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GSBS Dissertations and Theses

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Barriers To Healthcare Access And Patient Outcomes After A Hospitalization For An Acute Coronary Syndrome And Other Acute Conditions, Nathaniel A. K. Erskine Nov 2017

Barriers To Healthcare Access And Patient Outcomes After A Hospitalization For An Acute Coronary Syndrome And Other Acute Conditions, Nathaniel A. K. Erskine

GSBS Dissertations and Theses

Background: Guideline-concordant therapies for survivors of an acute coronary syndrome (ACS) hospitalization require healthcare access, something that millions of Americans lack.

Methods and Results: Using data from a prospective cohort study of over 2,000 survivors of a hospitalization for an ACS in central Massachusetts and Georgia from 2011 to 2013, the first two aims of this thesis sought to identify the post-discharge consequences for survival and health status of having: 1) financial barriers to healthcare, 2) no usual source of care, and 3) transportation barriers. We found that patients lacking a usual source of care and having a transportation ...


Investigating The Peptide-Mhc Specificity Of Alloreactive T Cells And Natural T Regulatory Cells Using A Self-Peptide Display Library, Brian R. Duke Nov 2017

Investigating The Peptide-Mhc Specificity Of Alloreactive T Cells And Natural T Regulatory Cells Using A Self-Peptide Display Library, Brian R. Duke

GSBS Dissertations and Theses

T cells use their highly variable T cell receptor (TCR) to engage major histocompatibility molecules (MHC) presenting peptides on the surface of antigen presenting cells during an immune response. The TCR repertoire of developing T cells is shaped by thymic selection, resulting in a self-tolerant and foreign peptide specific naïve T cell population. However, naive T cells are alloreactive and generate immune responses towards foreign MHC alleles in clinical settings involving transplantation. While T cell immune responses towards foreign pathogens are peptide specific, the overall specificity of allo-responses is still debated.

Under normal circumstances, immune system homeostasis and self-tolerance is ...


Characterization Of Adipose Tissue Inflammation In Alcoholic Liver Disease, Melissa A. Fulham Nov 2017

Characterization Of Adipose Tissue Inflammation In Alcoholic Liver Disease, Melissa A. Fulham

GSBS Dissertations and Theses

Adipose tissue inflammation has an impact on liver health and it has been demonstrated that chronic alcohol consumption leads to the expression of pro-inflammatory markers in the adipose tissue. A thorough characterization of alcohol-induced adipose inflammation is lacking, and is important to understand in order to identify immune-related mechanisms that drive this phenomenon. Current therapeutic regimens for alcoholic liver disease are ineffective. It is critical to understand how other organs influence liver injury in this disease when developing novel and effective therapies in the future.

Alcoholic liver disease exhibits a sexual dimorphism; women are more susceptible to liver injury than ...


Dosage Compensation Of Trisomy 21 And Its Implications For Hematopoietic Pathogenesis In Down Syndrome, Jen-Chieh Chiang Nov 2017

Dosage Compensation Of Trisomy 21 And Its Implications For Hematopoietic Pathogenesis In Down Syndrome, Jen-Chieh Chiang

GSBS Dissertations and Theses

Down Syndrome (DS), the most common aneuploidy seen in live-borns, is caused by trisomy for chromosome 21. DS imposes high risks for multiple health issues involving various systems of the body. The genetic complexity of trisomy 21 and natural variation between all individuals has impeded understanding of the specific cell pathologies and pathways involved. In addition, chromosomal disorders have been considered outside the hopeful progress in gene therapies for single-gene disorders. Here we test the feasibility of correcting imbalanced expression of genes across an extra chromosome by expression of a single gene, XIST, the key player in X chromosome inactivation ...


Innate Immunity As Mediator Of Cell Death And Inflammation In Alcoholic Liver Disease, Arvin Iracheta-Vellve Nov 2017

Innate Immunity As Mediator Of Cell Death And Inflammation In Alcoholic Liver Disease, Arvin Iracheta-Vellve

GSBS Dissertations and Theses

Central driving forces in the pathogenesis of liver disease are hepatocyte death and immune cell-driven inflammation. The interplay between outcomes, stemming from these two major cell types, is present from the earliest ethanol exposure, and are both determinants in advanced stages of liver disease particularly in alcoholic liver disease (ALD). The complexities associated with advanced ALD are many and therapies are limited. Due to the liver’s role in ethanol metabolism and filtering gut-derived products, it is becoming increasingly clear that innate immunity plays a central role in triggering activation of cell death and inflammatory pathways in ALD. We identified ...


Investigating Structural And Functional Defects In Als-Causing Profilin 1 Variants, Sivakumar Boopathy Sep 2017

Investigating Structural And Functional Defects In Als-Causing Profilin 1 Variants, Sivakumar Boopathy

GSBS Dissertations and Theses

Mutations in profilin 1 (PFN1) cause amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a fatal neurodegenerative disease that targets motor neurons. PFN1 is a 15 kDa protein that is best known for its role in actin dynamics. However, little is known about the pathological mechanisms of PFN1 in ALS. In this dissertation, it is demonstrated that certain familial ALS-linked mutations severely destabilize the native conformation of PFN1 in vitro and cause accelerated turnover of the PFN1 protein in neuronal cells. This mutation-induced destabilization can account for the high propensity of ALS-linked variants to aggregate and also provides rationale for their reported functional defects ...


Platelet Transcriptome Heterogeneity: A Role For Rna Uptake In Vascular Health And Disease, Lauren R. Clancy Aug 2017

Platelet Transcriptome Heterogeneity: A Role For Rna Uptake In Vascular Health And Disease, Lauren R. Clancy

GSBS Dissertations and Theses

As our understanding of the platelet’s systemic role continues to expand beyond hemostasis and thrombosis, interrogation of the platelet’s ability to affect diverse biological processes is required. Studies of the platelet’s non-traditional roles have focused on developing our understanding of the platelet’s relation to specific disease phenotypes as well as elucidation of platelet characteristics, content, and function. The generic content, traditional function and heterogeneity of platelets have long been accepted; more ambiguous and controversial has been how these factors are interrelated.

Investigation of platelet content revealed the presence of biologically functional RNA in anucleated platelets, the ...


Intergenerational Effects Of Nicotine In An Animal Model Of Paternal Nicotine Exposure, Markus Parzival Vallaster Aug 2017

Intergenerational Effects Of Nicotine In An Animal Model Of Paternal Nicotine Exposure, Markus Parzival Vallaster

GSBS Dissertations and Theses

Environmental conditions imposed onto organisms during certain phases of their life cycles such as embryogenesis or puberty can not only impact the organisms’ own health, but also affect subsequent generations. The underlying mechanisms causing intergenerational phenotypes are not encoded in the genome, but the result of reversible epigenetic modifications. This work investigates in a mouse model the impact of paternal nicotine exposure on the next generation regarding addictive behavior modulation, metabolic changes, and molecular mechanisms. It provides evidence that male offspring from nicotine-exposed fathers (NIC offspring) is more resistant to lethal doses of nicotine. This phenotype is gender-specific and depends ...


Genomic And Transcriptomic Investigation Of Endemic Burkitt Lymphoma And Epstein Barr Virus, Yasin Kaymaz Jul 2017

Genomic And Transcriptomic Investigation Of Endemic Burkitt Lymphoma And Epstein Barr Virus, Yasin Kaymaz

GSBS Dissertations and Theses

Endemic Burkitt lymphoma (eBL) is the most common pediatric cancer in malaria-endemic equatorial Africa and nearly always contains Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), unlike sporadic Burkitt Lymphoma (sBL) that occurs with a lower incidence in developed countries. Despite this increased burden the study of eBL has lagged. Additionally, while EBV was isolated from an African Burkitt lymphoma tumor 50 years ago, however, the impact of viral variation in oncogenesis is just beginning to be fully explored. In my thesis research, I focused on investigating molecular genetics of the endemic form of this lymphoma with a particular emphasis on the role of the ...


A Two-Pronged Approach To Preeclampsia: Understanding Gene Expression And Targeting Sflt1 Using Rnai, Ami Ashar-Patel Jul 2017

A Two-Pronged Approach To Preeclampsia: Understanding Gene Expression And Targeting Sflt1 Using Rnai, Ami Ashar-Patel

GSBS Dissertations and Theses

Preeclampsia (PE) is a disorder affecting 2-10% of pregnancies worldwide. Clinical signs include high blood pressure (HBP) and proteinuria in the mother after the 20th week of pregnancy. Currently, the only cure for PE is delivery of the fetus, which is often necessary preterm and thus dangerous for both mother and fetus. Maternal symptoms of PE are caused by excess anti-angiogenic proteins of placental origin called soluble Flt1s (sFlt1s). sFlt1 mRNA isoforms are produced by alternative polyadenylation (APA) of full-length Flt1 (fl-Flt1) pre- mRNA. While fl-Flt1 encodes a transmembrane protein, sFlt1s encode truncated proteins that are soluble. Multiple sFlt1 isoforms ...


The Role Of Skeletal Survey In Identifying Non-Accidental Trauma In Pediatric Trauma Patients, Jonathan Green Jun 2017

The Role Of Skeletal Survey In Identifying Non-Accidental Trauma In Pediatric Trauma Patients, Jonathan Green

GSBS Dissertations and Theses

Background: Non-accidental Trauma (NAT) is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in children. Children less than 2 years old are at greater risk of NAT than older children. A skeletal survey is a series of X-rays of all the bones in the body, or at least the axial skeleton and the large cortical bones used to identify NAT in children. In this observational study, we examined the association between a child’s age, frequency of positive skeletal surveys, and the types of injuries discovered in pediatric patients undergoing a trauma work-up.

Methods: The study sample consisted of all pediatric ...


Therapeutic Antibody Against Neisseria Gonorrhoeae Lipooligosaccharide, A Phase-Variable Virulence Factor, Srinjoy Chakraborti May 2017

Therapeutic Antibody Against Neisseria Gonorrhoeae Lipooligosaccharide, A Phase-Variable Virulence Factor, Srinjoy Chakraborti

GSBS Dissertations and Theses

Neisseria gonorrhoeae (Ng) which causes gonorrhea has become multidrug-resistant, necessitating the development of novel therapeutics and vaccines. mAb 2C7 which targets an epitope within an important virulence factor, the lipooligosaccharide (LOS), is a candidate therapeutic mAb. Ninety-four percent of clinical isolates express the 2C7-epitope which is also a vaccine target.

Ng expresses multiple LOS(s) due to phase-variation (pv) of LOS glycosyltransferase (lgt) genes. mAb 2C7 reactivity requires a lactose extension from the LOS core Heptose (Hep) II (i.e. lgtG ‘ON’ [G+]). Pv results in HepI with: two (2-), three (3-), four (4-), or five (5-) hexoses (Hex). How ...


Inhibiting Axon Degeneration In A Mouse Model Of Acute Brain Injury Through Deletion Of Sarm1, Nils Henninger May 2017

Inhibiting Axon Degeneration In A Mouse Model Of Acute Brain Injury Through Deletion Of Sarm1, Nils Henninger

GSBS Dissertations and Theses

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a leading cause of disability worldwide. Annually, 150 to 200/1,000,000 people become disabled as a result of brain trauma. Axonal degeneration is a critical, early event following TBI of all severities but whether axon degeneration is a driver of TBI remains unclear. Molecular pathways underlying the pathology of TBI have not been defined and there is no efficacious treatment for TBI.

Despite this significant societal impact, surprisingly little is known about the molecular mechanisms that actively drive axon degeneration in any context and particularly following TBI. Although severe brain injury may cause ...


Characterization Of Severe Malaria In Liberian Children 5 Years Old And Younger, Patricia A. Mcquilkin May 2017

Characterization Of Severe Malaria In Liberian Children 5 Years Old And Younger, Patricia A. Mcquilkin

GSBS Dissertations and Theses

Malaria continues to be a challenging problem in the developing world, and the burden of this life threatening disease continues to be borne by young children living in Sub Saharan Africa. One of the biggest challenges to the prevention and control of this problem lies in accurately diagnosing malaria, and distinguishing it from the many other febrile illnesses which present in children in this age group.

Liberia is a West African country with a high burden of malaria. Very little is known about the presentation of severe malaria in children aged 5 years old and younger in Liberia. We undertook ...


Recent Trends In Sepsis Mortality, Associations Between Initial Source Of Sepsis And Hospital Mortality, And Predictors Of Sepsis Readmission In Sepsis Survivors, Christine Motzkus Apr 2017

Recent Trends In Sepsis Mortality, Associations Between Initial Source Of Sepsis And Hospital Mortality, And Predictors Of Sepsis Readmission In Sepsis Survivors, Christine Motzkus

GSBS Dissertations and Theses

Background: Sepsis, a leading cause of US deaths, is associated with high mortality, although advances in early recognition and treatment have increased survivorship. Many aspects of sepsis pathophysiology and epidemiology have not been fully elucidated; the heterogeneous nature of infections that lead to sepsis has made fully characterizing the underlying epidemiology challenging.

Methods: The University HealthSystem Consortium (UHC) from 2011-2014 and the Cerner HealthFacts® database from 2008-2014 were used. We examined associations between infection source and in-hospital mortality in the UHC dataset, stratified by age and presenting sepsis stage. We examined recent temporal trends in present-on-admission (POA) sepsis diagnoses and ...


Exploring New Therapeutic Strategies For Osteoarthritis: From Genetic Manipulation Of Skeletal Tissues To Chemically-Modified Synthetic Hydrogels, Henry Huang Mar 2017

Exploring New Therapeutic Strategies For Osteoarthritis: From Genetic Manipulation Of Skeletal Tissues To Chemically-Modified Synthetic Hydrogels, Henry Huang

GSBS Dissertations and Theses

Osteoarthritis (OA), a degenerative disease of articular joints, is the leading cause of chronic disability in the US and affects more than a third of adults over 65 years old. Due to the obesity epidemic and an aging population, the prevalence of OA is expected to rise in both young and old adults. There are no disease modifying OA drugs. Therefore, providing any treatment options that delay the onset or progression of OA is highly desirable. The scope of this dissertation examines two different strategies to promote translational therapies for OA. The first approach investigated whether Smad ubiquitin regulatory factor ...


Impact Of Intra-Articular Injection Use On Patient-Reported Outcomes Among Patients With Knee Osteoarthritis, Shao-Hsien Liu Mar 2017

Impact Of Intra-Articular Injection Use On Patient-Reported Outcomes Among Patients With Knee Osteoarthritis, Shao-Hsien Liu

GSBS Dissertations and Theses

Background: Knee osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common type of OA and is a major cause of pain and thus results in disability for daily activities among persons living in the community. OA currently has no cure. In addition to the conflicting recommendations from clinical guidelines, evidence about the extent to which long-term use of intra-articular injections improves patient outcomes is also lacking.

Methods: Using data from the Osteoarthritis Initiative (OAI), marginal structural models (MSMs) applying inverse probability treatment weights (IPTW) were used to examine the effectiveness of intra-articular injections and changes in symptoms over time. The specific aims of ...


Patient And Social Determinants Of Health Trajectories Following Coronary Events, Lisa Nobel Mar 2017

Patient And Social Determinants Of Health Trajectories Following Coronary Events, Lisa Nobel

GSBS Dissertations and Theses

More than 1.2 million Americans are hospitalized annually with an acute coronary syndrome (ACS); many impaired quality of life after discharge with an ACS. This dissertation focuses on two novel aspects of patient health status (PHS) after ACS: how it can be predicted based on the socioeconomic status (SES) of the patient, and how it evolves over time. We used data from TRACE-CORE, a longitudinal prospective cohort of patients hospitalized with ACS. We measured PHS using both the SF-36 mental and physical component subscales (MCS and PCS) and the Seattle Angina Questionnaire (SAQ) health-related quality of life (HRQoL) and ...


Histone Deacetylase 3 Coordinates Heart Development Through Stage-Specific Roles In Cardiac Progenitor Cells, Sara L. Lewandowski Dec 2016

Histone Deacetylase 3 Coordinates Heart Development Through Stage-Specific Roles In Cardiac Progenitor Cells, Sara L. Lewandowski

GSBS Dissertations and Theses

Disruptions in cardiac development cause congenital heart disease, the most prevalent and deadly congenital malformation. Genetic and environmental factors are thought to contribute to these defects, however molecular mechanisms remain largely undefined. Recent work highlighted potential roles of chromatin- modifying enzymes in congenital heart disease pathogenesis. Histone deacetylases, a class of chromatin-modifying enzymes, have developmental importance and recognized roles in the mature heart. This thesis aimed to characterize functions of Hdac3 in cardiac development. We found loss of Hdac3 in the primary heart field causes precocious progenitor cell differentiation, resulting in hypoplastic ventricular walls, ventricular septal defect, and mid- gestational ...


The Origin Of Human White, Brown, And Brite/Beige Adipocytes, So Yun Min Dec 2016

The Origin Of Human White, Brown, And Brite/Beige Adipocytes, So Yun Min

GSBS Dissertations and Theses

During embryonic development, adipocytes emerge from microvasculature. Lineage-­‐tracing studies in mice have shown that adipocyte progenitors reside in the adipose tissue capillaries. However, the direct evidence of an association between adipocyte progenitors and vasculature in humans is lacking. A specific class of adipocytes (brown and beige/brite) expresses the uncoupling protein 1 (UCP1), which consumes glucose and fatty acids to generate heat. The abundance of UCP1- containing adipocytes correlates with a lean metabolically healthy phenotype in human. However, a causal relationship between the presence of these cells and metabolic benefits in human is not clear.

In this thesis, I ...


A Translational Pathway For Recombinant Adeno-Associated Virus Human Gene Therapy: From Target Identification And Animal Modeling Of The Disease To Non-Human Primate And Human Studies, Alisha Gruntman Nov 2016

A Translational Pathway For Recombinant Adeno-Associated Virus Human Gene Therapy: From Target Identification And Animal Modeling Of The Disease To Non-Human Primate And Human Studies, Alisha Gruntman

GSBS Dissertations and Theses

Many steps go into developing a clinical viral gene therapy. The course starts with appropriate disease selection and moves through the many hurdles of in-vitro testing, animal model validation and proof-of-concept studies, all the way through pre-clinical large animal studies. In this thesis, I propose to outline the process of developing a translation pathway for a gene therapy using recombinant adeno-associated virus (rAAV). I will expand on this outline using data that I have generated during the course of my Ph.D. that ranges from animal model validation all the way through pre-clinical vector stability studies. Two disease models will ...


Targeting Drug Resistance In Chronic Myeloid Leukemia: A Dissertation, Leyuan Ma Nov 2016

Targeting Drug Resistance In Chronic Myeloid Leukemia: A Dissertation, Leyuan Ma

GSBS Dissertations and Theses

Inhibiting BCR-ABL kinase activity with tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) has been the frontline therapy for CML. Resistance to TKIs frequently occurs, but the mechanisms remain elusive.

First, to uncover survival pathways involved in TKI resistance in CML, I conducted a genome-wide RNAi screen in human CML cells to identify genes governing cellular sensitivity to the first generation TKI called IM (Gleevec). I identified genes converging on and activating the MEK/ERK pathway through transcriptional up-regulation of PRKCH. Combining IM with a MEK inhibitor synergistically kills TKI-resistant CML cells and CML stem cells.

Next, I performed single cell RNA-seq to compare ...


The Role Of Late Antigen In Cd4 Memory T Cell Formation During Influena [I.E. Influenza] Infection: A Dissertation, Bianca L. Bautista Oct 2016

The Role Of Late Antigen In Cd4 Memory T Cell Formation During Influena [I.E. Influenza] Infection: A Dissertation, Bianca L. Bautista

GSBS Dissertations and Theses

While memory CD4 T cells are critical for effective immunity to pathogens, the mechanisms underlying their generation are poorly defined. Although extensive work has been done to examine the role of antigen (Ag) in shaping memory formation, most studies focus on the requirements during the first few days of the response known as the priming phase. Little is known about whether or not Ag re-encounter by effector T cells (late Ag) alters CD4 memory T cell formation. Since influenza infection produces a large, heterogeneous, protective CD4 memory T cell population, I used this model to examine the role of late ...


Fc Receptor-Mediated Activities Of Env-Specific Monoclonal Antibodies Generated From Human Volunteers Receiving A Dna Prime-Protein Boost Hiv Vaccine: A Dissertation, Matthew R. Costa Oct 2016

Fc Receptor-Mediated Activities Of Env-Specific Monoclonal Antibodies Generated From Human Volunteers Receiving A Dna Prime-Protein Boost Hiv Vaccine: A Dissertation, Matthew R. Costa

GSBS Dissertations and Theses

Human immunodeficiency type 1 (HIV-1) is able to elicit broadly potent neutralizing antibodies in a very small subset of individuals only after several years’ infection and as a result, vaccines that elicit these types of antibodies have been difficult to design. The RV144 trial showed that a moderate protection is possible, which may correlate with antibody dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC) activity. Previous studies in the Lu lab demonstrated that in an HIV-1 vaccine phase I trial, DP6-001, a polyvalent Env DNA prime-protein boost formulation, could elicit potent and broadly reactive, gp120-specific antibodies with positive neutralization activities along with multiple Fc ...


Evaluating Acceptability, Feasibility And Efficacy Of A Diabetes Care Support Program Facilitated By Cellular-Enabled Glucose Meters: A Dissertation, Daniel J. Amante Oct 2016

Evaluating Acceptability, Feasibility And Efficacy Of A Diabetes Care Support Program Facilitated By Cellular-Enabled Glucose Meters: A Dissertation, Daniel J. Amante

GSBS Dissertations and Theses

Background. Diabetes requires significant disease management, patient-provider communication, and interaction between patients, family members, caregivers, and care teams. Emerging patient-facing technologies, such as cellular-enabled glucose meters, can facilitate additional care support and improve diabetes self-management. This study evaluated patient acceptability, feasibility, and efficacy of a diabetes care support program facilitated by cellular-enabled glucose meters.

Methods. A two-phase study approach was taken. Get In Touch – Phase 1 (GIT-1) was a 1-month pilot involving patients with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Get In Touch – Phase 2 (GIT-2) was a 12-month randomized controlled crossover trial involving patients with poorly-controlled type 2 diabetes ...


Histopathological Characterization Of The Dystrophic Phenotype And Development Of Therapeutic Candidates For A Gene Therapy Pre-Clinical Study In Dysferlin Deficient Mice, Leticia Fridman Sep 2016

Histopathological Characterization Of The Dystrophic Phenotype And Development Of Therapeutic Candidates For A Gene Therapy Pre-Clinical Study In Dysferlin Deficient Mice, Leticia Fridman

GSBS Dissertations and Theses

Dysferlin deficient muscular dystrophy is a devastating disease that leads to loss of mobility and quality of life in patients. Dysferlin is a 230 kD protein primarily expressed in skeletal muscle that functions in membrane resealing. Dysferlin loss of function leads to a decrease in the membrane resealing response after injury in skeletal muscle, which is thought to cause degeneration of the musculature over time. Dysferlin cDNA is 7.4 kb and exceeds AAV packaging capacity of ~ 5kb. This thesis focuses on the generation of mini dysferlin mutants that can be packaged in AAV for downstream testing of therapeutic efficacy ...


Overcoming Toxicity From Transgene Overexpression Through Vector Design In Aav Gene Therapy For Gm2 Gangliosidoses, Diane L. Golebiowski Sep 2016

Overcoming Toxicity From Transgene Overexpression Through Vector Design In Aav Gene Therapy For Gm2 Gangliosidoses, Diane L. Golebiowski

GSBS Dissertations and Theses

GM2 gangliosidoses are a family of lysosomal storage disorders that include both Tay-Sachs and Sandhoff diseases. These disorders result from deficiencies in the lysosomal enzyme β-N-acetylhexosaminidase (HexA). Impairment of HexA leads to accumulation of its substrate, GM2 ganglioside, in cells resulting in cellular dysfunction and death. There is currently no treatment for GM2 gangliosidoses. Patients primarily present with neurological dysfunction and degeneration. Here we developed a central nervous system gene therapy through direct injection that leads to long-term survival in the Sandhoff disease mouse model. We deliver an equal mixture of AAVrh8 vectors that encode for the two subunits (α ...


Viral Proteases As Drug Targets And The Mechanisms Of Drug Resistance: A Dissertation, Kuan-Hung Lin Sep 2016

Viral Proteases As Drug Targets And The Mechanisms Of Drug Resistance: A Dissertation, Kuan-Hung Lin

GSBS Dissertations and Theses

Viral proteases have been shown to be effective targets of anti-viral therapies for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV). However, under the pressure of therapy including protease inhibitors, the virus evolves to select drug resistance mutations both in the protease and substrates. In my thesis study, I aimed to understand the mechanisms of how this protease−substrate co-evolution contributes to drug resistance. Currently, there are no approved drugs against dengue virus (DENV); I investigated substrate recognition by DENV protease and designed cyclic peptides as inhibitors targeting the prime site of dengue protease.

First, I used X-ray crystallography ...


Investigation Of Rna Binding Protein Pumilio As A Genetic Modifier Of Mutant Chmp2b In Frontotemporal Dementia (Ftd): A Masters Thesis, Xing Du Aug 2016

Investigation Of Rna Binding Protein Pumilio As A Genetic Modifier Of Mutant Chmp2b In Frontotemporal Dementia (Ftd): A Masters Thesis, Xing Du

GSBS Dissertations and Theses

Frontotemporal dementia (FTD) is the second most common early-onset dementia. A rare mutation in CHMP2B gene was found to be associated with FTD linked to chromosome 3. Previous studies have shown that mutant CHMP2B could lead to impaired autophagy pathway and altered RNA metabolism. However, it is still unknown what genes mediate the crosstalk between different pathways affected by mutant CHMP2B. Genetic screens designed to identify genes interacting with mutant CHMP2B represents a key approach in solving the puzzle. Expression of mutant CHMP2B (CHMP2Bintron5) in Drosophila eyes leads to a neurodegenerative phenotype including melanin deposition and disrupted internal structure of ...


Tissue Compartmentalization And Tropism Of Hiv-1: A Dissertation, Robin L. Brese Aug 2016

Tissue Compartmentalization And Tropism Of Hiv-1: A Dissertation, Robin L. Brese

GSBS Dissertations and Theses

Despite the development of effective antiretroviral treatments, there is still no cure for HIV-1. Major barriers to HIV-1 eradication include the diversity of intrapatient viral quasispecies and the establishment of reservoirs in tissue sanctuary sites. A better understanding of these populations is required for targeted treatments. While previous studies have examined the relationship between brain and blood or immune tissues, few have looked at and compared the properties of viruses from other tissue compartments. In this study, 75 full length HIV-1 envelopes were isolated from the frontal lobe, occipital lobe, parietal lobe, colon, lung, and lymph node of an HIV-1 ...