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Olivier Le Saux, Ph.D. ~ Professor and Chair

Area of Expertise ~ Skin and cardiovascular diseases, ectopic calcification

My laboratory focuses on ectopic calcification in skin and cardiovascular tissues in related disorders with similar phenotypes, pseudoxanthoma elasticum and generalized arterial calcification of infancy and associated genes ABCC6 and ENPP1. We also study how ABCC6 affects atherosclerosis and cardiac functions.

Link to Publications list

Frederick P. Bellinger, Ph.D. ~ Associate Researcher

Area of Expertise ~ Trace metals in brain function and disorders/neurophysiology

Our current research focuses on the different roles of members of the selenoprotein family in brain physiology and neurological disorders. Selenoproteins are proteins that contain the strong antioxidant element selenium in the form of selenocysteine, 21st amino acid. We have reported changes in these proteins in Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease and investigated their possible roles in these disorders. We are currently examining the roles of selenoproteins in regulating neurophysiology.

Link to Lab website and Publications list

Mariana Gerschenson, Ph.D. ~ Professor

Area of Expertise ~ Mitochondria, HIV Complications (Diabetes, Metabolic, Heart Disease), Aging

Dr. Gerschenson is the Director for the Diabetes Research Center at the University of Hawaii and the PI of the NIH funded 1P20GM113134, ‘COBRE-Diabetes’. She is the Associate Dean for Research and Professor at the John A. Burns School of Medicine at the University of Hawaii. She is a national/international leader in the field of studying pediatric and adult cardiovascular and metabolic complications for the past 30 years. She is a translational researcher who is studying the mitochondrial etiology of insulin resistance in pediatric HIV and in the elderly. Dr. Gerschenson has shown that insulin resistance in HIV-infected youth is associated with decreased mitochondrial respiration (PMC5131681) and that that there is mitochondrial dysfunction and insulin resistance in HIV-infected children receiving antiretroviral therapy (PMC3749716).

Link to Lab website and Publications list

David S. Haymer, Ph.D. ~ Professor

Area of Expertise ~ Molecular genetics and forensic analysis of DNA

I am a Professor at the Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, School of Medicine, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. I do research in Genetics and Evolutionary Biology. I also do consulting for forensic investigations involving DNA testing, and I am the DNA consultant for the Hawaii Chapter of the Innocence Project, part of a national program to identify and correct wrongful convictions.

Link to Lab website

Peter R. Hoffmann, Ph.D. ~ Professor

Area of Expertise ~ Inflammation, immunology, cancer biology

Our research interests include, but are not limited to, the role of selenium and selenoproteins in immunity; calpains/calpastatin in regulating inflammation. Also, Dr. Bertino has initiated several novel and exciting projects related to cancer therapy.

Link to Lab website and Publications list

Nicholas G. James, Ph.D. ~ Assistant Researcher

Area of Expertise ~ Neurodegeneration, metabolic, and biophysics

Our lab focuses on characterization of protein-protein and protein-membrane dynamics utilizing advance biophysical methods. Specifically, we have been utilizing fluorescence fluctuation microscopy combined with biochemical methods to investigate how Parkinson’s disease mutations alter the properties of LRRK2.

Link to Lab website and  Publications list

David M. Jameson, Ph.D. ~ Professor

Area of Expertise ~ Protein-Protein interactions and endocytosis

My laboratory primarily utilizes fluorescence spectroscopy to study protein-protein interactions, both in vitro and in live cells. In addition to classical in vitro fluorescence methodologies we use state-of-the-art fluorescence microscopy techniques such as Fluorescence Correlation Spectroscopy and Fluorescence Lifetime Imaging. Some of proteins we study include the large GTPase dynamin and Arc/Arg3.1.

Link to Lab website

Robert A. Nichols, Ph.D. ~ Professor

Area of Expertise ~ Alzheimer’s Disease, molecular and cellular neuroscience

Our laboratory is investigating neuroprotection by non-toxic fragments from beta amyloid as a means to develop novel therapeutics for Alzheimer’s disease via a collaborative team involved in compound synthesis, molecular modeling, neurotoxicity screening, extracellular recording and behavioral testing.

Link to Lab website

Jun Panee, Ph.D. ~ Associate Researcher

Area of Expertise ~ Substance use and research ethics

I am a transnational researcher, trying to characterize the health consequences of marijuana use on energy metabolism and cognition, and to understand the underlying molecular mechanisms.

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Matthew W. Pitts, Ph.D. ~ Assistant Researcher

Area of Expertise ~ Selenoproteins in nervous system development and function

My research investigates the role of selenoproteins in two populations of neurons, parvalbumin (PV)-expressing interneurons and leptin receptor-expressing hypothalamic neurons. Redox imbalance in these two cell types has been implicated as key contributing factors to schizophrenia and obesity, respectively.

Link to Publications list

Alexander J. Stokes, Ph.D. ~ Assistant Professor

Area of Expertise ~ Ion channel regulation of diseases

Researchers in the lab are focused in three main disease areas: diabetes and metabolic syndrome, heart failure, and cancer immunology. We are specifically interested in the ion channels that regulate these disease, and therapies that target ion channels in these diseases.

Link to Lab website and Publications list

Cedomir Todorovic, Ph.D. ~ Assistant Researcher

Area of Expertise ~ Neurobiology of behavior

My initial work employed mouse models to study corticotropin-releasing factor and cholecystokinin systems in the context of memory, anxiety and depression. My current work is focused at components of JNK (c-Jun N-terminal kinase) signaling pathway in the central nervous system, with an emphasis on molecular processes that are engaged by JNK and its scaffold proteins JIPs in memory deficits and autism.

Link to Publications list

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