Joshua Hack works in the lab of Dr. Michael Hammer studying the rare pediatric disease SCN8A Epilepsy caused by changes in the gene that encodes for a specific sodium channel (SCN8A) located in the center of the brain. The focus of his research is to develop a model to predict the severity of disease outcomes in patients based on where in the gene their changes occur.
A recent UArizona College of Pharmacy study suggests that personal genomic educational testing (PGET), which is thought to have potential as a learning tool in pharmacogenomic education, may offer no significant benefits in terms of improved knowledge or attitudes for PharmD students towards the subject.
Dr. Eric Lyons is stepping up as CyVerse principal investigator and project leader, having worked with the project since 2010 and has served as co-principal investigator since 2012. Dr. Lyons succeeds Dr. Parker Antin who joined the project in 2013, following renewal of its 5-year, $50M NSF award.
Part of a multi-university collaboration, UArizona has received a nearly $1 million USDA grant to expand the Agricultural Genome to Phenome Initiative. They aim to increase understanding of how genetic code affects physical and behavioral traits in crops and livestock and standardize the collection of phenomic information.
Three teenagers—two soldiers and a civilian—were among the 50 million or more estimated casualties of the 1918 influenza A pandemic. The lungs of the three were saved, preserved in formalin for more than one hundred years, and are now being used to study the virus. Obtaining samples for the study is hard, and the team including Dr. Michael Worobey, UArizona evolutionary biologist and associate director of the BIO5 Institute, was able to secure a total of 13 lung tissue samples from people who died between 1900 and 1931. From specimens that were being housed in the Berlin Museum of Medical History and the pathology collection of the Natural History Museum in Vienna; three of them, all from 1918, contained influenza RNA. These organs are providing genetic clues as to why this flu virus took so many lives.
Dr. Michael Worobey, head of UArizona Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology and BIO5 associate director shares how there was a perfect storm of circumstances that led to the current pandemic. According to new information, if there were very small changes in the beginning, the pandemic as we know it now, may not have spread.
UArizona research experts weigh in on what we didn’t know and what we've since learned upon COVID-19 taking hold of the US last spring. Our scientists speak to how the nature of the virus, mitigation strategies, and human behavior continue to shape the path of this pandemic.
The new variant to COVID-19 sports an unusual number of mutations, including some that appear to change the virus’ behavior. It seems to be significantly more transmissible, increasing the rate at which infected people infect others, although there is no evidence to date that the variant triggers more severe disease. There are efforts afoot to try to figure out how widely the new variant is spreading — one of them led by the lab of Dr. Michael Worobey, whose team is develop a test for variant viruses in wastewater from community sewage systems.
The NASA Astrobiology Program has selected eight new interdisciplinary research teams to inaugurate its Interdisciplinary Consortia for Astrobiology Research program, including two teams at the University of Arizona. One team led by Dr. Betül Kaçar, Molecular and Cellular Biology assistant professor and BIO5 member, was selected from a pool of more than 40 proposals. The breadth and depth of the research of these teams spans the spectrum of astrobiology research, from cosmic origins to planetary system formation, origins and evolution of life, and the search for life beyond Earth.
Sinus infections are one of the most common illnesses, so identifying the progression of the common cold to chronic disease lasting longer than 12 weeks is critical in creating therapies that slow the development of a disease affecting nearly 12% of U.S. adults each year. A group lead by Dr. Eugene Chang, vice chair and associate professor in the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at the UArizona College of Medicine, was awarded $2.24 million to study a protein in the respiratory tract with a genetic variation strongly associated with these ailments.
Dr. Martha Bhattacharya, a UArizona assistant professor of neuroscience and BIO5 member, discusses her research, her career, and her mentor-ship philosophies with the Daily Wildcat. Dr. Bhattacharya's lab recently linked a gene involved in neurodegeneration to the itch sensation that many mammals experience and has drawn interest from the agribusiness industry for her lab's discovery. In future studies, Dr. Bhattacharya hopes to characterize the role of this gene in our understanding of these itch-sensing pathways in adults.