Jennifer McCracken

Graduate Student - Pritchard Lab


I grew up in a small town in southeast Kansas, and went to Pittsburg State University, where I got a Bachelors of Science in Biochemistry and Mathematics. After classroom, lab, and work experience, I changed my career goals from pharmacist to researcher. I began IGPBS in 2012 and am currently pursuing a doctoral degree in Toxicology in Dr. Michele Pritchard's Lab.

 

Our lab is focused on identifying novel mechanisms that contribute to hepatic fibrosis. It is the last reversible stage of liver disease and is characterized by increased synthesis and decreased metabolism of extracellular matrix proteins, such as type 1 collagen. My specific focus in the lab involves understanding the role of a repeating disaccharide called hyaluronan (HA), also a component of extracellular matrix, on hepatic fibrosis. Three transmembrane HA synthase enzymes, HAS1, HAS2, and HAS3 produce this sugar. There is also a family of proteins called hyaluronidases that degrade HA. There are six members in this family and each can generate varying size of HA fragments. In vitro and in vivo modeling will be used to determine how the synthesis and/or degradation of HA affect the progression of liver disease. The effects of alcohol on the model systems will also be examined.

Last modified: Jul 30, 2013

Jennifer McCracken

Contact

Jennifer McCracken
Graduate Student - Pritchard Lab

4006 HLSIC; MS 1018
3901 Rainbow Blvd.
Kansas City, Kansas 66160

P: (913) 945-6651
F: (913) 588-7501
jmccracken2@kumc.edu

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