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 Mark Petrash, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Ophthalmology
In this paper, Dr. Petrash and colleagues demonstrate that pharmacological inhibition of aldose reductase, an aldo-keto reductase, resulted in enhanced regeneration of lens tissue in a mouse model of cataracts
(Zukin et al., Chem Biol Interact, 2019).
Eric Pietras, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine
Dr. Pietras and colleagues demonstrate that blood-forming hematopoietic stem cells (HSC) remain quiescent and retain their long-term repopulating potential during chronic inflammatory insult (Experimental Hematology, 2019). A rigorous surface marker combination as well as a fluorescent reporter system were used to identify and characterize the molecular features of these cells. This study helps to resolve long-standing confusion in the hematology field relating to how the molecular and functional characteristics of HSC are impacted by chronic inflammatory disease.
Robert Plenter, B.S., Senior Professional Assistant, Department of Medicine Martin Zamora, M.D., Professor, Department of Medicine
In this publication, the authors clarified the class(es) of C-kit-derived cell(s) required for heart transplant survival prolongation (Plenter et al., Cell Immunol, 2019). Their results suggest that alloimmunity is a major signal for trafficking of C-kit-derived cells to the allograft and demonstrate that C-kit+ derived cells expressed CD11b early after arrival and that these cells are required for survival prolongation. Co-therapy studies demonstrate near complete blocking of acute rejection when combined with existing immunosuppressives. These results demonstrate the potential therapeutic application of autologous C-kit+ progenitor cells as possible co-therapeutics for durable graft survival.
Jennifer Richer, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Pathology
In this study, Dr. Richer and her colleagues discover that tumor metabolism is changed to support tumor cell anchorage independent survival during metastasis and that tumors co-opt a program of immune suppression used by trophoblasts during pregnancy to suppress the maternal immune system (Rogers et al., Mol Cancer Res, 2019).
Dennis Roop, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Dermatology Xiying Fan, Ph.D., Instructor, Department of Dermatology
Drs. Roop and Fan and their colleagues have developed a novel mouse model that provides the first-ever direct visualization of the clonal development of non-melanoma skin cancers from single stem cells in a live mouse (Kubick et al., J. Invest Dermatology, 2019). This model also allows the visualization of immune cells and the evasion of immune detection by pre- malignant cancers. The ability to visualize pre-malignancies with immune-evasive properties will now allow screening for drugs and immunotherapies that eliminate cancers at an early stage of development prior to progression to malignancy.
Holger Russ, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Pediatrics
Dr. Russ is a co-author of this paper, which identifies a novel regulatory mechanism that controls the maturation of stem cell derived beta cells (Zhou et al., Stem Cell Reports, 2019). These findings have important implications for current efforts to provide a cell replacement therapy for patients suffering from diabetes.
Lori Sussel, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Pediatrics
Dr. Sussel and her colleagues report that the long noncoding RNA (lncRNA), Paupar, modulates PAX6 regulatory activities to promote alpha cell development and function in the pancreas (Singer et al., Cell Metab, 2019). These findings illustrate a distinct mechanism by which a pancreatic lncRNA can coordinate glucose homeostasis by cell-specific regulation of a broadly expressed transcription factor.
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