Andrieu and Denis paper featured as Editor’s Pick/Cover Story in April 2018 Issue of Molecular Cancer Research

April 13th, 2018 in Recent News, Spotlight

A paper by Boston University investigators, Guillaume Andrieu, Ph.D. and Gerald V. Denis, Ph.D., has been selected as the Cover Story and Editor’s Pick for Rapid Impact in the April 2018 Issue of Molecular Cancer Research. BET Proteins Exhibit Transcriptional Function Opposition in the Epithelial-to-Mesenchymal Transition reports on research carried out on inhibitors of the BET bromodomain proteins, comprised of BRD2, BRD3 and BRD4, that may work well to block growth in diverse cancer types and seems to be less toxic than traditional chemotherapies. However, these three proteins don’t always work together.

In this study, Andrieu and Denis demonstrated that sometimes individual BET bromodomain proteins oppose each other. Any of the pan-BET inhibitors currently available block all three and could have unexpected side effects. To avoid the dangerous side effects, it is urgent to develop new strategies to specifically target the proteins individually.

Cancer clinical trials using BET inhibitors are currently recruiting for leukemias, lymphoma, multiple myeloma, metastatic prostate cancer, lung cancer, glioblastoma and subtypes of breast cancer, including triple negative breast cancer. Andrieu’s and Denis’ findings are urgently relevant to all of these clinical trials because of the fundamental mechanisms that they explored are shared across many cancer types.

Dr. Andrieu is a postdoctoral research associate conducting investigations into breast cancer and its interactions with the microenvironment— the tissues surrounding the tumor. Dr. Denis is Associate Professor of Medicine and Pharmacology, whose research focuses on the fundamental mechanisms of transcriptional control of growth and development.

This study was supported by grants from the Cancer Systems Biology Consortium of the National Cancer Institute.

Dr. Zhen Jiang’s New C2 Domain Discovery in April Molecular and Cell Biology’s “Selected as Article of Significant Interest . . . by the Editors”

April 5th, 2018 in Faculty Spotlight

Zhen Y. Jiang, M.D., Ph.D., and his research group, have discovered a new C2 domain containing phosphoprotein CDP138 that is important for membrane trafficking. Membrane Trafficking Protein CDP138 Regulates Fat Browning and Insulin Sensitivity through Controlling Catecholamine Release in the April 2018 edition of Molecular and Cellular Biology and featured in Articles of Significant Interest Selected from This Issue by the Editors. Dr. Zhen and his group generated the first CDP138 knockout mice and revealed that CDP138 deficient mice are prone to develop obesity and insulin resistance. They discovered that CDP138 is a factor involved in the regulation of fat browning, energy metabolism, and insulin sensitivity through controlling sympathetic nervous function and the transmission of adrenergic signals. Per the editors’ comment, “These findings provide the first evidence that CDP138 affects energy balance and insulin sensitivity through the transmission of adrenergic signals.”

Dr. Jiang, is Associate Professor of Pharmacology and Medicine, Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Nutrition, at Boston University School of Medicine, and a member of the Whitaker Cardiovascular Institute at Boston University. He is the Director of the Laboratory of Diabetes and Obesity Research.

Congratulations to Dr. Jiang and his group on this important discovery.

Marc Vittoria Receives NCI F30 Ruth L. Kirschstein NRSA Award

April 2nd, 2018 in Student Spotlight

Marc Vittoria, M.D./Ph.D. Graduate Student in the Program in Biomolecular Pharmacology, has been awarded an F30 Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award from the National Cancer Institute. Marc’s thesis research, “Defining Novel Mechanisms of Genome Instability in BRAF-mutant Melanoma,” is being carried out in the Laboratory of Cancer Cell Biology under the mentorship of Neil J. Ganem, Ph.D., Assistant Professor. The F30 award is the M.D./Ph.D. equivalent of the F31 Award for Ph.D. graduate students. It will provide funding support for Marc’s research for 5 years.

Congratulations, Marc, on a job well done!

 

Alissa Frame and Franco Puleo Receive 2018 Caroline tum Suden/Francis A. Hellebrandt Professional Opportunity Award

March 20th, 2018 in Student Spotlight

Alissa Framephoto Alissa Frame and Franco Puleo, Program in Biomolecular Pharmacology Ph.D. graduate students are recipients of 2018 Caroline tum Suden/Francis A. Hellebrandt Professional Opportunity Awards by The American Physiological Society.  They will formally receive their awards at the 2018 Experimental Biology Annual Meeting in San Diego in late April.

Alissa and Franco are conducting the Ph.D. thesis research in the Laboratory for Cardiovascular-Renal Research in Department of Pharmacology & Experimental Therapeutics and the Whitaker Cardiovascular Institute, under the mentorship of Richard D. Wainford, Ph.D.

Congratulations on your awards, Alissa and Franco!

 

 

Kevin Clayton Awarded F31 NRSA from the National Institute on Aging

March 20th, 2018 in Student Spotlight

Kevin Clayton has been awarded an F31 Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award from the National Institute on Aging. The title of his Ph.D. thesis research is “TREM12-TYROBP coupling modulation for the reduction of Alzheimer’s-mediated neuroinflammation: a novel pharmacologic therapy.” Kevin, a Program in Biomolecular Pharmacology Ph.D. graduate student, is conducting his thesis research in the Laboratory of Molecular NeuroTherapeutics under the mentorship of Tsuneya Ikezu, M.D./Ph.D., Professor of Pharmacology and Neurology.

Congratulations, Kevin!

Dr. Tsuneya Ikezu named 2018 Jack Spivack Excellence in Neurosciences Award Recipient

February 27th, 2018 in Faculty Spotlight

Tsuneya Ikezu, M.D., Ph.D., Professor of Pharmacology and Neurology, has been named as one of the four 2018 Spivack Scholars and one of the two recipients of the 2018 Jack Spivack Excellence in Neuroscience Award at Boston University School of Medicine. Dr. Ikezu, Director of the Laboratory of Molecular NeuroTherapeutics in the Department of Pharmacology & Experimental Therapeutics, has been recognized for his outstanding contributions to neuroscience research into neurodegenerative diseases, most especially for his groundbreaking studies on Alzheimer’s disease.

Congratulations, Dr. Ikezu!

Brandon Maziuk Awarded NINDS F31 NRSA

February 7th, 2018 in Student Spotlight

Congratulations to Brandon Maziuk on receiving a Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS). Brandon is a PhD graduate student in the NIGMS supported Biomolecular Pharmacology Training Program. His F31 application is titled “Dysfunction of mRNA Metabolism in Tauopathy,” and this award will support this research over the next three years.  Brandon is carrying out his dissertation research in the Laboratory of Neurodegeneration under the mentorship and direction of Benjamin Wolozin, M.D./Ph.D., Professor of Pharmacology and Neurology and an expert on neurological disease.

Well done, Brandon!

Boston University ranks in top ten for most employable graduates

November 27th, 2017 in Recent News

Business On Campus – Click for article

Yoonjoo Lee and two additional students, Alissa Frame and Cassie Moore, receive NRSAs – Individual Predoctoral Fellowships

September 22nd, 2017 in Recent News

Yoonjoo Lee Awarded the Ruth L. Kirschstein NRSA Individual Pre-doctoral Fellowship from NEI (F30)

Self

Yoonjoo Lee, an M.D./Ph.D. graduate student in the Program in Biomolecular Pharmacology, has been awarded a Ruth L. Kirschtein National Research Service Award pre-doctoral fellowship from the National Eye Institute. Her pre-doctoral research is on “The Role of Sustained Oscillations of the Wound Healing Response”.

Yoonjoo is carrying out her research in the Biochemistry Department under Dr. Vickery Trinkaus-Randall’s mentorship, Professor of Biochemistry and Opthalmology.

Congratulations, Yoonjoo!

Alissa Frame Awarded the NRSA Pre-doctoral Fellowship from NIDDKD (F31)

Alissa Frame

Alissa Frame, an M.D./Ph.D. graduate student in the Program in Biomolecular Pharmacology, has been awarded a Ruth L. Kirschtein National Research Service Award pre-doctoral fellowship from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Her pre-doctoral research is on “Renal and Neural Mechanisms of Age-Related Hypertension.”

Alissa is carrying out her research in the Laboratory for Cardiovascular-Renal Research under the mentorship of Richard D. Wainford, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Pharmacology and Medicine, Section of Cardiovascular Medicine and member of the Whitaker Cardiovascular Institute.

Congratulations, Alissa!

Cassie Moore Awarded the Ruth L. Kirschstein NRSA Individual Pre-doctoral Fellowship from NIDA (F31)

Cassie Moore 2

Cassie Moore, a Ph.D. graduate student in the Program in Biomolecular Pharmacology/ Program in Neuroscience, has been awarded a Ruth L. Kirschtein National Research Service Award pre-doctoral fellowship from the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Her pre-doctoral research is on “CRF Modulation of Reward Function in Compulsive Eating.”

Cassie is carrying out her research in the Laboratory of Addictive Disorders under the mentorship of Pietro Cottone, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Pharmacology and Medicine, Section of Addictive Disorders.

Congratulations, Cassie!

Dr. Pietro Cottone Speaks at The Royal Society’s “Of Mice and Mental Health: Facilitating Dialogue Between Basic and Clinical Neuroscientists”

June 21st, 2017 in Faculty Spotlight

Pietro Cottone, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Pharmacology and Psychiatry, made a presentation on the “Neurobiology of Compulsive Eating” at The Royal Society’s “Of Mice and Mental Health: Facilitating Dialogue Between Basic and Clinical Neuroscientists” in London on April 24-25, 2017. Based upon his current research, Dr. Cottone and his research group in the Laboratory of Addictive Disorders tested the hypothesis that “one of the underlying mechanisms of compulsive eating involves the negative reinforcing properties palatable food . . .”  According to their studies, rats who were deprived of regular access to highly palatable food demonstrated “spontaneous emotional signs of palatable food withdrawal, including anxiety- and depressive-like behavior,”  that was “accompanied by increased corticotropin-releasing factor expression (CRF),” and that “administration of a selective CRF1 receptor antagonist . . . was able to block both the overeating . . . and negative emotional state.” These results are important in ultimately discovering novel therapeutics to combat compulsive eating.  The manuscript with details of this research will be published in The Royal Society’s journal, “Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B.”