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Postdoctoral Fellows

Y Badawi Yomna Badawi Ph.D., Postdoctoral Fellow
Mentor: Hiroshi Nishimune

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) patients and animal models show denervation of neuromuscular junctions (NMJs), which is a dying-back neuropathy. However, the etiology of ALS and this neuropathy is not known, and interventions are lacking. My research focuses on the evaluation of exercise and stem cells for the amelioration of NMJ denervation in ALS models.
S Dutta Soumita Dutta, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Fellow
Mentor: Prachee Avasthi

Research Interest: Chlamydomonas reinhardtii has long been used as a model organism in studies of cell motility and flagellar dynamics. Understanding the mechanism involved in flagellar dynamics and investigating the biology of ciliary/flagellar proteins are critically important for identifying sources of ciliopathies including primary cilia dyskinesia, poly cystic kidney disease, polyductyly, male infertility and even cancer. New studies on Chlamydomonas indicate that actin is one of the key players in regulating the IFT machinery to control assembly/disassembly of flagella and to control flagellar length. However, the mechanisms involved are largely unknown. My research focuses on modification of actin’s dynamics with the ciliary dynamics which ultimately provides broader opportunities for understanding the basic biology of the cilia-related disorders and their therapeutic approaches.
D. Jacobs Damon Jacobs Ph.D., Postdoctoral Fellow
Mentor: Pamela Tran

Research interest: Obesity is a growing epidemic in industrialized nations of the world and is the primary cause of several life-threatening metabolic disorders, such as hypertension, liver disease, and diabetes. Primary cilia are antennae-like extensions present on most cells of the body, they contain receptors (such as Hedgehog, Wnt, PDGFa, ...etc.) that are important for communicating signals from the extracellular environment into the cell. ‘Ciliopathies' arise due to defects in proteins that localize to primary cilia and can cause developmental and postnatal defects such as polydactyly, cystic kidney disease and obesity. Thm1 is a critical ciliary protein that is important in maintaining proper cell signaling programs, and I am working with a THM1-/- mouse model to characterize the postnatal obesity phenotype and examine the physiological and neurological causes of obesity onset. We are working toward identifying potential therapeutic targets for controlling the onset of obesity.
T Matsuda Takashi Matsuda, M.D., Ph.D., Visiting Scientist
Mentor: Hiroshi Nishimune

The potential of mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) therapy has been demonstrated in various in vivo disease models and has shown encouraging results for some possible clinical use. My research focuses on the evaluation of MSC's efficacy for ALS model mouse.
K Okada Kazushi Okada, PhD., Postdoctoral Fellow
Mentor: Hiroshi Nishimune

Aging is commonly regarded as a complex phenomenon defined as a universal, complicated biological process characterized by the progressive accumulation of diverse, deleterious changes in human over time. One of the distinctive features of aging is a significant reduction in muscle mass and function, termed sarcopenia. Sarcopenia increases tremor, loss of balance control, and a decline in walking ability. Numerous studies indicate that the aging muscle is an important contributor to the deterioration of the neuromuscular junction (NMJ) but the cellular and molecular mechanisms driving the degeneration of the synapse still not fully understood. Transcriptome analysis of aging could be used to assess therapies for aging-related diseases in humans. My current research focuses on exploration of the association between differential gene expression profile in skeletal muscle and aging. I will investigate the effect of exercise on muscle gene expression profile because physical exercise training is known to improve muscle strength in elderly.

Last modified: Sep 28, 2018