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  • Duke University Department of Molecular Genetics & Microbiology
    of Latin America and Asia but Florida residents have reported cases in recent years No treatments are available for dengue virus and serious cases can result in widespread vascular leakage and hemorrhaging In 2011 Duke researchers reported that mast cells which help the body respond to bacteria and other pathogens play a role in attacking dengue virus and halting its spread This finding presented new avenues for research given the existing classes of drugs that target mast cells or the products of mast cells once they are activated In one experiment in the current study of dengue virus in mice the researchers found that certain classes of drugs commonly used to treat asthma are effective in limiting vascular leakage associated with dengue It may not seem intuitive how asthma and dengue infection would be related and would respond to the same types of drugs but because both diseases are promoted by mast cells the cellular targets of the class of drugs is quite effective said lead author Ashley L St John PhD assistant professor of emerging infectious diseases at Duke NUS The researchers continued to investigate the role of mast cells in attacking dengue virus in humans and identified a biomarker a mast cell derived product that appeared to predict the illness most severe cases in human patients Most patients infected by a dengue virus develop a high fever dubbed dengue fever and recover on their own However a small number of these cases develop into dengue hemorrhagic fever a dangerous condition marked by serious complications including bleeding respiratory distress and severe abdominal pain Until now doctors have not been able to predict who will develop dengue hemorrhagic fever When the researchers studied blood serum samples from patients with dengue infection they found that the levels of a protein produced

    Original URL path: http://mgm.duke.edu/news/abraham_3.html (2014-06-13)
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  • Duke University Department of Molecular Genetics & Microbiology
    earn degrees at the University of Sydney and the University of Oxford His postdoctoral training included working as a research fellow at the University of Copenhagen where he teamed with Nobel laureate Paul Berg PhD Together they discovered the enzyme terminal transferase He held his first faculty position at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx N Y where he was the first to examine the mechanism of action of interferon the first cytokine to be recognized in molecular terms in 1964 One of the earliest molecular virologists Joklik came to Duke in 1968 As chair of the Department of Microbiology from 1968 1992 he transformed what once was a small department made up of six faculty members into one with 33 faculty members and ranked among the top three in the nation Joklik s years at Duke also included cofounding the Duke Comprehensive Cancer Center the precursor of the Duke Cancer Institute He also served on a variety of external review and administrative committees Much of his scientific career was devoted to the development and application of molecular virology with a focus on reovirus and vaccinia His discoveries have become part of standard knowledge on virus diseases having been incorporated into many textbooks A dedicated educator Joklik was editor of the textbook Zinsser s Microbiology the most comprehensive textbook for medical students in microbiology and immunology Many graduate students who trained in his laboratory are today leading investigators in biomedical research In 1982 Joklik founded the American Society for Virology the first of its kind and served as the society s first president He was editor in chief of Virology for 24 years and of Bacteriological Reviews for five years He served as associate editor of the Journal of Biological Chemistry from 1974 1984 He was elected

    Original URL path: http://mgm.duke.edu/news/joklik_award.html (2014-06-13)
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  • Duke University Department of Molecular Genetics & Microbiology
    Rempe MGM Graduate Student St Geme Lab Joseph Saelens MGM Graduate Student Tobin Lab Monica Thomas CMB Graduate Student Ko Lab All will receive an annual stipend of 30 000 that is renewable for three years plus 12 000 each year for a cost of education allowance for tuition and fees opportunities for international research and professional development and the freedom to conduct research at any accredited U S institution of graduate education they choose Applicants for the fellowship program submit a proposal to the NSF which are reviewed by a panel of scientists mathematicians engineers and other experts in graduate education Proposals must demonstrate how the student s research will enhance scientific and technical understanding while benefiting society NSF s Graduate Research Program Fellowship is awarded to exceptional students who demonstrate significant potential to contribute to scientific innovation and education says Raphael Valdivia Director of Graduate Studies for MGM These awards are a great honor and distinguish the excellence of our department as well as the Duke graduate school as a whole He adds We wish our NSF Fellows great success as they pursue their graduate degrees and aspire to become the leaders of tomorrow The foundation awarded 2 000 fellowships and 1 762 honorable mentions from the 13 000 applications it received this year Receiving an NSF honorable mention is MGM graduate student Eric Walton Tobin Lab Congratulations to the awardees and honorable mention The full list of recipients is available here Mao Receives Broad Research Award Helen Mao a third year graduate student in the Duke University Program in Genetics and Genomics UPGG has captured a prestigious Ruth K Broad Biomedical Research Foundation Award providing her 41 098 over the next year to support her research Mao works in the laboratory of Debra Silver PhD Assistant Professor

    Original URL path: http://mgm.duke.edu/news/nsf_broad.html (2014-06-13)
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  • Duke University Department of Molecular Genetics & Microbiology
    and an MSc in Virology from the University of Birmingham before moving to the USA where he obtained a PhD in Microbiology from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of NJ In 1987 he was recruited to Duke University Medical Center as a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator and Assistant Professor Cullen s interests have historically revolved around the use of viruses as genetic tools to understand aspects of the

    Original URL path: http://mgm.duke.edu/news/cullen.html (2014-06-13)
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  • Duke University Department of Molecular Genetics & Microbiology
    of carcinomas Schaeffer is working on a project that investigates cellular migration and invasion in the EP of prostate cancer progression Schaffer has established a prostate cancer model system that demonstrates that cellular migration and tumor cell invasion are not coordinated processes her characterization of this system challenges the established dogma behind cancer cell migration during EP The processes that occur during carcinoma metastasis from how cancer cells enter the circulatory system to how they are able to proliferate at distant sites are still not understood While my data suggest that a highly metastatic cell line is weakly migratory in vitro and in situ at the site of the primary tumor we don t know whether this cell line or others can become more migratory during other steps of the metastatic cascade says Schaeffer My future research interests are in how the primary tumor and metastatic tumor microenvironment affects migration and invasion during prostate cancer progression As a graduate student Daneen did stellar work on mechanisms that regulate mRNA stability in the Saccharomyces cerevisiae and now in the laboratory she is focusing her considerable talents on the post transcriptional gene regulation that determines cell behavior during metastatic spread of cancer

    Original URL path: http://mgm.duke.edu/news/schaeffer.html (2014-06-13)
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  • Duke University Department of Molecular Genetics & Microbiology
    together investigators from Duke University Duke NUS Graduate Medical School and various institutes in the Research Triangle to share their work exchange ideas and identify collaborations in tackling infectious diseases The symposium will cover both basic and applied research relevant to emerging infectious diseases EID It is envisaged that bringing together investigators from two sides of the world will lead to broad ranging discussions on molecular biology pathogenesis evolution and transmission of emerging pathogens leading to development of novel diagnostics therapeutics and vaccines that effectively address this global problem Symposium co organizer Soman Abraham PhD who has research laboratories at Duke and Duke NUS anticipates that the symposium will help to further enhance ties and interactions between Duke and Duke NUS faculty Barton Haynes MD professor of medicine and immunology and director of the Duke Human Vaccine Institute and Bryan Cullen PhD professor of molecular genetics and microbiology will give keynote presentations Linfa Wang PhD director of the Program in Emerging Infectious Diseases at Duke NUS will also present Dr Wang runs a BSL4 lab in Geelong Australia where his team is discovering new viruses on a regular basis said Joseph Heitman MD PhD James B Duke Professor and chair

    Original URL path: http://mgm.duke.edu/news/eid_symposium.html (2014-06-13)
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  • Duke University Department of Molecular Genetics & Microbiology
    leadership group within the American Society for Microbiology Each year members of the AAM known as Fellows are elected through a highly selective annual peer reviewed process based on their records of scientific achievement and original contributions that have advanced microbiology Garcia Blanco is internationally recognized for his scientific contributions including the discovery of the alternative splicing factor PTB polypyrimidine tract binding protein and the demonstration of its role in regulating splice site choice the demonstration that splice sites are paired by three dimensional diffusion rather than scanning the development of methods to image alternative splicing decisions in mammals in vivo and the recent discovery of virus host factors required for yellow fever virus and dengue virus propagation in human cells and in insect cells Garcia Blanco is a member of the Scientific Advisory Board for European Alternative Splicing Network of Excellence the Council of Scientific Advisers the International Centre of Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology the National Advisory General Medical Sciences Council and a Trustee of the Puerto Rico Trust for Science Research and Technology In 2011 he was elected to the Association of American Physicians AAP According to Joseph Heitman MD PhD James B Duke Professor and Chair of

    Original URL path: http://mgm.duke.edu/news/garcia_blanco_1.html (2014-06-13)
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  • Duke University Department of Molecular Genetics & Microbiology
    shown promise in animal model studies of CCM1 and CCM2 two other genetic causes of cerebral cavernous malformation development A mutation on the CCM3 gene is often tied to recurrent brain hemorrhage and seizure in both children and adults and there are no current medication treatment options said Connie Lee PsyD CCM3 Action Program Coordinator Dr Marchuk s work will determine whether clinical trials employing these medications are warranted Because results can be immediately translated into human treatment studies this research is especially exciting for the patient community The Mitchell Asbury Memorial Award was named for a patient who died in 2010 at the age of 53 from complications of CCM3 Marchuk received his BS in Biology from the University of Dayton an MS from the University of Connecticut Microbiology and his PhD in Molecular Genetics and Cell Biology from the University of Chicago where he worked with Elaine Fuchs on the molecular and cell biology of cytokeratins His postdoctoral research was with Francis Collins at the University of Michigan where he developed novel cloning technologies for the identification of Mendelian disease genes He employed these advances to identify the causative gene for the inherited cancer syndrome neurofibromatosis In 1993

    Original URL path: http://mgm.duke.edu/news/marchuk_2.html (2014-06-13)
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