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Involvement Of Gdap1 In The Regulation Of Mtorc1 Activity In A Drosophila Mliv Model, Kristen Clemons Dec 2018

Involvement Of Gdap1 In The Regulation Of Mtorc1 Activity In A Drosophila Mliv Model, Kristen Clemons

UT GSBS Dissertations and Theses (Open Access)

The master regulator of metabolism and growth, mechanistic target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1), is responsible for maintaining metabolic homeostasis by sensing nutrient and energy levels within the cell to promote or inhibit translation and autophagy accordingly. In the childhood neurodevelopmental disorder Mucolipidosis type IV (MLIV), mTORC1 activity is decreased. The underlying mechanism for reduced mTORC1 signaling in MLIV is poorly understood. The gene encoding ganglioside-induced differentiation associated protein 1 (GDAP1) is transcriptionally upregulated in MLIV. This project investigated the involvement of GDAP1 in MLIV disease pathology. Using the UAS/GAL4 system in an established MLIV Drosophila model, we knocked ...


Intratumoral Sting Activation Sensitizes Poorly Immunogenic Cancers To Checkpoint Blockade Immunotherapy, Casey Ager Dec 2018

Intratumoral Sting Activation Sensitizes Poorly Immunogenic Cancers To Checkpoint Blockade Immunotherapy, Casey Ager

UT GSBS Dissertations and Theses (Open Access)

Unprecedented durable tumor regression can be achieved in patients with checkpoint blockade immunotherapy, yet these responses are rare and are not observed in all tumor types. Castration resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) and pancreatic adenocarcinoma (PDAC) are two common lethal cancers that remain refractory to checkpoint blockade, requiring development of new therapeutic approaches to promote responsivity in patients with these diseases. Both CRPC and PDAC are characterized by an immunosuppressive tumor milieu rich in cells of the myeloid lineage, which regulate T cell activity in many ways independent of the coinhibitory receptor axis. We investigated whether activation of acute inflammatory signaling ...


Hypothalamic Circuits In The Control Of Feeding And Emotional Behaviors, Leandra Mangieri Dec 2018

Hypothalamic Circuits In The Control Of Feeding And Emotional Behaviors, Leandra Mangieri

UT GSBS Dissertations and Theses (Open Access)

Feeding results from the integration of both nutritional and affective states, and is guided by complex neural circuitry in the brain. The hypothalamus is a critical center controlling feeding and motivated behaviors. We found that targeted photostimulation of projections from the lateral hypothalamus (LH) to the paraventricular hypothalamus (PVH) in mice elicited voracious feeding and repetitive self-grooming behavior. GABA neurotransmission in the LH->PVH circuit mediated the evoked feeding behavior, and elicited behavioral approach, whereas glutamate release promoted repetitive self-grooming, which was stress-related in nature. Optogenetic inhibition of LHGABA ->PVH circuit reduced feeding after fasting, whereas photostimulation abruptly stopped ...


Design, Fabrication, And Validation Of 3d Printed, Patient-Specific Compensators For Postmastectomy Radiation Therapy, Daniel Craft Aug 2018

Design, Fabrication, And Validation Of 3d Printed, Patient-Specific Compensators For Postmastectomy Radiation Therapy, Daniel Craft

UT GSBS Dissertations and Theses (Open Access)

The purpose of this study was to use 3D printed, patient-specific tissue compensators to overcome the 3D planning limitations for postmastectomy radiation therapy (PMRT). Tissue compensators can be used to reduce dose heterogeneity, hot and cold spots at field junctions, and treatment complexity, but are currently seldom used due to the difficulty in designing, fabricating, and validating them.

To produce compensators using 3D printing technology, suitable materials had to be found and characterized. Several materials were found to be promising, but previously unreported material uncertainties were also discovered that must be carefully controlled for in 3D printing studies. A new ...


Auto-Delineation Of Oropharyngeal Clinical Target Volumes Using Deep Learning Techniques, Carlos Eduardo Cardenas Aug 2018

Auto-Delineation Of Oropharyngeal Clinical Target Volumes Using Deep Learning Techniques, Carlos Eduardo Cardenas

UT GSBS Dissertations and Theses (Open Access)

Head and neck intensity modulate radiation therapy allows for the delivery of high-precision radiotherapy by conforming radiation dose to the defined treatment targets achieving more accurate target dose distribution and better sparing of normal tissues. However, producing very precise treatment plans may be ineffective if the target volumes are not defined accurately. Furthermore, there are several reports of significant inter-observer variability when delineating these target volumes for head and neck cancers making this variability one of the largest sources of uncertainty in head and neck radiation therapy.

The purpose of this study was to develop algorithms to automate target delineation ...


Enhancing Radiation Sensitivity In Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer, Yifan Wang Aug 2018

Enhancing Radiation Sensitivity In Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer, Yifan Wang

UT GSBS Dissertations and Theses (Open Access)

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related death. While radiation therapy is one of the standard treatments for lung cancer, the disease outcome after radiotherapy is still far from satisfactory despite ongoing advances in radiation techniques. Enhancing the radiosensitivity of lung cancer has the potential to improve the disease outcome of radiation treatments. Using a novel high throughput radiation sensitizing screen, previous work in the lab has identified several potent radiation sensitizers. The focus of my dissertation is on two of the identified pathways, HSP90 and MEK, using the potent and clinically relevant inhibitors ganetespib and trametinib. Using both ...


Development And Commissioning Of An Independent Peer Review System For A Small Animal Irradiator, Mary Peters Aug 2018

Development And Commissioning Of An Independent Peer Review System For A Small Animal Irradiator, Mary Peters

UT GSBS Dissertations and Theses (Open Access)

Dosimetry for small animal irradiators lacks the standardization of clinical radiotherapy practice, yet plays a central translational role in human trial design. The purpose of this work was to improve the dosimetric accuracy and consistency of animal studies by developing an independent peer review system to verify dose delivery from animal irradiators. This study focused on the development of a mouse phantom and characterization of the thermoluminescent dosimetry system for a commonly used small animal irradiator.

First, a mouse model and irradiation stand were designed with the purpose of being used in a mailable audit. Two mouse phantoms were machined ...


The Protective Effects Of Memantine On The Morphology And Activity Of Irradiated Dendritic Spines, Thanh Lam Aug 2018

The Protective Effects Of Memantine On The Morphology And Activity Of Irradiated Dendritic Spines, Thanh Lam

UT GSBS Dissertations and Theses (Open Access)

Abstract: The Protective Effects of Memantine on the Morphology And

Activity of Irradiated Dendritic Spines

Thanh T. Lam, M.S.

Advisory Professor: David R. Grosshans, M.D, Ph.D.

Although radiotherapy is an effective treatment for brain tumors, the adverse effects of such treatments may result in a decline in cognitive functioning. To prevent or reverse such radiation-induced cognitive dysfunctions, it is critical to understand the cellular and subcellular effects of radiation. In this study, both Thy-1 YFP mice and cultured cortical neurons were used to investigate changes in dendritic spines after cortical neurons were irradiated. The results indicated that ...


Equipment To Address Infrastructure And Human Resource Challenges For Radiotherapy In Low-Resource Settings, Rachel Mccarroll Aug 2018

Equipment To Address Infrastructure And Human Resource Challenges For Radiotherapy In Low-Resource Settings, Rachel Mccarroll

UT GSBS Dissertations and Theses (Open Access)

Millions of people in low- and middle- income countries (LMICs) are without access to radiation therapy and as rate of population growth in these regions increase and lifestyle factors which are indicative of cancer increase; the cancer burden will only rise. There are a multitude of reasons for lack of access but two themes among them are the lack of access to affordable and reliable teletherapy units and insufficient properly trained staff to deliver high quality care. The purpose of this work was to investigate to two proposed efforts to improve access to radiotherapy in low-resource areas; an upright radiotherapy ...


Improved Target Coverage Of Spinal Metastases Through The Use Of Flattening Filter Free Beams, Laura Bennett Aug 2018

Improved Target Coverage Of Spinal Metastases Through The Use Of Flattening Filter Free Beams, Laura Bennett

UT GSBS Dissertations and Theses (Open Access)

Of the patients that are diagnosed with metastatic disease, up to 40% will develop vertebral osseous metastases. These metastases tend to be located in close proximity to the spinal cord itself, making it difficult to achieve the recommended minimum dose of 14 Gy for single fraction SBRT or 21 Gy1 for three fraction SBRT while maintaining acceptable doses to the cord and cauda equina. This proximity of the target to critical structures has the potential to compromise the efficacy of the radiation treatment plan in favor of reducing normal tissue dose, resulting in poor local control and tumor recurrence ...


Identifying Molecular Targets And Validating Novel Therapies For Ovarian Cancer, Alejandro Villar-Prados May 2018

Identifying Molecular Targets And Validating Novel Therapies For Ovarian Cancer, Alejandro Villar-Prados

UT GSBS Dissertations and Theses (Open Access)

Re-purposing of targeted therapies for additional tumor types is a promising avenue for expanding treatment options for cancer patients, however accurately predicting what re-purposed targeted therapy will be effective remains challenging. To address this need, we developed a Therapy Predicting Tool (TPT) that accurately predicts the beneficial therapeutic effect of clinically relevant targeted therapies and the downstream pathways they may impact in the cancer of interest. Using ovarian cancer as a model to biologically validate our tool, we determined that Bromodomain and Extra-Terminal motif inhibitors (BETis), which target proteins such as BRD4, held the greatest promise to produce therapeutic effects ...


Genetic Testing Practices Of Genetic Counselors, Geneticists, And Pediatric Neurologists With Regard To Childhood-Onset Neurogenetic Conditions, Sara Wofford May 2018

Genetic Testing Practices Of Genetic Counselors, Geneticists, And Pediatric Neurologists With Regard To Childhood-Onset Neurogenetic Conditions, Sara Wofford

UT GSBS Dissertations and Theses (Open Access)

Identifying genetic diagnoses for neurological conditions with a considerable hereditary component, such as autism spectrum disorder (ASD), intellectual disability, and epilepsy, is critical to providing proper medical management for these patients and their families. However, many patients with these conditions are not tested appropriately or receive no genetic testing at all. The current study was designed to characterize the genetic testing practices of the providers most likely to evaluate or order genetic testing for these patients: pediatric neurologists, geneticists, and genetic counselors. The study noted significant variance between the testing strategies selected by pediatric neurologists compared to those of geneticists ...


Investigating Invasion In Ductal Carcinoma In Situ With Topographical Single Cell Genome Sequencing, Anna Casasent, Anna Casasent May 2018

Investigating Invasion In Ductal Carcinoma In Situ With Topographical Single Cell Genome Sequencing, Anna Casasent, Anna Casasent

UT GSBS Dissertations and Theses (Open Access)

Synchronous Ductal Carcinoma in situ (DCIS-IDC) is an early stage breast cancer invasion in which it is possible to delineate genomic evolution during invasion because of the presence of both in situ and invasive regions within the same sample. While laser capture microdissection studies of DCIS-IDC examined the relationship between the paired in situ (DCIS) and invasive (IDC) regions, these studies were either confounded by bulk tissue or limited to a small set of genes or markers. To overcome these challenges, we developed Topographic Single Cell Sequencing (TSCS), which combines laser-catapulting with single cell DNA sequencing to measure genomic copy ...


Bayesian Designs For Early Phase Clinical Trials With Novel Target Agents, Heng Zhou May 2018

Bayesian Designs For Early Phase Clinical Trials With Novel Target Agents, Heng Zhou

UT GSBS Dissertations and Theses (Open Access)

My dissertation mainly focus on Bayesian designs for early phase clinical trials with novel target agents. It includes three specific topics: (1) reviewing novel phase I clinical trial designs and comparing their operating characteristics; (2) Proposing a Bayesian optimal phase II clinical trial (BOP2) design with simple and complex endpoints under a unified framework; and (3) extending the BOP2 design to incorporate the durable clinical response as a primary endpoint.

A number of novel model-based and model-assisted designs have been proposed to find the maximum tolerated dose (MTD) in phase I clinical trials, but their differences and relative pros and ...


The Regulation Of Dna Methylation In Mammalian Development And Cancer, Nicolas Veland May 2018

The Regulation Of Dna Methylation In Mammalian Development And Cancer, Nicolas Veland

UT GSBS Dissertations and Theses (Open Access)

DNA methylation is an essential epigenetic modification in mammals, as it plays important regulatory roles in multiple biological processes, such as gene transcription, maintenance of chromosomal structure and genomic stability, genomic imprinting, retrotransposon silencing, and X-chromosome inactivation. Dysregulation of DNA methylation is associated with various human diseases. For example, cancer cells usually show global hypomethylation and regional hypermenthylation, which have been implicated in genomic instability and tumor suppressor silencing, respectively. Although great progress has been made in elucidating the biological functions of DNA methylation over the last several decades, how DNA methylation patterns and levels are regulated and dysregulated is ...


Nanoscale Organization Of The Small Gtpase Rac1, Kelsey Maxwell May 2018

Nanoscale Organization Of The Small Gtpase Rac1, Kelsey Maxwell

UT GSBS Dissertations and Theses (Open Access)

Rac1 is a small, guanine-nucleotide binding protein that cycles between an inactive GDP-bound and active GTP-bound state to regulate actin-mediated motility, migration, and adhesion. Plasma membrane (PM) localization is essential for its biological activity. Rac1 PM targeting is directed by a C-terminal membrane anchor that encompasses a geranylgeranyl-cysteine-methyl-ester, palmitoyl, and a polybasic domain (PBD) of contiguous lysine and arginine residues. Using high-resolution imaging combined with spatial mapping analysis, I found that Rac1 forms nanoclusters on the PM. Cycling between the GTP- and GDP-bound states, Rac1 forms nanoclusters that are non-overlapping, consequently undergoing guanine nucleotide-dependent spatial segregation. I further found that ...


Development Of 3d-Printed Patient Specific Bolus For Clinical Use In Total Scalp Irradiation, Garrett Baltz May 2018

Development Of 3d-Printed Patient Specific Bolus For Clinical Use In Total Scalp Irradiation, Garrett Baltz

UT GSBS Dissertations and Theses (Open Access)

Total scalp irradiation (TSI) is a specialized radiation therapy technique that aims to deliver a uniform dose to the entire scalp. Original electron-based TSI techniques had limited homogeneity due to hot and cold spots created at field junctions due to the multiple matched fields that were required to treat the entire scalp. The transition to photon volumetric-modulated arc therapy based TSI techniques has improved homogeneity, to the point where non-conformal bolus is now a limiting factor. Bolus is required to build-up full dose to the scalp surface in total scalp irradiation. Creating bolus that is conformal to the scalp is ...


Investigating The Impact Of Intragenic Dna Methylation On Gene Expression, And The Clinical Implications On Tumor Cells And Associated Stroma, Michael Mcguire May 2018

Investigating The Impact Of Intragenic Dna Methylation On Gene Expression, And The Clinical Implications On Tumor Cells And Associated Stroma, Michael Mcguire

UT GSBS Dissertations and Theses (Open Access)

Investigations into the function of non-promoter DNA methylation have yielded new insights into epigenetic regulation of gene expression. Previous studies have highlighted the importance of distinguishing between DNA methylation in discrete functional regions; however, integrated non-promoter DNA methylation and gene expression analyses across a wide number of tumor types and corresponding normal tissues have not been performed. Through integrated analysis of gene expression and DNA methylation profiles, we uncovered an enrichment of DNA methylation sites within the gene body and 3’UTR in which DNA methylation is strongly positively correlated with gene expression. We examined 32 tumor types and identified ...


The Epithelial To Mesenchymal Transition In Breast Cancer Induces Alterations In Metabolism, Esmeralda Ramirez-Peña May 2018

The Epithelial To Mesenchymal Transition In Breast Cancer Induces Alterations In Metabolism, Esmeralda Ramirez-Peña

UT GSBS Dissertations and Theses (Open Access)

Metastasis is currently incurable. Recent studies suggest that metabolic reprogramming significantly impacts metastatic progression. Understanding the underlying biology of how metabolic reprogramming influences metastasis will shed light on developing novel ways to treat metastasis and is of urgent clinical need. A potent mediator of metastatic potential in breast cancer is the winged helix/Forkhead domain transcription factor FOXC2. We have previously shown that FOXC2 is necessary and sufficient to promote metastasis through induction of the epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT). EMT is a latent embryonic program that is aberrantly induced in breast cancer cells conferring migratory and invasive capabilities in ...


Computational Identification Of Noncoding Driver Mutations Based On Impact On Rna Processing, Kevin Zhu Dec 2017

Computational Identification Of Noncoding Driver Mutations Based On Impact On Rna Processing, Kevin Zhu

UT GSBS Dissertations and Theses (Open Access)

Despite the prevalence of mutations in the noncoding regions of the DNA, their effects on cancer development remain largely uninvestigated. This is especially evident when compared to coding mutations, which have been relatively well-studied and, in certain cases, been identified as driver mutations for cancer. Recent studies, however, have identified noncoding mutations that frequently appear in certain types of cancer, which may be evidence that those mutations are important to cancer development. Nonetheless, the role of noncoding mutations in cancer remains unclear. A potential vector for understanding this mechanism is through observing the relation between noncoding mutations and functional RNA ...


Evaluating The Therapeutic Efficacy Of Restoring Wild-Type P53 Activity In P53-Mutant Tumors, Connie A. Larsson Dec 2017

Evaluating The Therapeutic Efficacy Of Restoring Wild-Type P53 Activity In P53-Mutant Tumors, Connie A. Larsson

UT GSBS Dissertations and Theses (Open Access)

The p53 transcription factor is the most frequently altered in human cancers usually via missense mutations that undermine its transcriptional activity. Clinically, TP53 mutations have been shown to be remarkably predictive of refractoriness to treatment, resulting in poor outcome. Consequently, the development of p53 pathway activating agents is rapidly evolving and gaining more attention in cancer therapeutics research, with several small molecule compounds currently in preclinical and clinical trials. However, it remains largely unknown what types or proportions of p53-mutant tumors will respond to p53 restoration-based therapies.

Using a mouse model of Li Fraumeni syndrome, we genetically restored wild-type ...


Circulating Autoantibodies In Human Traumatic Spinal Cord Injury Subjects And Their Relationship To The Development Of Neuropathic Pain, Georgene Hergenroeder Dec 2017

Circulating Autoantibodies In Human Traumatic Spinal Cord Injury Subjects And Their Relationship To The Development Of Neuropathic Pain, Georgene Hergenroeder

UT GSBS Dissertations and Theses (Open Access)

Background:

Approximately 17,500 spinal cord injuries (SCI) occur yearly in the U.S. causing considerable morbidity and mortality. Neuropathic pain (NP) ensues in 40-70% of SCI. An autoimmune response resulting from disruption of the blood-spinal cord-barrier may be a contributor to NP. However, the relationship between autoantibodies and NP after SCI in humans has not been thoroughly characterized nor have autoantigens been identified. Glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) and collapsin response mediator protein2 (CRMP2) were identified as candidate autoantigens. The hypothesis is that proteins from the injured spinal cord released by SCI trigger autoantibody production which can lead to ...


Membrane Bound Il21 Promotes Natural Killer Cell Expansion Through Mir 124-3p Mediated Regulation, Anitha Somanchi Dec 2017

Membrane Bound Il21 Promotes Natural Killer Cell Expansion Through Mir 124-3p Mediated Regulation, Anitha Somanchi

UT GSBS Dissertations and Theses (Open Access)

Natural Killer (NK) cells are cells of the innate immune system that act as first line of defense against viral infections and participate in tumor immune surveillance. NK cells do not cause graft versus host disease (GvHD), or require prior antigen exposure to exert anti-tumor activity, hence are an attractive choice for immunotherapy applications. Owing to small numbers of NK cells in peripheral blood (1-32%, with a 6% median), ex vivo expansion of NK cells is critical for NK cell adoptive immunotherapy, various expansion platforms have been explored over the decades. We developed a robust platform for ex vivo expansion ...


Modeling Post Stroke Respiratory Dysfunction, Apneas And Cognitive Decline, Anthony Patrizz Dec 2017

Modeling Post Stroke Respiratory Dysfunction, Apneas And Cognitive Decline, Anthony Patrizz

UT GSBS Dissertations and Theses (Open Access)

Modeling Post Stroke Respiratory Dysfunction,

Apneas and Cognitive Decline

Anthony Patrizz, B.A.

Advisory Professor: Louise McCullough M.D., Ph.D.

Stroke is a major cause of mortality and the leading cause of long-term disability in the US. More than 60% of individuals suffering a first time stroke develop respiratory dysfunction, prolonging recovery and increasing mortality. Post-stroke cognitive decline is a major contributor to disability and nursing home placement, therefore the cognitive consequences of Stroke Induced Respiratory Dysfunction (SIRD) need to be explored if we hope to enhance functional recovery. The first step towards treatment of the negative consequences of ...


Mechanism Of Candida Albicans Biofilm And Virulence Inhibition By A Bacterial Secreted Factor, Carrie Graham Dec 2017

Mechanism Of Candida Albicans Biofilm And Virulence Inhibition By A Bacterial Secreted Factor, Carrie Graham

UT GSBS Dissertations and Theses (Open Access)

The human microbiome is a diverse polymicrobial population comprised of both fungi and bacteria. Perturbations of the normal microbiome can have a profound impact on health, including the development of infections. Exploitation of these polymicrobial interactions has the potential to provide novel treatment and prevention strategies for infectious diseases. Enterococcus faecalis, a Gram-positive bacterium, and Candida albicans, a polymorphic fungus, occupy overlapping niches as ubiquitous constituents of the gastrointestinal and oral microbiome. Both species are also amongst the most important and problematic, opportunistic nosocomial pathogens and are often co-isolated during infection. Surprisingly, these two species antagonize each other’s virulence ...


Insights Into The Therapeutic Potential Of Salt Inducible Kinase 1: A Novel Mechanism Of Metabolic Control, Randi Fitzgibbon Dec 2017

Insights Into The Therapeutic Potential Of Salt Inducible Kinase 1: A Novel Mechanism Of Metabolic Control, Randi Fitzgibbon

UT GSBS Dissertations and Theses (Open Access)

Salt inducible kinase 1 (SIK1) has been considered a stress-inducible kinase since it was first cloned in 1999. Continued efforts since this time have been dedicated to characterizing the structure and function of SIK1. Such research has laid the ground work for our understanding of SIK1 action and regulation in tissue and stimuli dependent manners. The fundamental findings of this dissertation continue in this tradition and include investigations of SIK1 regulatory mechanisms in skeletal muscle cells, the cellular and physiological effects of SIK1 loss of function in vitro and in vivo, and intracellular metabolic and mitochondrial regulation by this kinase ...


A License To Kill: Understanding Natural Killer Cell Licensing To Fight Cancer, Jolie Schafer Dec 2017

A License To Kill: Understanding Natural Killer Cell Licensing To Fight Cancer, Jolie Schafer

UT GSBS Dissertations and Theses (Open Access)

Natural killer (NK) cell education is an essential developmental process for NK cell effector function, that renders some NK cells “licensed” and others “unlicensed” (with heightened or lowered effector function potential, respectively) against tumor and targets lacking self-molecules. However, the underlying mechanisms responsible for the heightened effector responses of licensed cells remain unknown. Using NK cells derived from humans and expanded ex vivo we performed high-throughput protein expression analysis, and identified multiple proteins that are differentially regulated in licensed and unlicensed human NK cells before and after inhibition by killer-cell immunoglobulin-like receptors (KIRs) and activation by the NKp46 natural cytotoxicity ...


Quality Of Life: Socio-Demographic And Genetic Determinants As Well As Links With Cancer Outcomes, Jeanne Pierzynski Dec 2017

Quality Of Life: Socio-Demographic And Genetic Determinants As Well As Links With Cancer Outcomes, Jeanne Pierzynski

UT GSBS Dissertations and Theses (Open Access)

Quality of life (QOL) is an independent prognostic factor for cancer. Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death. Breast cancer is the most diagnosed. Bladder cancer is the most expensive cancer to treat because of its high recurrence rate. We set to perform comprehensive analyses of predictors of QOL in these cancer sites with the future goal of improving QOL and outcomes.

In 6,456 newly diagnosed lung cancer patients, we investigated the relationship between baseline patient characteristics and QOL to identify determinants of QOL. A QOL questionnaire (SF-12v1) measured patients’ physical component summary (PCS) and mental component ...


The Functions Of Setd5 And Mir-221 In Embryonic Stem Cell Differentiation, Tsai-Yu Chen Dec 2017

The Functions Of Setd5 And Mir-221 In Embryonic Stem Cell Differentiation, Tsai-Yu Chen

UT GSBS Dissertations and Theses (Open Access)

Embryonic stem cells (ESCs) are a widely used model system to study cellular differentiation because of their pluripotent characteristics, and ESC differentiation is an epigenetic process. In an effort to identify a new epigenetic factor that is required for ESC differentiation, the function of SETD5 in ESCs was studied for this thesis. Results show that SETD5 is essential for retinoic acid (RA)-induced differentiation of mouse ESCs and for RA-induced expression of critical developmental genes (e.g., Hoxa1 and Hoxa2) and neuron-related genes (e.g., Nestin and Pax6). SETD5 was upregulated during ESC differentiation. Additional results demonstrated that SETD5 bound ...


Memory Potential, Molecular Characterization, And Translational Applications Of The Novel Theo/Tceo T Cell Phenotype, Todd Bartkowiak, Todd Bartkowiak Dec 2017

Memory Potential, Molecular Characterization, And Translational Applications Of The Novel Theo/Tceo T Cell Phenotype, Todd Bartkowiak, Todd Bartkowiak

UT GSBS Dissertations and Theses (Open Access)

T cells comprise a substantial arm of the immune system and are exquisitely adapted to combat pathogens and tumors. The inflammatory environment largely dictates the nature of T cell response. A hallmark of T cell-mediated immunity is formation of immunological memory; the ability to respond more potently to re-encounter with pathogens. The immune system is also capable of recognizing tumors as foreign, much like viral or bacterial pathogens. Tumors have evolved, though, to generate an immunosuppressive environment to avoid destruction. The field of immunotherapy seeks to overcome immune suppression, in part by targeting T cell co-receptors on the cell surface ...