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Media Sources Guide

CATEGORY: BioscienceClear

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Ancha Baranova

Associate Professor in the Department of Molecular and Microbiology

Expertise: Obesity, Metabolic Syndrome, Diabetes, Liver Disease, Hepatitis C, Translational Medicine

Baranova is an associate professor in the Department of Molecular and Microbiology. She is working in collaboration with researchers at Inova Fairfax Hospital on several projects related to metabolic syndrome, diabetes, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease and hepatitis C and is hopeful that this research will eventually lead to the development of prognostic biomarkers. Baranova holds a doctorate from Moscow State University. Her research interests include molecular pathways in human tissues with an emphasis on cancer and metabolic diseases, computational and comparative genomics. She is using a systems biology approach to the functional genomics and pathways analysis of complex human disorders.

 

Media Contact: Michele McDonald, 703-993-8781, mmcdon15@gmu.edu

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Robin Couch

Assistant Professor, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry

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Expertise: Therapeutics for the Treatment of Alzheimerís Disease

Robin Couch is a research scientist who is investigating the development of new therapeutics for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. Couch is currently evaluating the effectiveness of neuroprotection, which involves the use of neurotrophins, or molecules naturally produced by resident cells in the brain, to defend the brain cells from death. This includes nerve growth factor which is a specific neurotrophin that binds to brain cells and promotes their survival. His other research interests include isoprene biosynthesis, personalized medicine and anti-cholesterol therapeutics.

Media Contact: Michele McDonald, 703-993-8781, mmcdon15@gmu.edu

Jane Flinn

Director, Undergraduate Program in Neuroscience

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Expertise: Role of Metals in Alzheimerís Disease

Jane Flinn is examining the role of metals, particularly zinc, iron and copper, in the brain tissue of Alzheimer’s patients. She is also studying the effects of metal levels in drinking water on behavior and on plaque development. Flinn, who holds a doctorate in psychology from George Washington University and a doctorate in physics from Oxford University, has long been focused on the biological bases of learning and memory. She recently completed a study — conducted in collaboration with the U.S. Geological Survey — that focuses on the effects of enhanced zinc on spatial memory and plaque formation in transgenic (or genetically modified) mice.

Media Contact: Michele McDonald, 703-993-8781, mmcdon15@gmu.edu

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Pamela M. Greenwood

Associate Professor of Psychology

Expertise: Genetics of Cognitive Aging, Cognitive Aspects of Alzheimerís Disease

Pamela Greenwood uses behavioral, genetic and computational methods to investigate the cognitive sciences. Her overall goal is to find ways to identify older individuals who are likely to remain healthy and those who are likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease. Her research focuses on genes which regulate both normal cognitive aging and abnormal cognitive aging. She looks for effects of gene-to-gene interactions on cognitive aging, notably genes associated with late-onset Alzheimer’s disease, including the Apolipoprotein E gene and neurotransmission genes. Greenwood serves as a reviewer for the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute on Aging Special Emphasis Panels and for the National Science Foundation’s Cognitive Neuroscience Program.

Media Contact: Michele McDonald, 703-993-8781, mmcdon15@gmu.edu

Dmitri Klimov

Associate Professor, Department of Bioinformatics and Computational Biology

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Expertise: Computer Simulations of Molecular Aspects of Alzheimerís Disease

Dmitri Klimov uses computer simulations to study Alzheimer’s disease. His research focuses on the formation of starchlike protein assemblies that accumulate in body tissues called amyloid fibrils and their role in the development of Alzheimer’s disease. He is also interested in the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen, in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. He has published more than 57 papers and recently received a half-million dollar grant from the National Institutes of Health in support of his research. Prior to joining Mason, Klimov worked as an assistant research scientist at the Institute for Physical Science and Technology at the University of Maryland at College Park.

Media Contact: Michele McDonald, 703-993-8781, mmcdon15@gmu.edu

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Lance A. Liotta

University Professor and Co-director, Center for Applied Proteomics and Molecular Medicine

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Expertise: Health Care, Cancer, Nanotechnology, Bioengineering, Proteomics, Biomarkers

One of the first scientists to investigate the process of tumor invasion and metastasis at the molecular level, Liotta has invented technologies in the fields of diagnostics, immunoassays, microdissection, and proteomics that have been used to make broad discoveries in genomics, functional genetics, and tissue proteomics. Prior to joining George Mason University, he served as chief of the Laboratory of Pathology at the National Cancer Institute Center for Cancer Research and as deputy director for Intramural Research at the National Institutes of Health. Liotta earned a medical degree and a doctoral degree in biomedical engineering from Case Western Reserve University. His research contributions have generated 90 issued patents and more than 600 articles in peer-reviewed publications. Included among Liotta’s numerous awards for cancer research are three Public Health Service Commissioned Corps medals, the Arthur S. Fleming Award, the Warner Lambert/Parke Davis Award, the Rhoads Memorial Award, the Milken Family Foundation Award for Basic Research, the Lila Gruber Cancer Research Award, the U.S. Surgeon General’s Medallion, and the Maud L. Menten Lecture Award. In addition, he is the recipient of the National Institutes of Health Award of Merit, the Cotlove Research Award, the Ballantyne Distinguished Lectureship Research Award, and the Philip Levine Award for Outstanding Research.

Liotta and Center for Applied Proteomics and Molecular Medicine Co-director Emanuel F. Petricoin III, who are internationally recognized for their pioneering research in proteomics and molecular medicine, co-founded the George Mason University Center for Applied Proteomics and Molecular Medicine in 2005. They currently are exploring their recent discovery of an archive of protein fragments in the blood that are biomarker candidates for breast, ovarian, and lung cancers. Their immediate goals are to validate these potential biomarkers in clinical trials to determine their feasibility in the diagnosis of cancer prior to metastasis, and to analyze molecular pathways in diseased tissue to determine individualized and targeted treatments for patients. The team also is investigating the development and use of nanotechnology to synergize with proteomic tools for new types of biosensors, nanoparticles for biomarker discovery, and nanoelectronics. Liotta and Petricoin have more than 20 patents pending in the areas of cancer theranostics, biomarkers, and related technologies.

Media Contact: Michele McDonald, 703-993-8781, mmcdon15@gmu.edu

Alessandra Luchini

Research Assistant Professor

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Expertise: applied proteomics, molecular research

She's been named one of the brightest young minds in the United States by Popular Science magazine. Alessandra Luchini researches nanoscience, the highly complex study of nanoparticles. Her work has been called groundbreaking by television media.

The 34-year-old researcher says growing up in Italy, she never dreamed of being a scientist, though she admits she was an atypical child.

The Italian native is advancing the early detection of Lyme disease, tuberculosis and cancer.She hopes her work will pick up signs of disease, early enough to treat patients as quickly as possible.

Media Contact: Michele McDonald, 703-993-8781, mmcdon15@gmu.edu

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Joseph J. Pancrazio

Director, Bioengineering Program and Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering

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Expertise: Bioengineering, Electrical Engineering, Biosensors, Neural Interface Technologies, Health Care Technology, Environmental Threat Detection, Neural Engineering

Joseph J. Pancrazio is director of Mason’s new Bioengineering Program and a professor of electrical and computer engineering in the Volgenau School of Information Technology and Engineering. Prior to joining Mason, he served as the program director for neural engineering at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke within the National Institutes of Health. He also was the head of the United States Naval Research Laboratory’s Laboratory for Biomolecular Dynamics where he led an environmental threat detection research team. He has also worked as an assistant professor of research in the University of Virginia’s Departments of Anesthesiology and Biomedical Engineering and as an assistant professor of molecular and microbiology at Georgetown University. Pancrazio has authored more than 80 peer-reviewed publications, several book chapters and review papers, and holds two patents. He holds both master’s and doctoral degrees in biomedical engineering from the University of Virginia, Charlottesville. Pancrazio’s research interests include neural interface technologies, biosensors, and neuropharmacological assay development.

 

To view a video of him discussing how technology is revolutioning health care, visit http://mediablog.gmu.edu/2010/08/how-is-technology-revolutionizing-health-care/.

Media Contact: Michele McDonald, 703-993-8781, mmcdon15@gmu.edu

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Emanuel "Chip" Petricoin III

University Professor and Co-director, Center for Applied Proteomics and Molecular Medicine

Web Site

Expertise: Health Care, Cancer, Nanotechnology, Proteomics, Biomarkers

A renowned proteomics and cell signaling expert, Petricoin came to George Mason University from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, where he served as a senior investigator. His expertise also includes drug and biologic effects on signal transduction and kinase-driven cascades, diagnostic platform development, pathogenic microbiology, and artificial intelligence-based bioinformatics tools.

Petricoin holds a doctorate in microbiology from the University of Maryland at College Park. He serves on numerous editorial boards, has co-written more than 170 articles for peer-reviewed publications, and is a member of the American Association for Cancer Research.

Petricoin and Center for Applied Proteomics and Molecular Medicine Co-director Lance A. Liotta, who are internationally recognized for their pioneering research in proteomics and molecular medicine, co-founded the George Mason University Center for Applied Proteomics and Molecular Medicine in 2005. They currently are exploring their recent discovery of an archive of protein fragments in the blood that are biomarker candidates for breast, ovarian, and lung cancers. Their immediate goals are to validate these potential biomarkers in clinical trials to determine their feasibility in the diagnosis of cancer prior to metastasis, and to analyze molecular pathways in diseased tissue to determine individualized and targeted treatments for patients. The team also is investigating the development and use of nanotechnology to synergize with proteomic tools for new types of biosensors, nanoparticles for biomarker discovery, and nanoelectronics. Liotta and Petricoin have more than 20 patents pending in the areas of cancer theranostics, biomarkers, and related technologies.

Media Contact: Michele McDonald, 703-993-8781, mmcdon15@gmu.edu

Donald Seto

Associate Professor of Microbial Genomics, Diversity and Bioinformatics

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Expertise: Bioinformatics, Genome Analysis, Genomics, Adenovirus, Biochemistry, DNA sequencing, Biodetection

Seto is an associate professor in Mason’s Department of Bioinformatics and Computational Biology specializing in microbial and viral genomics. He recently collaborated with the University of Hong Kong, Guangzhou Children’s Hospital, the South China Institute of Technology and the Graduate School of Chinese Academy of Sciences to develop a DNA-based vaccine that has effectively protected mice from the human adenovirus type-3 which is also known as the “uncommon cold.” In addition to his post at Mason, Seto was concurrently a scientific advisor to the USAF Surgeon General and the Director of molecular diagnostics for the USAF-EOS program. His research interests include bioinformatics, genome analysis, genomics, biochemistry, DNA sequencing, and biodetection.

Seto’s lab team is currently focusing on the genomic and bioinformatics analysis of adenovirus genomes, with an interest in mechanisms of molecular evolution of these virus pathogens. In addition, his lab is working on software tools development for whole genome data mining and analyses. A current collaboration with scientists from Canada and Belgium is using these tools to sort out bacteriophage taxonomy. He also has expertise in nucleic acids core facilities development, operations and management. Prior to joining Mason, Seto was involved in several biotech companies as well as a pharmaceutical company, immediately after a position at the National Institutes of Health. He earned a doctorate in biology from The Johns Hopkins University and was a postdoctorate fellow with Dr. Leroy Hood at the California Institute of Technology.

Media Contact: Michele McDonald, 703-993-8781, mmcdon15@gmu.edu

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