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Research Laboratories

Autophagy Lab SB 304

Molecular Biology Research Lab SB 306

Mycology Research Lab SB 308

Gene Expression Lab SB 311

Osteo-Immunology and Integrative Physiology Lab SB 312

Genomic Research Lab SB 313

Helminthology Lab SB 314

Biology Core Lab SB 315

Microbiology Research Lab SB 316

The Rosenzweig lab is bacterial pathogenesis lab that focuses on host-pathogen interactions as well as bacterial stress responses. The two organisms studied in the Rosenzweig lab are Yersinia pestis KIM strain as well as Streptococcus pyogenes. Various mutant strains are characterized in cell culture infection assays as well as in their ability to cope with other environmental and/or physical/mechanical stresses.

The Rosenzweig lab is well furnished with research equipment including: a microcentrifuge, an electroporator for bacterial transformation/DNA manipulation, DNA agarose gel tank, Western blot capabilities, Tissue culture incubator, an inverted light microscope, bacterial incubator, orbital water bath shaker , thermocycler, and a -80 degrees C freezer. Additionally, we have access to and often use a cell culture hood/biological safety cabinet in a nearby common cell culture laboratory. Finally, for work characterizing low shear mechanical stress, our lab also possess a High Aspect Ratio Vessel (HARV) bioreactor which cultivates cells under a simulated microgravity emulating growth of microbes in space.

Molecular Systematics Lab SB 318

Cell Signalling Lab SB 320

Tissue Culture Lab SB 321

Flourescent Microscopy Lab SB 323

Autophagy Lab

Supervisor: Mario Hollomon     SB 304

Dr. Mario Hollomon’s laboratory investigates the effect of autophagy on cancer development and metastasis. Specifically, the laboratory investigates the effect of autophagy modulation on the sensitivity of cancer cells to anticancer therapy. Using lenitvirus, we have generated several stable knockdown cancer cell lines that have enabled the laboratory to investigate the effect of autophagy proteins on the response of cancer cells to anticancer drug treatment. We have shown that autophagy inhibition, through knockdown of ATG5, can have an opposing effect on osteosarcoma cells treated with camptothecin. We are currently investigating the mechanisms responsible for this opposing effect. We are also investigating the effect of other autophagy-related proteins on the response of cancer cells to anticancer drug treatment.

The laboratory also investigates cell death signaling pathways in cancer cells. Here, we also use lentivirus to knockdown the expression of select cell death pathway-associated proteins to better understand their role in the cell death pathway. In addition, the laboratory also investigates the role of endogenous antioxidants in protecting cancer cells against anticancer drug-induced cytotoxicity.

Molecular Biology Research Lab

Supervisor: Desire Jackson     SB 306

Dr. Jackson’s research focus is on the effects of heavy metal exposure on fetuses. The hypothesis behind this interest is: prenatal exposure to arsenic alters gene expression during development . In the laboratory, graduate students have examined the effect of arsenic at low levels on gene expression in rat pups during gestation and within two weeks of birth to determine the effects of gene expression. This work is important because the effects of arsenic exposure on gene expression in these developmental stages have not been well studied. The thought behind these studies is that prenatal exposure to Arsenic alters gene expression during development which may eventually lead to various tumor types in the adult organism. The prediction is that an alteration in gene expression will be seen when a comparison is made between the control and the arsenic -treated groups. Alteration of expression of genes associated with cell proliferation and DNA damage could be in the study group and could be linked to the potential for tumor formations in the adult.

Graduate students in her lab have used RNA isolation, RT-PCR and Quantitative Real Time PCR to study the effects of Arsenic exposure on the expression of specific genes associated with cell cycle regulation and oxidative stress. Students have studied the effects of pre- and peri-natal exposure to Arsenic on gene expression in fetal rat liver, in fetal rat kidney, and in fetal rat lung. Her students have also studies the effects of pre-natal exposure to Arsenic on gene expression in fetal rat kidney and in fetal rat brain.