Friday, July 7, 2017
Houhui Xia, associate professor of pharmacology and physiology and neuroscience, was jointly appointed the Paul Stark Professor in Pharmacology for the period from October 21, 2016 through June 30, 2021.
Xia’s research focuses on molecular and signaling mechanisms of synaptic plasticity in memory formation and mental health. He has received grants from the National Institute of Mental Health and the National Science Foundation, and has published in the Journal of Cell Biology, the Journal of Neuroscience, and the Journal of Neurochemistry.
After receiving a BS in physics from Peking University and an MS in physics from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, Xia earned a PhD in molecular biology and cell biology from the University of California, San Francisco.
Read More: Houhui Xia appointed Paul Stark Professor in Pharmacology
Si Chen, Awarded Two-year American Heart Association Predoctoral Fellowship
Thursday, June 8, 2017
Si Chen, graduate student in the laboratory of Dr. Chen Yan was awarded a two-year American Heart Association predoctoral fellowship entitled, “The Role of PDE10A in Pathological Cardiac Remodeling and Dysfunction” beginning July 1, 2017.
Heart failure is a leading cause of death in the United States, and is associated with significant myocardial deterioration, including hypertrophy, fibrosis and cell death, as well as contractile dysfunction and ventricular arrhythmia. There is a high demand to identify novel therapeutic targets involved in pathological cardiac remodeling and dysfunction. The objective of this project is to investigate the regulation and function of the cyclic nucleotide phosphodiesterase 10A (PDE10A) isoform in the progression of cardiac remodeling and heart failure. PDE10A primarily hydrolyzes cAMP, and under normal conditions, displays enriched expression in the striatum of the brain. Our preliminary data demonstrate that PDE10A expression is upregulated in failing mouse and human hearts. Global deficiency of PDE10A attenuates global cardiac hypertrophy and fibrosis induced by chronic Ang II infusion. In vitro studies also indicate that PDE10A inhibitor treatment reduces cardiac myocyte hypertrophy and fibroblast activation. In the brain, PDE10A primarily regulates dopamine receptor (DR)-derived cAMP. Based on these facts, we hypothesize that PDE10A plays an essential role in cardiac hypertrophy, fibrosis, and dysfunction by antagonizing cAMP/cAMP-dependent protein kinase (PKA) signaling in myocytes and cAMP/exchange factor directly activated by cAMP (Epac) signaling in fibroblasts. To test our hypothesis we propose the following two aims:
- Aim1: Evaluate the role of PDE10A on pathological cardiac remodeling and dysfunction in vivo using genetic and pharmacological approaches.
- Aim2: Determine the roles and underlying mechanisms of PDE10A in the regulation of cardiac myocyte and fibroblast function in vitro.
Video of 3 Minute Thesis Event
Thursday, June 8, 2017
We have the video of the full event with all presentations fully captions and with the slides running in time with the videos.
3MT Presenters, Programs & Topics
Thesis presentations in order
- Stephanie Carpenter (Chemistry) - Solving the Mystery of Iron Chemistry
- Sarah Catheline (Pathways of Human Disease) - Inhibiting Inflammaging to Treat Osteoarthritis(OA)
- Scott Friedland (Genetics, Development & Stem Cells) - Pancreatic Cancer and the Tale of the Broken Librarian
- Claire McCarthy (Toxicology) - Investigating the Toxicological Effects of Dung Biomass Smoke Exposure
- Taylor Moon (Immunology, Microbiology and Virology) - The New Epidemic
- Thuy-Vy Nguyen (Social-Personality Psychology) - Solitude *Winner*
- Manisha Taya (Cellular & Molecular Pharmacology and Physiology) - Understanding Lymphangioleiomyomatosis (LAM): The “Other” Steroid-Dependent Cancer From Bed-Side to Bench and Back Again
- Janelle Veazey (Immunology, Microbiology and Virology) - Role of Protein Kinase D in Epithelial Cells During Respiratory Infection
Full 3MT 2017 Event Video (CC)
Papasergi-Scott, Taya, and Wang Win Awards at the GSS Annual Poster Session Competition
Tuesday, May 23, 2017
Congratulations to the following students who won awards at the Graduate Student Society Annual Poster Session Competition held on May 6, 2016.
Makaía M. Papasergi-Scott, working in the laboratories of Dr. Gregory G. Tall and Dr. Robert Freeman, was awarded 1st Place and received a $500 travel reward for her poster titled “Phosphorylation of Ga Chaperone Ric-8A Regulates its Function”.
Manisha Taya working in the laboratory of Dr. Stephen R. Hammes, and Xiaowen Wang working in the laboratory of Dr. Mark D. Noble, tied for 3rd place and received $100 travel grants for their posters titled “The Role of Estrogen and Glycoprotein-NMB in Lymphangioleiomyomatosis (LAM) Progression” and “Identifying c-Cbl as a Critical Point of Intervention in Acquired Tamoxifen Resistant Breast Cancer”, respectively.
Stoveken Receives Wallace O. Fenn Award at Commencement 2017
Tuesday, May 23, 2017
Hannah Stoveken, a graduate from the Laboratory of Dr. Gregory G. Tall, received the Wallace O. Fenn Award at Commencement 2017 for her thesis titled “Activation of Adhesion G Protein-coupled Receptors by a Tethered Agonist: Mechanism of Action and Pharmacological Modulation”.
The Wallace O. Fenn Award is given annually to a graduating student judged to have performed especially meritorious research and who presented a Ph.D. thesis suitable to honor the name of Dr. Fenn, a Professor of Physiology at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry from 1924 to 1961.
Taya wins Knockout Rounds at ENDO 2017 and Finalist in UofR Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) Competition
Tuesday, May 23, 2017
Manisha Taya, graduate student in the Hammes Lab, won the People's Choice First Place Award in the Knockout Rounds competition at the annual ENDO 2017 conference, held April 1-4, for her presentation of her research on lymphangioleiomyomatosis. View a video featuring interviews with the winners.
Taya was also a finalist in The University of Rochester Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) Competition held on Thursday May 11, 2017. 3MT is an academic competition that challenges PhD students and postdoctoral appointees to describe their research within three minutes to a general audience.
Science, Technology, and Culture – a multidisciplinary reading group
Friday, May 12, 2017
How is science shaped by the culture that surrounds it? How do technological innovations change society? A new group would like to bring together people from all parts of the University community to reflect on these questions through shared reading and group discussion.
The group’s first selection is When Breath Becomes Air, the memoir of Paul Kalanithi — a neurosurgeon whose diagnosis with terminal lung cancer at the end of his residency drives him to examine the brain, the mind, and what makes us human.
The group will meet at 5 p.m. Wednesday, June 14 in the new Humanities Center (located in Rush Rhees Library) for snacks, conversation, and to choose the next read.
(If you are unable to attend, but are interested or would like to participate in future meetings, email Emma Grygotis)
Hocking and Roy Receive Patent
Wednesday, February 22, 2017
The patent titled “Chimeric Fibronectin Matrix Mimetics and Uses Thereof” (U.S. Patent No. 9,572,869; awarded February 21, 2017) has recently been assigned to the UR with inventors Denise Hocking, Ph.D. and Daniel Roy, Ph.D. (BME B.S.‘06, Ph.D.‘12). The patent relates to the use of recombinant fibronectin-based peptides for wound healing and tissue regeneration applications. The technology falls under a new and exciting class of therapies known as wound biologics. The primary commercial application for this technology is to promote healing of hard-to-heal or chronic wounds, including diabetic, venous, and pressure ulcers, which impose a significant health care burden worldwide. Topical application of fibronectin matrix mimetic peptides to full-thickness excisional wounds in diabetic mice accelerates wound closure and promotes granulation tissue deposition, remodeling, and re-vascularization.
Denise Hocking is a Professor of Pharmacology and Physiology and of Biomedical Engineering. Daniel Roy is a Scientist at KeraNetics, LLC, a biotechnology company located in Winston-Salem, North Carolina that develops keratin-based biomaterials for wound healing applications.