine and Genetics and Alexander Gow, Associate Professor of Molecular Medicine and Genetics and of Neurology and of Pediatrics, for each winning the School of Medicine's 2008 Teaching Excellence Award.
The Center is pleased to announce that Dr. Kezhong Zhang has joined our faculty as Assistant Professor of Molecular Medicine and Genetics and of Immunology and Microbiology. Dr. Zhang was previously a Research Investigator in the Department of Biological Chemistry of the University of Michigan Medical School, where his research focus was intracellular stress signaling in inflammation and lymphopoiesis, roles of the unfolded protein response, and the role of cellular stress and immunological mechanisms in cardiovascular disease. Dr. Zhang was recently awarded an AHA Independent Scientist Development Grant for his research in “Mechanisms and Roles of Intracellular Stress-induced Inflammatory Response in Atherosclerosis.” His Center office is in Scott Hall, Room 3202.
Dr. Helena Kuivaniemi, Professor of Molecular Medicine and Genetics and of Surgery, and Dr. Gerard Tromp, Associate Professor of Molecular Medicine and Genetics and of Neurology, along with their research groups, have been involved in an international collaborative study on genetic risk factors for various vascular diseases. This multi-center study with 68 investigators from 28 sites has been accepted for publication in Nature Genetics. More
We are pleased to announce that Dr. Leonard Lipovich, who works at the interface between computational and experimental genomics, has joined our faculty as an Assistant Professor of Molecular Medicine and Genetics and Assistant Professor of Neurology. Dr. Lipovich, who previously worked as a Research Scientist at the Genome Institute of Singapore and an Adjunct Assistant Professor at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, uses sequence, expression, and functional tools to understand the impact of primate-specific genes on phenotypes, pathways, and ultimately, human health. His Center office is in room 3228 Scott Hall.
On Dec. 11th, The Center hosted a reception to commemorate and formalize the Henry L. Brasza Directorship of the Center for Molecular Medicine and Genetics. The reception honored the Brasza family, represented by Marie Brasza Pinch, for providing a $1,000,000 gift to study diabetes and its complications at the molecular level. Also honored was Dr. George Grunberger, Director of the Center, 1997-2000, and the first holder of the endowed directorship.
Dr. Henry Heng, Associate Professor of Molecular Medicine and Genetics and of Pathology recently presented, "The New Face of Cancer: How Surprising Discoveries Will Change the Way We Think About and Fight Cancer" before the board of the National Prevent Cancer Foundation in Washington, DC. Dr. Heng has been drawing attention to genome dynamics and variation as illustrating the patterns of cancer evolution.
Dr. Helena Kuivaniemi, Professor of Molecular Medicine and Genetics and of Surgery was recently invited to join the Vascular Wall Biology 1 (VAS 1) Study Group, National Center of American Heart Association. The group reviews grant applications submitted to the AHA. Dr. Kuivaniemi was also an invited speaker for the American Heart Association, Scientific Session 2007 held this past November in Florida.
Dr. David D. Womble, who retired in 2007 as Associate Professor of Molecular Medicine and Genetics and Division Director for Basic Science Education in the Center, received the 2007 College Teaching Award at WSU SoM's Honors Recognition Program.
Roberto Romero, M.D., Chief of the Perinatology Research Branch of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development/National Institutes of Health and Professor of Molecular Obstetrics and Genetics in the Center for Molecular Medicine and Genetics has been elected as a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies. This appointment is one of the highest honors bestowed by the scientific community upon one of its members. The Perinatology Research Branch is housed at Wayne State University.
Angela Trepanier, Assistant Professor of Molecular Medicine and Genetics and current President Elect of the National Society of Genetic Counselors, will give her presidential address on Oct. 14, 2007 in Kansas City, MO, at the NSGC Annual Education Conference. Her presidential term will run from Jan.-Dec. 2008. The National Society of Genetic Counselors is the leading voice, authority and advocate of the genetic counseling profession.
MD/Ph.D student John Lillvis recently received an NIH MSTP Fellowship award in support of his project Immunity and the pathogenesis of abdominal aortic aneurysms. The award includes a stipend, tuition, and healthcare for six years.
Helena Kuivaniemi, MD, Ph.D., Professor of Molecular Medicine and Genetics and of Surgery has been invited to speak at the 2nd Annual David Fromm Research Wayne State Surgical Alumni Day on Oct. 17, 2007. Dr. Kuivaniemi's presentation Genetics of Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms will be part of the session on translational research.
MBG student Jennifer Nischan has been awarded a Thomas C. Rumble University Graduate Fellowship. The award includes a stipend, tuition scholarship and healthcare for the 2007-2008 academic year.
MBG student Najla Kfoury took first prize in the #3 Oral Session of this year's Graduate Student Research Day. Najla's presentation entitled Identifying the CCAAT/enhancer binding protein b (C/EBPb) regulonin PC12 cells. Graduate student Amelia Linnemann took 2nd prize in Poster Session #1 in the 11th Annual Graduate Student Research Day held Sept. 20, 2007. The title of Amelia's poster was Modulating Local and Global Gene Expression by Nuclear Matrix Attachment.
Dr. Jeffrey Loeb's research on identifying genes that could be causes of pediatric epilepsy was mentioned in "freep.com," a website powered by the Detroit Free Press. Dr. Loeb is the Associate Director of the Center and Associate Professor of Neurology and of Molecular Medicine and Genetics.
Dr. Henry Heng, Associate Professor of Molecular Medicine and Genetics and of Pathology and an expert in high-order chromosomal structure and function, recently conducted testing in the Center's Spectral Karyotyping (SKY) lab as part of a Discovery Channel program on "Gulf War Illness." Ph.D.. students Josh Stevens, Amy Simpson, and Post Doctoral Fellow Xin Wu were also part of the program.
Nine students recently completed the 2007 Summer Undergraduate Research Program (SURP) by formally presenting their research to the University community.
2007 SURP Students: Lindsay Brownell, Nicholas Bashour, Colin Carlock, Khawar Chaudhry, Ellen Foot, Angelika Girard, Andrew Kocab, Beth Lubeck, Rachel Sullivan, and SURP Director Alex Gow, Associate Professor of Molecular Biology and Genetics and of Pediatrics and of Neurology.
CMMG Researchers Co-Author Paper in PNAS on a genetic marker that could help to predict the risk of an unexpected premature birth.
Comments by Derek Wildman in "The Scientist" regarding "The ancestors of humans and chimpanzees may have interbred and exchanged significant numbers of genes after the initial split between the species."
Complexity of primate gene regulation revealed in ß-type globin expression and distance, report Wayne State researchers in PNAS
Phylogenetic comparisons suggest that the locus control region (LCR)—the area that regulates transcription—interacts with primate ß-type globin genes to mediate different developmental expression patterns in different branches of the evolutionary tree.
CMMG Researchers to Move into State of the Art Laboratories
The Wayne State University School of Medicine is renovating the entire 3rd floor of Scott Hall, creating new state of the art research facilities for the Center for Molecular Medicine and Genetics. CMMG faculty, students, and staff are expected to move into the newly renovated space during the summer of 2006.
CMMG labs open up new horizons for eleven undergraduates from Boston to Houston
See what undergraduate research student Megan Hurt learned during her summer while participating in the Center for Molecular Medicine and Genetics Summer Undergraduate Research Program - SURP.
Dr. Feldman wins MDCH award
Gerald Feldman, M.D., Ph.D., WSU associate professor in the Center for Molecular Medicine and Genetics, recently received the Director's Recognition Award from the Michigan Department of Community Health.
Dr. Finley receives Tech Tri-Corridor award
Dr. Russell Finley, WSU associate professor in the Center for Molecular Medicine and Genetics, received $501,000 for "Tools for Drug Target Discovery and Development of Diagnostics and Vaccines for Pathogenic Bacteria."
Derek E. Wildman, Ph.D., appointed Assistant Professor in the Center for Molecular Medicine and Genetics.
KEM concert benefits CMMG research
The Aneurysm Genetic Study Group, which is part of the WSU Center for Molecular Medicine and Genetics, recently received a $5,000 gift from the proceeds of R&B singer KEM's sold-out concert at the Detroit Opera House Dec. 29. The group, which is led by Drs. Helena Kuivaniemi and Gerard Tromp, both WSU associate professors, is conducting research on genetic factors associated with aneurysms.
CMMG study published in Trends in Genetics
"Accelerated evolution of the electron transport chain in arthropoid primates," a study by four members of the WSU Center for Molecular Medicine and Genetics, was published in the November issue of Trends in Genetics. Authors of the paper include Drs. Lawrence Grossman, interim center director; Derek Wildman, a research scientist; Timothy Schmidt, a research assistant; and Morris Goodman, WSU distinguished professor of anatomy and cell biology and CMMG.
Dr. Gow reports accomplishments
Alexander Gow, Ph.D., associate professor in the Center for Molecular Medicine & Genetics as well as the departments of Pediatrics and Neurology, recently presented "Gamete-Somatic Interactions Blood/Testis and Epididymal Barriers and Tight Junctions" at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development's recent meeting in Seattle on the future of male contraception. In addition, his manuscript entitled "CNS Myelin Paranodes Require Nkx6-2 Homeoprotein Transcriptional Activity for Normal Structure" has been accepted for publication in the Journal of Neuroscience.
WSU School of Medicine researcher to establish center of excellence on environment, fertility
With a three-year, $1 million grant from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, a new multi-institution Center for Excellence hopes to turn the recent discovery of sperm in the genetic material called RNA into a variety of screening tests that will check men for PCBs, pesticides and similar pollutants that are believed to impede fertilization and/or normal fetal development, according to center director Stephen Krawetz, Ph.D. WSU benefits from Michigan Proteome Consortium grant The $11.9 million grant awarded to the Michigan Proteome Consortium from the National Center for Research Resources was good news for the Wayne State University node of the consortium and its director, Russell Finley, Ph.D. Although the consortium's main facilities are at the University of Michigan, the group was created as a partnership among U-M, WSU, Michigan State University and the Van Andel Research Institute through the Michigan Life Sciences Corridor in 2001. The five-year grant will be shared by the four institutions.
WSU Gets Early Access To Corning Technologies
Environmental toxins combined with particular genetic factors may predispose individuals to specific diseases. Wayne State has partnered with Corning to develop biosensors and investigate the relationship between gene expression and the environment.
Combining Technology and Expertise to Discover New Genes in Epilepsy
Amy Jalon's seizures when undiagnosed for nine years. Within 10 minutes of her first visit to Wayne State's Comprehensive Epilepsy Program, doctors assured her they could "catch her seizure," pinpoint its location in the brain, and repair it surgically. Jalon hasn't had a single episode since her treatment and she thanks WSU faculty members for vastly improving her life.
Genetic Studies Underway for Inherited Aneurysms
The progress made by Helena Kuivaniemi is remarkable, given the elusive nature of her subject. Dr. Kuivaniemi is performing genetic research related to candidate genes for abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAA). Why is this a problem? First, AAAs rarely produce symptoms until they rupture, and then survival rates are very low. Furthermore, few individuals develop aneurysms before the age of 50, and although aneurysms are hereditary, by the time an individual has been diagnosed, his or her parents have generally died and the children are still too young to be tested, making familial studies difficult.
Scientific Computing Program Offers Training in New Skill Sets
The newly established Institute for Scientific Computing offers Wayne State students a specialized graduate certificate in medicine, genetics and biochemistry. The focus areas of the program include biological databases, diagnostic developments, drug design, simulated biology, computerassisted surgery, and computational issues in medicine.
Multiple Sclerosis Research Focuses on Axons
Dr. James Garbern has uncovered some good news and some bad news in multiple sclerosis (MS) research. The good news is a novel approach to studying the disease. Previously, researchers thought of MS as a disease that exclusively affected myelin, the membranes surrounding axons, which are the nerve fibers connecting different parts of the nervous system. New evidence shows that the disease actually destroys the axons themselves. This information allows Dr. Garbern to attack the problem from a new front. The bad news is that there are no current therapies to repair axonal damage, so new treatment regimens need to be developed to prevent or slow this process.
Training Researchers in Genomics
The Michigan Center for Genomic Technologies at Wayne State University hosted the first in a planned series of symposia dealing with the nuts and bolts of genomics, proteomics and bioinformatics. The first symposium focused on DNA microarrays and hosted people from across the campus and the state. It was jointly sponsored by Affymetrix Inc. and the Center for Molecular Medicine and Genetics.
Michigan Center for Genomic Technologies at WSU
The Michigan Center for Genomic Technologies, one of five core Life Sciences Corridor facilities, will operate at Wayne State University with satellite offices at Michigan State University, the University of Michigan, and the Van Andel Research Institute. Funding for this center was awarded at $6 million.
Genetic and environmental factors interact for disease susceptibility
According to vDr. Craig Giroux, assistant professor in the Center for Molecular Medicine and Genetics, the Human Genome Project has yielded remarkable insights into single gene disease models, but there is still much to be discovered about the diseases which are influenced by a combination of genetic factors.
CMMG introduces children to world of science
A group of sixth-graders from Detroit's University Preparatory Academy departed from the usual course of science textbooks and frog dissection to get a glimpse of the wonders of science from Wayne State University researchers who work with it every day.
Single gene controls many signaling pathways
Production of the signaling molecules dopamine, norepinephrine, epinephrine, serotonin, and nitric oxide within the brain is dependent upon a single enzyme and the gene that encodes it, according to Gregory Kapatos, Ph.D., professor of psychiatry and behavioral neurosciences and the Center for Molecular Medicine and Genetics.
Neuregulins Play Pivotal Role in Development and Disease
When Jeffrey Loeb, MD, Ph.D., began studying neuregulins, he was simply interested in synapse formation in the brain. What he discovered, however, were the multiple roles they play in everything from cardiac growth to spinal cord development, to ovarian and breast cancer, and a variety of neurological disorders, including epilepsy and multiple sclerosis.
Programmable cells open window of opportunity for gene therapy
"Any cell can be reprogrammed, and this process is reversible. You do not need to start with the stem cell." These remarks and the research behind them, which could have a profound impact on gene therapy, come from Stephen Krawetz, Ph.D., who reported his findings in the December 1998 issue of Development.
Smooth muscle cells provide CV clues
Li Li, Ph.D., assistant professor of internal medicine, is conducting research to learn more about the molecular mechanisms for the pathogenesis of cardiovascular disease. Specifically, she is characterizing regulation of SM22, a gene that is highly expressed in smooth muscle cells.
Cerebrovascular disease may be all in the family
For Gerard Tromp, Ph.D., a family tree is more than just a hobby; it's a valuable medical tool. Dr. Tromp, assistant professor in the Center for Molecular Medicine and Genetics, is identifying patients with intracranial aneurysms (IA) and investigating whether their family members may be at high risk for cerebrovascular disease.
Neuroscience program builds partnerships
One of Wayne State University's most promising medical researchers has just scored another noteworthy accomplishment. The Janssen Research Foundation and its parent corporation, Johnson and Johnson, recently awarded Kenneth Maiese, MD, a five-year grant to investigate and develop new treatments for neurodegenerative disorders such as stroke, cerebrovascular disease, cerebral trauma, and Alzheimer's disease.
Chatterjee M, Wojciechowski J, Tainsky MA. Discovery of antibody biomarkers using protein microarrays of tumor antigens cloned in high throughput. Methods Mol Biol. 2009;520:21-38. MoreGenomic and proteomic biomarkers for cancer: A multitude of opportunities. Biochem Biophys Acta. 2009 Apr 27. [Epub ahead of print]. More
Hou Z, Romero R, Uddin M, Than NG, Wildman DE., Adaptive history of single copy genes highly expressed in the term human placenta. Genomics. 2009 Jan;93(1):33-41. Epub 2008 Nov 5. More
Haacke EM, Makki M, Ge Y, Maheshwari M, Sehgal V, Hu J, Selvan M, Wu Z, Latif Z, Xuan Y, Khan O, Garbern J, Grossman RI., Characterizing iron deposition in multiple sclerosis lesions using susceptibility weighted imaging. J Magn Reson Imaging. 2009 Mar;29(3):537-44. More
Kfoury, N., Kapatos, G., 2009. Identification of neuronal target genes for CCAAT/enhancer binding proteins. Mol Cell Neurosci 40, 313-327.
Toleno DM, Renaud G, Wolfsberg TG, Islam M, Wildman DE, Siegmund KD, Hacia JG, Development and evaluation of new mask protocols for gene expression profiling in humans and chimpanzees. BMC Bioinformatics. 2009 Mar 5;10:77. More
Nahhas F, Garbern J, Feely S, Feldman GL, An intergenerational contraction of a fully penetrant Huntington disease allele to a reduced penetrance allele: interpretation of results and significance for risk assessment and genetic counseling. Am J Med Genet A. 2009 Feb 15;149A(4):732-6. More
Ye CJ, Stevens JB, Liu G, Bremer SW, Jaiswal AS, Ye KJ, Lin MF, Lawrenson L, Lancaster WD, Kurkinen M, Liao JD, Gairola CG, Shekhar MP, Narayan S, Miller FR, Heng HH, Genome based cell population heterogeneity promotes tumorigenicity: the evolutionary mechanism of cancer. J Cell Physiol. 2009 May;219(2):288-300. More
Heng HH, The genome-centric concept: resynthesis of evolutionary theory. Bioessays. 2009 May;31(5):512-25. More
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