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Integrating Medicine into Basic Science

Integrating Medicine into Basic Science

UC Davis IMBS Scholars

2013 - 2014 IMBS Scholars

Julie Beegle 
Graduate Group: Comparative pathology
Mentor: Jan Nolta, Ph.D.

Research Interest:
My research is focused on the optimization of hypoxic pre-conditioning of human bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) for use in the treatment of critical limb ischemia and non-healing ulcers. Understanding the optimal pre-incubation strategy as well as molecular mechanism that underlie the increased therapeutic potential of these cells pre-incubated in hypoxia will be critical to development of effective MSC therapies.  

Pearl Chens 
Graduate Group: Molecular Cellular and Integrative Physiology
Mentor: Nipavan Chiamvimonvat, M.D.

Research Interest:
I am interested in the molecular mechanisms involved in the development of cardiac arrhythmias in the setting of cardiac hypertrophy and failure. Our lab is focusing particularly on the functional interactions between Ca and Ca-activated K channels in atrial myocytes, and how changes in the channel can lead to significant alterations in atrial excitability, atrial fibrillation, and sinoatrial (SA) and atrioventricular (AV) nodes dysfunction. These findings can be exploited in developing atrial-specific drugs for the treatment of atrial arrhythmia.

Patrick Falahee  
Graduate Group: Immunology
Mentor: Scott Simon, Ph.D.

Research Interest:
I use a transgenic mouse model of Staphylococcus aureus infection to study hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPC) that traffic to the site of infected skin wounds where they undergo granulopoiesis and produce significant numbers of neutrophils that contribute to bacterial clearance and promote wound healing. My studies are aimed at characterizing the contribution of this local emergency granulopoiesis response, with the hope that knowledge gained could highlight potential therapeutic targets to improve the resolution of persistent and chronic infections.

Jinzhen Fan
Graduate Group: Biomedical Engineering
Mentor: Tingrui Pan, Ph.D.

Research Interest:
I am interested in laboratory testing work to see how efficient biochemistry assay is performed in clinics. It is interesting to find how microfluidics could enhance point of care work efficiency. I am also interested in how the diagnosis and treatment of gynaecological diseases is determined, and how human body response to the treatment.

Tingting Liu
Graduate Group: Molecular Cellular & Integrative Physiology
Mentor: Anne Knowlton, M.D.

Research Interest:
My research focuses on the mechanism of mitochondrial dysfunction, and the role of HSP60 during the decline of cardiac function over time in ischemic HF model.

Justin Madrigal
Graduate Group: Biomedical Engineering
Mentor: Eduardo Silva, Ph.D.

Research Interest:
Effective delivery strategies remain a challenge for gene and protein based therapeutics. The goal of my proposed research is the development of a materials-based, hypoxia-targeted delivery platform as a foundation for future therapeutic angiogenesis strategies. I aim to modify polymeric nanoparticle systems with hypoxia-responsive compounds for the targeting of ischemic tissue.

Christian Siltanen
Graduate Group: Biomedical Engineering
Mentor: Alexander Revzin, Ph.D.

Research Interest:
Designing microfabrication processes to develop on-chip cell sorting and biosensing tools; high-throughput screening of cell-microenvironment interactions using patterned biomaterials. 

Anna Marie Tuazon 
Graduate Group: Biochemistry, Molecular, Celluar and Developmental Biology Mentor: Luis Carvajal-Carmona, Ph.D.

Research Interest:
Though genetic factors can predispose an individual to risk of developing breast cancer, very few genes have been identified. Using population isolates, next generation sequencing, and bioinformatic approaches, we hope to identify novel breast cancer risk genes and address cancer disparities in under-studied, underserved communities.

2012 - 2013 IMBS Scholars

Calvin Balatbat 
Graduate Group: Biochemistry, Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology
Mentor: Jan Nolta, Ph.D.
Research Interest:
Identification of regulatory signals, from the hepatic microenvironment, that specify the functional maturation of hepatocytes during development and how such signals can be used to create clinically-transplantable hepatocytes from human embryonic stem cells.

Steven Behrens
Graduate Group: Biomedical Engineering
Mentor: Colleen Clancy, Ph.D.
Research Interest:
Computational approaches to cardiac arrhythmia management. Understanding the mechanism of, and improving upon the efficacy of the drug flecainide in the pathological setting of Catecholaminergic Polymorphic Ventricular Tachycardia. Applying this approach to other arrhythmia syndromes in order to direct the research of improved pharmacological agents.

Bert Frederich 
Graduate Group: Molecular Cellular and Integrative Physiology
Mentor: Nipavan Chiamvimonvat, M.D.
Research Interest:
Cardiac hypertrophy and fibrosis mechanisms and the application of cell based therapies. The role of inflammatory mediators in the formation of scar tissue and engraftment of stem cells in the heart.

Hyun Tae Hwang
Graduate Group: Pharmacology & Toxicology
Mentor: Anne Knowlton, M.D.
Research Interest:
Mechanisms of senescence and aging, and approaches to control them. Impeding the propagation of senescent cell population in vivo to delay the aging process.

Justin Klein
Graduate Group: Biomedical Engineering
Mentor: Simon Cherry, Ph.D.
Research Interest:
Developing novel instrumentation for high-resolution optical imaging of radionuclides; non-invasive photoactivation of therapeutics using radionuclides.

Angela Monterrubio
Graduate Group: Biochemistry, Molecular, Celluar and Developmental Biology
Mentor: Veronica Martinez-Cerdeno, Ph.D.
Research Interest:
Investigating the safety and efficacy of using neurotorophic secreting human mesenchymal stem cells to treat Parkinson's Disease.

Angela Papalamprou
Graduate Group: Molecular Cellular & Integrative Physiology
Mentor: Leigh Griffiths, Ph.D.
Research Interest:
Novel antigen removal and MSC (Mesenchymal Stem Cell) immunomodulation approaches for the development of a tissue engineered myocardial patch (TEMP) utilizing a scaffold derived from xenogeneic myocardium.

Mikella Robinson
Graduate Group: Molecular Cellular & Integrative Physiology
Mentor: Chao- Yin Chen, Ph.D.
Research Interest:
A single bout of exercise can lower blood pressure by decreasing inhibitory signaling in the NTS in baroreflex central pathway. In hypertensive patients, this response is greatly accentuated. Interestingly, circulating Angiotensin II levels are elevated in hypertensive patients. Angiotensin II can increase blood pressure by enhancing inhibitory signaling in the NTS. I am interested in the interaction of the Angiotensin II and exercise in the baroreflex central pathway in the development and treatment of hypertension.

2011 - 2012 IMBS Scholars

Samuel Chung 
Mentor: Tzipora Goldkorn, Ph.D.
Pharmacology and Toxicology Graduate Group (entered F 2010)
BS (2010), University of California, Merced (Biologicial Sciences

Investigation of the link(s) between the molecular mechanisms of lung injury and lung cancer. ‘Lung injury’ component involves the neural sphingomyelinase 2 (nSMase2) which catalyzes the production of ceramide, a structural component of the lipid membrane that acts as a secondary messenger for a variety of cell functions including apoptosis, senescence, and autophagy. ‘Lung cancer’ component involves the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) of the ErbB family of receptors which promote cell proliferation.

 Nicole De Jesus 
Mentor: Crystal Ripplinger, Ph.D.
Biomedical Engineering Graduate Group(entered F 2011)
BS (2010), Florida State University(Engineering)

Multidisciplinary approach to the understanding and characterization of the role of inflammation in contributing to cardiac arrhythmias and development of novel anti-arrhythmic treatments following myocardial infarction. The contribution of the post-MI inflammatory response to electrical remodeling of the myocardium via cytokines and proteases secreted by phagocytic activated macrophages.

Pasha Hadidi 
Mentor: Kyriacos Athanasiou, Ph.D.
Biomedical Engineering Graduate Group (entered F 2009)
BS (2009), Johns Hopkins University (Biomedical Engineering)

Identification and exploration of novel biochemical and biophysical tissue engineering stimuli, understanding and enhancing scaffoldless tissue self-assembly. The comparison of tissue-engineered constructs with acellular scaffolds, injections of mesenchymal stem cells and tissue resection controls to provide insight into which treatment modality is most effective and which provides the greatest cost-benefit ratio for patients and hospitals alike.

Anthony Herren
Mentor: Donald Bers, Ph.D.
Molecular, Cellular and Integrative Physiology Graduate Group (entered F 2009)
BS (2008), University of California, Davis (Cell Biology)

Molecular mechanisms behind triggered arrhythmias and the molecular regulation of cardiac ion channels that occurs during acquired arrhythmias, such as in heart failure. Identification of the specific CaMKII phosphorylation sites on NaV1.5, a cardiac voltage-gated sodium channel.

Alan Lombard
Mentor: Maria Mudryj, Ph.D.
Biochemistry, Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Microbiology Graduate Group (entered F 2010)
BS (2010), Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (Bioinformatics and Molecular Biology)

Identification and optimization of tumor cell surface targeting molecules that can effectively deliver therapeutic payloads (drugs or radionulides) inside tumor cells. Application of these novel tumor targeting ligands as efficient vehicles for drug delivery.

Elizabeth Martin 
Mentor: Helen Raybould, Ph.D.
Molecular, Cellular and Integrative Physiology Graduate Group (entered F 2008)
DVM (2008), University of Wisconsin, Madison
BS (2003) (Biology)

Gastrointestinal physiology and luminal nutrient sensing. Gastrointestinal inflammation and its effect on the development of obesity and type II diabetes mellitus.

Dipali Patel
Mentor: Alexander Revzin, Ph.D.
Biomedical Engineering Graduate Group (entered F 2010)
BS (2007), Tulane University (Biomedical Engineering)

The development of novel microsystems for cell cultivation and analysis, especially cell engineering, biosensors and blood analysis. Determining the primary mechanism behind liver fibrosis and developing a target therapy for liver fibrosis and preventing hepatocellular carcinoma.

Benjamin Yuen 
Mentor: Paul Knoepfler, Ph.D.
Biochemistry, Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology Graduate Group (entered F 2010)
BA (2008) University of California, Berkeley (Molecular and Cell Biology)

Stem cell and cancer cell biology. Identification and modulation of active metabolic pathways in pluripotent stem and cancer cells using metabolomics technology. Characterization of chromatin regulation in pluripotent stem and cancer cell development.

2010-2011 IMBS Scholars

Shannon Chase 
Mentor: Scott Simon, Ph.D.
Biomedical Engineering Graduate Group (entered F 2008)
Department of Biomedical Engineering
BS (2007), University of California, Berkeley (Chemical Engineering)

Immune cell function in diseases associated with acute and chronic inflammation. Development of new therapeutics for inflammatory diseases, cancer, and autoimmune diseases in which selections are involved.

 Shannamar Dewwy 
Mentor: Aldrin Gomes, Ph.D.
Molecular, Cellular and Integrative Physiology Graduate Group (entered Fall 2009)
Department of Neurobiology, Physiology and Behavior
BS (2004), University of California, Santa Cruz (Molecular, Cell and Developmental Biology)

Muscle physiology and proteonomics. Molecular mechanisms in cell signal transduction as it relates to muscle contraction and cardiovascular disease.

Elizabeth Doughty 
Mentor: Nesrin Sarigul-Klijn, Ph.D.
Biomedical Engineering Graduate Group (entered F 2007)
Department of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering
BS (2007), Tulane University (Biomedical Engineering)

Biomechanics of the spine, including computational stress analysis. Three-dimensional high fidelity computational modeling and simulation of the pediatric spine to study the effects of intramedullary spinal cord tumors on spine stabilization and the development of deformity during growth.

DaeYu Kim
Mentor: John S. Werner, Ph.D.
Biomedical Engineering Graduate Group (entered F 2007)
Department of Neurobiology, Physiology and Behavior
MS (2007), State University of New York at Buffalo (Electrical Engineering)
BS (1999), Inha University, Korea (Electrical Engineering)

Basic and clinical research to identify morphological correlates of changes in functional vision and to evaluate markers for progression of retinal diseases. Preclinical identification of human retinal vascular diseases by Fourier-domain optical coherence tomography.

Diana Lac
Mentor: Kit Lam, M.D., Ph.D.
Pharmacology and Toxicology Graduate Group (entered F 2009)
Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine
BA (2006), University of California, Berkeley (Molecular and Cell Biology)

Identification and optimization of tumor cell surface targeting molecules that can effectively deliver therapeutic payloads (drugs or radionulides) inside tumor cells. Application of these novel tumor targeting ligands as efficient vehicles for drug delivery.

Allison Lee 
Mentor: Anne Knowlton, M.D.
Pharmacology and Toxicology Graduate Group (entered F 2009)
Department of Internal Medicine
BS (2009), Harvey Mudd College (Chemistry)

The effects of changes in estrogen and aging on inflammation and the vasculature. The role of aging versus estrogen loss on endothelial progenitor cell dysfunction and the role this may play in the development of vascular disease and atherosclerosis.

J. Patrick Rogers
Mentor: Sheila David, Ph.D.
Chemistry Graduate Group (entered F 2008)
Department of Chemistry
BS (2007), Howard University (Chemistry)

In the presence of oxidation conditions, Guanine, can be oxidized to produce oxidation products such as 8-oxo-7, 8-dihydroguanine (OG), guanidinohydantoin (Gh) and spiroiminodihydantoin (Sp). To understand how these damaged DNA nucleotides are recognized within a cellular context, I am synthesizing damaged DNA oligonucleotides that contain modification on the sugar and examining their use in biochemical, structural, and cellular studies with the relevant BER glycosylases.

Yannan Xi 
Mentor: Fawaz Haj, Ph.D.
Nutritional Biology Graduate Group (entered F 2008)
Department of Nutrition
BA (2008) University of California, Berkeley (Molecular and Cell Biology)

Insulin resistance and diabetes. Dissection of the insulin-signaling pathway and investigation of how disruptions in the pathway can lead to the onset of the disease.

2009-2010 IMBS Scholars

Barbara Bailus 
Mentor: David Segal, Ph.D.
Genetics Graduate Group (entered F 2008)
Department of Pharmacology
BS (2004), University of California, Davis (Biotechnology)

Gene therapy for Angelman Syndrome (autism) using artificial transcription factors. Specifically, the use of zinc fingers to attempt to activate an epigenetically silenced gene (UBE3A) in angelman affected individuals (autism) and ret syndrome.

 Yun Joon Jung 
Mentor: Jan Nolta, Ph.D.
Biomedical Engineering Graduate Group (entered F 2006)
Department of Internal Medicine
MS (2005), UC Berkeley (Mechanical Engineering)
BEng (2003), Hongik University (Mechanical Engineering)

Induction of pluripotent stem cells and mesenchymal and endothelial progenitor differentiation for regenerative therapies of peripheral vascular disease.

Alan Man 
Mentor: Peter Bannerman, Ph.D.
Biomedical Engineering Graduate Group (entered F 2007)
Department of Cell Biology and Human Anatomy
BS (2007), Brown University (Biomedical Engineering)

The study of the molecular mechanisms in controlling peripheral nerve regeneration.

Matthew Soicher
Mentor: David Fyhrie, Ph.D.
Biomedical Engineering Graduate Group (entered F 2007)
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery
BS (2007), University of Florida (Materials Science and Engineering)
 
Building biomimetic 3D polymer scaffolds to replace lost bone tissue and the simulation of fluid flow through the scaffolds.

Crystal Tjhia
Mentor: David Fyhrie, Ph.D.
Biomedical Engineering Graduate Group (entered F 2006)
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery
BS (2005), University of California, Berkeley (Bioengineering)

Study of bone fracture susceptibility in diseased and healthy individuals at the microstructural and nanoscale levels.

Ying Wang 
Mentor: Scott Simon, Ph.D.
Biomedical Engineering Graduate Group (entered F 2007)
Department of Biomedical Engineering
MS (2008), Zhejiang University (Biomedical Engineering)
BS (2005), Zhejiang University (Biomedical Engineering)

Development of more accurate predictors of the development of atherosclerosis based in inflammatory biomarkers.

Maelene Wong 
Mentor: Leigh Griffiths, VetMB, MRCVS, Ph.D.
Biomedical Engineering Graduate Group (entered F 2007)
Department of VM: Medicine and Epidemiology
BS (2004), University of California, Berkeley (Bioengineering)

Application of immunoproteomics to prepare a biocompatible and mechanically competent xenographic scaffold from bovine pericardium for heart valve tissue engineering.

Melissa Zerofsky 
Mentor: Charles Stephensen, Ph.D.
Nutritional Biology Graduate Group (entered F 2007)
Department of Nutrition and USDA Western Human Nutrition Research Center
BS (2003) Brown University (Biology)

The effects of vitamin D on immune function and the risk of infectious or inflammatory disease.

2008-2009 IMBS Scholars

  BRETT FITE  
Mentor:  Laura Marcu, Ph.D. 
Biophysics Graduate Group (entered F 2007) Department of Biomedical Engineering
AB (Physics and Chemistry), Washington University

Development of targeted molecular probes for the detection and characterization of atherosclerotic plaques and the delineation of tumor from normal tissue intraoperatively for head and neck tumors and brain tumors.

  DARREN HWEE  
Mentor:  Sue Bodine, Ph.D.
Molecular, Cellular and Integrative Physiology Graduate Group (entered F 2007) Department of Neurobiology, Physiology and Behavior
BS (2005), UC Berkeley
MS (2007) UC Davis (Exercise Science)   

Mechanisms of muscle size regulation, specifically the role of mitochondrial function and oxidative metabolism, following the conditions of disease, denervation, disuse, and aging.

  RICHARD MYERS  
Mentor:  Wenbin Deng, Ph.D. 
Molecular, Cellular and Integrative Physiology Graduate Group (entered F 2007)
Department of Cell Biology and Human Anatomy
BA (2002), UC Santa Cruz (Molecular, Cell and Developmental Biology)

Pathologies of neuroinflammation and white matter damage in the context of the human conditions cerebral palsy and stroke. Specifically, microglial activation and neuroinflammation and the role of the peripheral benzodiazepine receptor.

  THUC NGHI NGUYEN  
Mentor:  Soichiro Yamada, Ph.D.
Biomedical Engineering Graduate Group (entered F 2006) Department of Biomedical Engineering
BS (2005), University of Washington   

Molecular mechanisms of cell-cell adhesion and cytoskeletal organization that dictate the coordinate behavior of cells in tissues and organs. Specifically, how cell-cell adhesion differs from malignant cells to normal epithelial cells.

  EMILY PFEIFFER  
Mentor:  Abdul Barakat, Ph.D. 
Biomedical Engineering Graduate Group (entered F 2007) Department of Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering
BS (2007), Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Mechanical Engineering with minor in Biomedical Engineering)

An understanding of how vascular endothelial cells, the cells lining the inner surfaces of blood vessels, respond to mechanical forces associated with blood flow and the role that arterial flow plays in the development of cardiovascular disease.

  ERIN SCHWARTZ  
Mentor:  Wolf Heyer, Ph.D.
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Graduate Group (entered F 2005) Department of Microbiology
BS (2000), University of Redlands (Biology and Chemistry, with a minor in Mathematics)  

The use of both biochemical and genetic approaches to study the mechanism of how several recombination-mediated DNA repair proteins are regulated in response to DNA damage and replication stress. Specifically, exploring factors required for their activation and recruitment to stalled or collapsed replication forks. Because of the key role these proteins play in repairing stalled replication forks, a continuation of this project will be to identify inhibitors either directly to the proteins of interest or to any of the identified modes of regulation.

  SIWEI ZHAO  
Mentor:  Tingrui Pan, Ph.D. 
Biomedical Engineering Graduate Group (entered F 2007) Department of Biomedical Engineering
BS (2007), Peking University (Microelectronics)

The development of conductive nanocomposite biocompatible material and its potential application in cardiovascular diseases.

  PAVEL ZIMIN  
Mentor:  Heike Wulff, Ph.D.
Pharmacology and Toxicology Graduate Group (entered F 2006) Department of Pharmacology
BS (2003), Novosibirsk State University (Biology, with specialization in Cytology & Genetics)

Ion channel pharmacology. The development of selective potassium channel modulators as research tools and as potential drugs for diseases that are currently insufficiently treated.

2007-2008 IMBS Scholars

  RICK CARPENTER  
Mentor:  Mark Kurth, Ph.D. 
Chemistry Graduate Group (entered S 2005) Department of Chemistry
BA (Chemistry, with Psychology minor), UC Davis

Optimization of Lead Molecules in Cancer Treatment. We have optimized a lead peptidomimetic that binds to alpha4-beta1 integrin, a cell surface receptor that has been found in leukemias and lymphomas. While our original lead binds to the integrin at low picomolar levels, copper-64 PET imaging studies have shown that the compound suffers from unfavorable pharmacokinetics in murine models. We hypothesized that if the urea moiety was replaced with benzimidazoles, benzoxazoles, and benzothiazoles, then these heterocyclic analogs would have comparable binding and have better clearance, since this analog will have an overall dianion charge (compared to a monoanion charge) at the pH of the kidney thereby decreasing reabsorption and improving clearance.

  JENNIFER PHIPPS  
Mentor:  Laura Marcu, Ph.D.
Biomedical Engineering Department of Biomedical Engineering
BS (2005), University of Washington   

Fluorescence Lifetime Imaging Microscopy of Atherosclerotic Plaques.  Development of a fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy (FLIM) technique that will be able to take measurements in vivo from atherosclerotic plaques, process the optical imaging data in real time, and provide physicians with an accurate diagnosis of the plaque's vulnerability to rupture.

  STEPHANIE PULFORD
Mentor: Cristina Davis, Ph.D.
Mechanical/Aeronautic Engineering (entered F 2006) Department of Mechanical and Aeronautic
BS (2001), Pennsylvania State University, Engineering (Aerospace Engineering)

Microorganism-Assisted Self-Assembly. Self-assembly of complex microscale structures is a promising method to produce scaffolding in liquid media with minimal human contact. Our research investigates the use of cells and microorganisms to provide dexterity, ordering, and fabrication material to assist the microassembly process. Applications in drug delivery devices and tissue scaffolding are anticipated.

  MARY SAUNDERS  
Mentor: Kit Lam, M.D., Ph.D.
Comparative Pathology Division of Hematology and Oncology
AB, University of California, Berkeley 

Discovery of Adhesion Molecules for Human Embryonic Stem Cells.  Combinatorial chemistry is an enabling technology that has been used successfully in the last 15 years for drug discovery by academia and the pharmaceutical industry.  With the advent of human embryonic stem cell (hESC) research and its potential application in tissue regeneration and the treatment of a variety of diseases, there is a need for the discovery of chemical compounds or factors that enable researchers to maintain the pluripotency of hESCs and to direct their differentiation into the desired cell types. One-bead-one-compound (OBOC) combinatorial chemistry is particularly suited for the discovery of extracellular matrix (ECM) mimics or ligands against unique cell surface receptors of stem cells. Several linear and cyclic peptide or peptidomimetic OBOC combinatorial libraries will be designed and synthesized. Ligands identified from these chemical libraries may be able to serve as artificial ECM to support stem cell attachment, growth, pluripotency maintenance, and directed differentiation using various hESC lines.  In addition, they may be used as flow cytometry probes for stem cell analysis.

  PADMINI SIRISH  
Mentor:  Nipavan Chiamvimonvat, M.D.
Molecular, Cellular and Integrative Biology  Division of Cardiovascular Medicine
BS (1997), Bangalore University (Biotechnology) 

Isolation and Transplantation of Cardiac Stem Cells in a Murine Model.  A promising approach to the treatment of heart diseases can be through regenerative medicine using stem cells to recover the damaged heart. Cardiac progenitor cells may be used in the structural and functional recovery of damaged hearts and may avoid the potential shortcomings with other types of stem cells. Specifically, we hypothesizes that cardiac stem cells (CSC) existing in the heart tissue can be isolated and differentiated into cardiomyocytes. These differentiated cells will be tested for the treatment of heart ailments using a murine model with coronary artery ligation and cardiac failure. Specifically, we propose to examine the factors controlling the homing and the survival of the transplanted cells in vivo and assess the functionality of the CSCs using electrophysiological techniques including patch clamping and intracellular Ca2+ measurement. Understanding and defining the optimal conditions for the isolation, proliferation and transplantation of CSC will open new horizons for the treatment of heart diseases.

  BREANNA WALLACE  
Mentor:  Martha O’Donnell, Ph.D.
Molecular, Cellular and Integrative Physiology Department of Physiology and Membrane  (entered F 2006)  Biology
BS (2006), CSU Sacramento (Molecular Biology with a minor in Chemistry) 

Processes Involved in Stimulation of Blood Brain Barrier Na-K-2Cl Cotransporter and Edema Formation during Ischemic Stroke.  Previous studies have shown that the BBB Na-K-Cl cotransporter is a major participant in ischemia-induced cerebral edema formation and is quite sensitive to stimulation by hypoxia, aglycemia and also AVP, each capable of stimulating independently of the others.  AVP stimulates the BBB Na-K-Cl cotransporter in a manner that is mediated by V1 AVP receptors and is Ca-dependent, while little is known about hypoxia and aglycemia stimluation. Breanna plans to pursue the question of how hypoxia and aglycemia stimulate the Na-K-Cl cotransporter.

  TYLER WEEKS
Mentor:  Thomas Huser, Ph.D.
Applied Science Graduate Group (entered F 2006) Department of Internal Medicine
BS (2006), Brigham Young University (Physics) 

In-Vivo Vascular Flow Cytometry. Tyler plans to develop a new technique that allows for rapid analysis of individual cells in-vivo. This technique is based on the fact that even small differences in the molecular composition of cells can be detected based on their intrinsic molecular vibrations. The idea is similar to mass-spectrometry, at the cellular level, but is entirely non-invasive and non-destructive, since it relies on laser light scattering. Ultimately, he plans to develop to visualize and characterize vascular cells and lipoproteins non-invasively through the skin.

2006-2007 Inaugural Scholars

  KIMBERLY BARNHOLT
Molecular, Cellular, and Integrative Physiology
 Graduate Group (entered F 2005)
BA (Human Biology and French), Stanford University, 1997
MS (Biological Sciences), Stanford University, 2004

Interactions of lipoproteins with the vascular wall, cell and molecular imaging of lipid-membrane interactions, sex hormone regulation of atherogenesis.  Using both a cellular and clinical model, elucidate potential mechanisms behind the apparent vascular protection conferred by long-term physical activity. Understanding a molecular link may improve how exercise can be used to prevent most effectively the complications of atherosclerosis.

  ASTRA I. CHANG
Molecular, Cellular, and Integrative Physiology
 Graduate Group (entered F 2005)
BS (Honours Biology - Biotechnology option), University of Ottawa, 2003
MS (Cellular and Molecular Medicine), University of Ottawa, 2005

Identify functional, genomic, and biochemical properties of cardiac stem cells using cellular, electrophysiological, genomic, and proteomic approaches.

  RACHEL DEVAY
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
 Graduate Group (entered F 2004)
BS (Genetics, with English minor), Texas A&M University, 2004

Molecular machines that mediate mitochondrial fusion and division and the physiological roles mitochondrial dynamics play in normal cells in human disease and apoptosis.

  EDWARD A. GANIO
Genetics Graduate Group (entered F 2005)
BS (Chemistry), UC San Diego, 2000
 

Analysis of the processed involved in cardiac differentiation and their role(s) in cardiac hypertrophy and heart failure.

  MICHAEL GOWER
Biomedical Engineering Graduate Group (entered F 2004)
BS (Chemical Engineering - special interest in Bioengineering and Life Sciences), Colorado School of Mines, 2004

Employ a systems engineering approach to examine the molecular and biophysical mechanisms by which endothelial progenitor cells are recruited in the early stages of atherosclerosis.

  CAROLINE MELOTY-KAPELLA
Cell and Developmental Biology Graduate Group (entered F 2003)
BA (French and Biology), Pitzer College, 2001
MA (Biology - Cell and Molecular Biology), San Francisco State University, 2004
Roles of the extracellular matrix during development.
  ZANE STARKEWOLFE
Chemistry Graduate Program
BS (Physics), UC Davis, 2005
 
Development and investigation of targeted multimodal molecular imaging agents to enable in vivo assessment of macrophage accumulation associated with cardiovascular disease.
  HSING-JU (CINDY) TSAI
Pharmacology and Toxicology Graduate Group (entered F 2003)
BS (Agricultural Chemistry), National Taiwan University, 2002 

Optimizing structure function relationships of first-in-class enzymes offering a new mechanism in regulating blood pressure and inflammatory processes.