Science Horizons Alumnae Mentor's List /Available Summer 2011
800 W. College Ave.
St. Peter, MN 56082
Yuh Min Chook'88, Ph.D., Associate Professor
Department of Pharmacology & Molecular Biophysics Graduate Program
University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas (UT Southwestern)
6001 Forest Park, ND8.120C, Dallas, TX 75390-9041
In eukaryotic cells, the separation of DNA/transcription from ribosomes/translation by the nuclear envelope necessitates efficient and selective passage of macromolecules through the nuclear pore complex (NPC). In human cells, 19 different Karyopherinβ (Kapβs/Importins/Exportins) proteins mediate the majority of protein traffic in and out of the nucleus by recognizing distinct nuclear localization or export signals (NLSs or NESs). Thus, Kapβs are critically involved in cellular processes such as gene expression, signal transduction, immune response, oncogenesis and viral propagation, all of which require proper nucleocytoplasmic targeting. Despite the importance of nucleocytoplasmic transport, the mechanisms of transport particularly of nuclear export and the distinctions in targeting signals recognized by the different pathways remain poorly understood. Understanding the mechanistic distinctions between multiple Kapβ pathways is a crucial precedent for studies to generate pathway-specific inhibitors that would be invaluable in mapping macromolecular traffic through the NPC. Knowledge of Kapβ mechanisms is also important in pharmaceutical efforts of improving gene targeting and antisense agents delivery into the nucleus.
Only two classes of NLS and one class of NES are currently known. The short lysine-rich classical-NLS was discovered in the early 1980s and is recognized by Kapα/Kapβ1. More recently, our lab has defined a class of significantly larger and more diverse NLS termed the PY-NLS, which is recognized by Kapβ2. On the other hand, the only known NES is the leucine-rich NES, which is recognized by export-Kapβ CRM1. We have recently solved the first structure of a CRM1-Leucine rich NES complex, which explains recognition of this general signal, its inhibition by antibiotic Leptomycin B and mechanisms of export complex assembly in the nucleus as well as disassembly in the cytoplasm....
1. Lee, B. J., Cansizoglu, A. E., Süel, K. E., Louis, T. H., Zhang, Z. and Chook, Y.
M. (2006) Rules for nuclear localization sequence recognition by Karyopherinβ2. Cell, 126:543-558.
2. Cansizoglu, A. E., Lee, B. J., Zhang, Z. C., Fontoura, B. M. A. and Chook, Y. M.
(2007) Structure-based design of a pathway-specific nuclear import inhibitor. Nat.
Histoplasma capsulatum is thought to be the most common cause of fungal respiratory infections in the world. This organism is a primary pathogen capable of causing disease in healthy hosts as well as immunocompromised individuals. Whereas most infections experienced by healthy hosts are mild, 10% of cases of H. capsulatum infection result in life-threatening complications, such as inflammation of the pericardium and fibrosis of major blood vessels. We have recently sequenced the genomes from histoplasma strains from the two major North American clades, and two strains from the African clade with different disease manifestations. A summer project would be to conduct comparative genomic analyses between these strains, to identify polymorphisms and larger differences. This will identify genetic traits that correlate with different strains, and identify rapidly evolving regions of the genome which could contribute to pathogenesis. This is a computational biology/bioinformatics project, requiring some prior familiarity with bioinformatic tools and some programming experience, such as with perlor python.
HHMI - Janelia Farm Research Campus, 19700 Helix Drive,Ashburn, VA 20147
The application deadline for summer 2011 for the Janelia program will be January 14, 2011, 2 p.m. EST.
Note: Dr. Egnor fields all applications for the Janelia summer undergraduate program and would need to consider any BMC undergrad interested in working with her by the Jan. 14th deadline.)
Dr. Andrea J. Fascetti'87, VMD Ph.D., Diplomate ACVIM and ACVN, Associate Professor Nutrition
Department of Molecular Biosciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis
Dr. Fascetti has a 40% clinical appointment in the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital on the Nutrition Support Service and is board certified in both veterinary nutrition and internal medicine... research focuses on comparative nutrition with an emphasis on the nutrition of carnivores, in particular cats. A large portion of research arises from clinical problems...current research interests are energy expenditure, trace mineral and amino acid metabolism in dogs and cats, improvement of pet foods and carnivore nutrition. Some examples of recent publications include:
2007 Maggs, DJ, Sykes JE, Clarke HE, Yoo SH, Kass PH, Lappin MR, Rogers QR, Waldron ME, Fascetti AJ. Effects of dietary lysine supplementation in cats with enzootic upper respiratory disease. Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery, 92(2): 97-108.
2007 Weeth LP, Fascetti AJ, Kass PH, Suter SE, Santos AM, Delaney SJ. Prevalence of obese dogs in a population of dogs with cancer. Am J Vet Res, 68(4): 389-98.
2008 Laflamme DP, Abood SK, Fascetti AJ, Fleeman LM, Freeman LM, Michel KE, Bauer C, Kemp BL, Doren JR, Willoughby KN. Pet feeding practices of dog and cat owners in the United States and Australia. J Am Vet Med Assoc, 232(5): 687-94.
Co-Chair, Developmental Therapeutics Program
Fox Chase Cancer Center
333 Cottman Ave., Philadelphia, PA 19111
215-728-2860 (ph) 215-728-3616 (fax)
Adjunct Associate Professor, University of Pennsylvania Medical School
Adjunct Professor, Drexel University Medical School
Our laboratory is interested in defining the changes in cell signaling that occur as tumors initiate, progress, and develop resistance to drugs, with the ultimate goal of inhibiting these processes. Part of our research focuses on study of NEDD9, a member of the Cas protein family. NEDD9 acts as a scaffold for signaling proteins that play essential roles in cancer progression and normal organismal development. Part of the laboratory also addresses the biological functions of NEDD9-interacting proteins, including particularly an oncogenic kinase, Aurora-A. Complementary projects use computer-based bioinformatic approaches to look for genes that sensitize cells to therapies targeted against cancer-promoting proteins such as EGFR. We hope through these studies to better define the interactions of signaling pathways in malignant versus normal cells, allowing improvements in cancer diagnosis and treatment.
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 1550 Orleans St., CRB2, Rm 553, Baltimore, MD 21231
phone: 410-502-0678 fax: 410-502-0677
Internal Medicine- Translational Research--Biochemistry
UT Southwestern Medical Center
Broad CIRM Center for Regenerative Medicine & Stem Cell Research Keck School of Medicine University of Southern California BCC-407, MC9080 1425 San Pablo St. Los Angeles, CA 90033 
Professor, Molecular Biology and Biochemistry Department
Molecular Biophysics Program
Wesleyan University, 52 Lawn Avenue, Middletown, CT 06459-0175
Phone: 860-685-2422 /Fax: 860-685-2141
A research description can be found at: http://www.wesleyan.edu/mbb/faculty/imukerji/
Stanford School of Medicine
Department of Pathology
300 Pasteur Dr L235 MC 5324 Stanford, CA 94305
Tel Work (650) 725-9354 Fax (650) 725-7409 Email: email@example.com
Nita H. Salzman '83, M.D., Ph.D.
Department of Pediatrics, Division of Gastroenterology
Medical College of Wisconsin, 8701 Watertown Plank Rd.
Milwaukee, WI 53226
Phone: 414-456-4244  (office)/4236 (lab) Fax: 414-266-3676
Rice University, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, department of Chemistry
Department of Bioengineering, Department of Physics and Astronomy
6100 Main Street, MS-366
Houston, TX 77005-1892
firstname.lastname@example.org / Halas Group Webpage: http://www.ece.rice.edu/~halas/ 
LaNP webpage : http://lanp.rice.edu/ 
930 N University Ave, Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Phone: 734.615.6862/Fax: 734.615.8553
Veronika Szalai  '88
Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, University of Maryland
Baltimore County, Baltimore, MD 21250
The project I have available right now (funded by the Alzheimer's association) is on metal ions in Alzheimer's disease. It ideally requires a student with a strong background in inorganic and/or physical chemistry as well as a willingness to learn significant amounts of biochemistry.
Dr. Kathleen Kerr'92, Associate Professor
University of Washington, Department of Biostatistics, Box 357232 ,Seattle, Washington 98195-7232
206-543-1044 (phone) 206-543-3286 (fax)
I work on statistical methods for the design and analysis of gene expression microarray studies; evaluating biomarkers for disease classification and risk prediction; and collaborative projects in genetic epidemiology, especially genome-wide association studies.
Dr. Jacqueline A. MacDonald ’86, Assistant Professor
Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, School of Public Health, 162B Rosenau Hall
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27599
....research is entirely based on computer modeling.
My current work is in the area of so-called combinatorial and additive number theory.
Gretchen Chapman'86, Professor of Psychology
Rutgers University, 152 Frelinghuysen Road, Piscataway NJ 08854-8020
www.rci.rutgers.edu/~gbc or mdmlab.rutgers.edu
Psychology of Decision Making....How does human decision making deviate from rational models? Using questionnaire studies with hypothetical scenarios and laboratory studies of interactive tasks we explore the psychological processes underlying decision making in domains such as statistical reasoning, saving behavior, electricity use, and vaccination choices.
Jana M. Iverson'92, Ph.D. Associate Professor of Psychology and Linguistics
University of Pittsburgh, 3415 Sennott Square, 210 S. Bouquet St., Pittsburgh, PA 15260
Phone: 412.624.6160/ Fax: 412.624.4428
Briefly, our current research focus on characterizing the early development of infants who have an older sibling diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and are thus at heightened biological risk for ASD. Because current recurrence risks indicate that these infants have an 18-20% chance of eventually receiving an ASD diagnosis, we are also seeking to identify early behavioral indicators of ASD. ASD cannot be reliably diagnosed before age 2, yet many parents of children with ASD report having had concerns about their child's development as early as 6 months of age. Early identification is prerequisite to early intervention, which generally leads to better outcomes. In addition, very little is known about when and how symptoms of ASD manifest in early infancy, so we also hope to further our understanding of the development of infants eventually diagnosed with ASD and identify potential mechanisms that may underlie the emergence of early ASD symptoms.
Deborah Kim'93, M.D. , Assistant Professor
Department of Psychiatry, University of Pennsylvania
My research focuses on the treatment of depression during pregnancy. I am investigating the safety and feasibility of the use a novel neuromodulator, transcranial magnetic stimulation, in this special population. The work includes direct patient contact, learning about this novel treatment, understanding study design and data analysis.
Department of Psychology, University of Calgary
2500 University Drive N.W., Calgary, Alberta T2N 1N4 Canada
Office: (403) 220-7085 Fax: (403) 282-8249 Lab: (403) 210-9438
The project I have in mind .... involves recruiting people with and without eating and substance use disorders from the community and and completing clinical interviews with them.