David A. Dean, Ph.D.

David A. Dean, Ph.D.

Contact Information

University of Rochester Medical Center
School of Medicine and Dentistry
601 Elmwood Ave, Box 651
Rochester, NY 14642

Office: (585) 276-3933
Administrative: (585) 275-5948
Lab: (585) 275-3577
Office: (585) 756-7780

Research Bio

Despite all of the hype regarding gene therapy, at present, gene therapy is a dream due to insufficient levels of gene transfer and expression at desired sites. One way to increase gene expression is to target more DNA to the cell nucleus. Since the nucleus is the site of transcription, without the movement of plasmids through the cytoplasm, translocation into the nucleus, and localization to the appropriate subnuclear domain, no gene expression, or "gene therapy" can take place. Ongoing projects in my laboratory are studying the mechanisms of cytoplasmic trafficking of plasmids along the cytoskeleton, plasmid nuclear entry, subnuclear organization, and exploiting what we learn to improve gene therapy.




We have shown that plasmids are able to enter the nucleus in a sequence-specific manner that appears to be mediated by transcription factor binding. My lab is interested in identifying the proteins required for this activity and the regulation of their nuclear import. Based on our model, we have created cell-specific plasmids by incorporating DNA sequences that bind to cell-specific transcription factors. At present, we have examples of smooth muscle, alveolar epithelial cell, and endothelial cell-targeting vectors that we hope to use for the treatment of a number of pulmonary diseases, and we are working to expand our repertoire to selectively target expression to any desired cell or tissue.


We also are developing methods for extracellular delivery of non-viral vectors in animal models for disease. Using electroporation, we have obtained very high levels of gene expression in the vasculature and lungs of animals. We have used this approach to prevent and/or cure existing disease in models of acute lung injury and asthma in mice and rats. Our next goal is to optimize these approaches in more relevant preclinical models to move toward clinical application.

Awards & Honors (Local)

Ruth A. Lawrence Academic Faculty Service Award in Research | University of Rochester 2011
Mentoring the Mentors | Searle Center for Teaching Excellence | Northwestern University 2006
Sandler Program for Asthma Research Senior Investigator | unsolicited conversion of award status | Northwestern University 2005
NIH Individual Postdoctoral Fellowship (NRSA) 1991 - 1994
Presdents Undergraduate Scholarship | University of California 1984

Recent Journal Articles

Showing the 5 most recent journal articles. 84 available »

2015
Emr B. M, S. Roy, M. Kollisch-Singule, L. A. Gatto, M. Barravecchia, X. Lin, J. L. Young, G. Wang , J. Liu, J. Satalin, K. Snyder, G. F. Nieman, and D. A. Dean. "Electroporation Mediated Gene Delivery of Na+,K+-ATPase and ENaC Subunits to the Lung Attenuates Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome in a Two-Hit Porcine Model". Shock. 2015; 43: 16-23.
2015
Huber, A. R., D. Tan, J. Sun, D. Dean, T. Wu, and Z. Zhou. "High expression of carbonic anhydrase IX is significantly associated with glandular lesions in gastroesophageal junction and with tumorigenesis markers BMI1, MCM4 and MCM7". BMC Gastroenterol. 2015; 15: 80.
2015
Young JL, Dean DA. "Electroporation-mediated gene delivery." Advances in genetics. 2015 89:49-88. Epub 2014 Dec 11.
2015
Vernon MM, Dean DA, Dobson J. "DNA Targeting Sequence Improves Magnetic Nanoparticle-Based Plasmid DNA Transfection Efficiency in Model Neurons." International journal of molecular sciences. 2015 16(8):19369-86. Epub 2015 Aug 17.
2013 Oct
Dean DA. "Cell-specific targeting strategies for electroporation-mediated gene delivery in cells and animals." The Journal of membrane biology. 2013 Oct; 246(10):737-44. Epub 2013 Mar 24.

Current Appointments

Professor - Department of Pediatrics, Neonatology (SMD) - Primary
Professor - Department of Biomedical Engineering (SMD)

Specialties

Neurological Surgery - American Board of Neurological Surgery

Education

PhD | Microbiology | University of California at Berkeley1990
BA | Biochemistry | University of California at San Diego1985

Post-Doctoral Training & Residency

University of California, Los Angeles Postdoctoral Fellow Virology 1994