Morsani College of Medicine
Department of Molecular Medicine
Joint and Affiliate Faculty
Post-Doctorates / Research Associates
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Master's of Science Program
Allergy, Immunology and Infectious Diseases
USF Health Byrd Alzheimer's Institute
Children's Research Institute (CRI)
Center for Drug Discovery and Innovation
H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center
James A Haley Veteran's Hospital
Bay Pines VA Healthcare System
Assistant Professor, COLLEGE OF MEDICINE MOLECULAR MEDICINE
The focus of our research program is to understand three seemingly disparate levels of biological organization during gametogenesis and early development: the molecular signatures for totipotency at the beginning of life, their variation among species, and their involvement as mechanisms of evolutionary change. We use comparative genomics and wet-lab approaches to understand how and why speciation primarily affects reproduction and its functions. Our approach provides a conceptual framework for personalized genomic medicine in human reproductive health.
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Graduate Research Assistant, COLLEGE OF MEDICINE MOLECULAR MEDICINE
Ferrochelatase enzyme dynamics and metal ion binding and selectivity.
My current research focuses on understanding the role of the Amyloid Precursor Protein (APP) in pancreatic cancer. It is well known that pancreatic cancer has a poor prognosis and very low 5-year survival rates. Early detection poses a challenge mainly owing to the location of this organ and a non-symptomatic progression. At the molecular level, the oncogene RAS is known to be mutated and overexpressed in this cancer and the signaling pathways are somewhat understood. Using several pancreatic cancer cells lines, our recent findings show that APP is overexpressed in most pancreatic cancer cells lines as well. Preliminary studies have shown that APP can regulate RAS transcription levels and knock down of APP can inhibit RAS protein expression. Using this information, my project aims to understand the mechanism of regulation of RAS by APP and to establish APP, its processed fragments, and associated signaling pathways as possible targets for drug development against pancreatic cancer.