RESEARCH

FACULTY RESEARCH

Mona Batish

Assistant Professor

Personal description: I am trained as a cell and molecular biologist. I started my own laboratory via an accelerated path as a recipient of NIH Director’s Early Independence Award (EIA) 2012 for using single molecule imaging tools to use RNA as diagnostic biomarker for various malignancies. I have established a strong and highly collaborative, extramurally funded research program examining the synthesis, transport and localization of various RNA species and its role in different cellular processes.

Current research description: We utilize single molecule RNA imaging and a combination of molecular and biochemical tools to understand the processing, localization and function of both coding and non coding RNAs in health and diseases. One of our current focuses is to understand gene expression regulation and to develop novel diagnostic assays for Ewing’s Sarcoma (a pediatric bone cancer) using different RNA species as biomarkers.

Publications 

For more information, please visit my webpage.

Huey-Jen Lin

Huey-Jen Lin, Ph.D., MT(ASCP)

Associate Professor

Examine how epigenetically silenced tumor suppressor genes influence tumor initiation, progression and metastasis in breast and pancreatic cancers. My long-term research objective is to examine how aberrant signaling molecules regulate epigenomes and lead to a wide spectrum of malignant phenotypes , primarily in breast and pancreatic cancers. The ultimate goals are: to identify the microenvironmental cause (s) leading to tumorigenesis, decipher how dysregulated signaling pathways contribute to neoplasm by altering epigenomes, discover potential diagnostic bio-markers, and develop specific therapeutic strategies by correcting signaling molecules.

For more information, please visit my webpage.

Raelene Maser

Raelene Maser, Ph.D., MT(ASCP)

Associate Professor

Research Interest – Diabetes, Diabetic Neuropathy

Diabetes is in epidemic proportions with 300 million adults predicted to have the disease by 2025. Unfortunately, complications such as neuropathy (i.e., damage to the nerves), retinopathy, nephropathy, and macrovascular disease may arise as a result of the presence of diabetes. My research interest is in the area of diabetic neuropathy, particularly nerves that control the autonomic nervous system (ANS). The ANS has an important regulatory role of the cardiovascular system with dysfunction of the ANS resulting in a broad range of impairments (e.g., increased cardiovascular workload, hemodynamic stress, serious dysrhythmias, and significant cardiac pathology).

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In persons with diabetes, impaired cardiovascular autonomic nervous system activity is characterized by a reduction in parasympathetic tone with a relative increase in sympathetic activity. Cardiovascular autonomic dysfunction is specifically associated with a number of clinically significant manifestations including exercise intolerance, intraoperative cardiovascular lability, orthostatic hypotension, silent myocardial ischemia, and increased risk of mortality. Clinical investigations that we are now currently enrolling participants for focus on: (a) measuring cardiovascular autonomic function and (b) searching for potential treatment modalities for cardiovascular autonomic dysfunction.

Mary Ann McLane

Mary Ann McLane, Ph.D., MLS

Professor

Research Interest – Oncology, Cancer Metastasis

The vast majority of cells in our body can communicate with their environment by means of special cell surface proteins called receptors. One very important family of receptors is known as the INTEGRINS, and they are responsible for a wide variety of cell-to-cell interactions, such as wound healing, fertilization, inflammation, blood clotting (thrombosis) and cancer. It is important to understand how these cell receptors function, since such knowledge can lead to the development of therapeutic treatments which can prevent thrombotic events or cancer metastasis. One group of naturally-occurring proteins which is providing some answers is the DISINTEGRINS, isolated from snake venom. Disintegrins can block the action of integrins found on blood vessel walls, blood cells and cancer cells. My research is using genetically-engineered disintegrins to study the function of receptors found on the surface of two blood cell types (platelets and lymphocytes) and proteins found on blood vessel walls.

For more information, please visit my webpage.

Dr. Vijay K. Parashar

Assistant Professor

Using a combination of structural (X-ray crystallography) and functional analyses, his lab determines the mechanistic basis of critical communication events during bacterial pathogenesis. This facilitates development of a novel class of anti-infectives that do not kill bacteria but target these communication events to curb bacterial behaviors leading to disease.