Skip to main content
Tulane Home Tulane Home

News & Events

 


 

Reprinted from Tulane News
 

Cancer cells turn to cannibalism to survive chemotherapy

September 18, 2019 7:45 AM
Keith Brannon kbrannon@tulane.edu

This video shows a doxorubicin-treated senescent breast cancer cell (green) engulfing a neighboring cancer cell (red). Video by Tonnessen-Murray et al., 2019

Researchers from Tulane University School of Medicine have discovered that some cancer cells survive chemotherapy by eating their neighboring tumor cells. The study, which was published in the Journal of Cell Biology, suggests that this act of cannibalism provides these cancer cells with the energy they need to stay alive and initiate tumor relapse after the course of treatment is completed.  

Chemotherapy drugs such as doxorubicin kill cancer cells by damaging their DNA, but cells that survive initial treatment can soon give rise to relapsed tumors. This is a particular problem in breast cancers that retain a normal copy of a gene called TP53. Instead of dying in response to chemotherapy-induced DNA damage, these cancer cells generally just stop proliferating and enter a dormant but metabolically active state known as senescence. In addition to surviving chemotherapy, these senescent cancer cells produce large amounts of inflammatory molecules and other factors that can promote the tumor's regrowth. Chemotherapy-treated breast cancer patients with normal TP53 genes are therefore prone to relapse and have poor survival rates.

"Understanding the properties of these senescent cancer cells that allow their survival after chemotherapy treatment is extremely important," said Crystal A. Tonnessen-Murray, a postdoctoral research fellow in James G. Jackson's laboratory at the School of Medicine.

In the new study, Tonnessen-Murray and colleagues discovered that, after exposure to doxorubicin or other chemotherapy drugs, breast cancer cells that become senescent frequently engulf neighboring cancer cells. The researchers observed this surprising behavior not only in cancer cells grown in the lab, but also in tumors growing in mice. Lung and bone cancer cells are also capable of engulfing their neighbors after becoming senescent, the researchers discovered.

Tonnessen-Murray and colleagues found that senescent cancer cells activate a group of genes that are normally active in white blood cells that engulf invading microbes or cellular debris. After “eating" their neighbors, senescent cancer cells digested them by delivering them to lysosomes, acidic cellular structures that are also highly active in senescent cells.

Importantly, the researchers determined that this process helps senescent cancer cells stay alive.  Senescent cancer cells that engulfed a neighboring cell survived in culture for longer than senescent cancer cells that didn't. The researchers suspect that consuming their neighbors may provide senescent cancer cells with the energy and materials they need to survive and produce the factors that drive tumor relapse.

"Inhibiting this process may provide new therapeutic opportunities, because we know that it is the breast cancer patients with tumors that undergo TP53-mediated senescence in response to chemotherapy that have poor response and poor survival rates," Jackson said.


Publications, June 1st – August 31st, 2019
 

Diane Blake

Ojo, O.F., Farinmade, A., Trout, J., Omarova, M., He, J., John, V., Blake, D.A., Lvov, Y.M., Zhang, D., Nugyen, D., and Bose, A. Stoppers and skins on clay nanotubes help stabilize oil-in-water emulsions and modulate the release of encapsulated surfactants. ACS Appl. Nano Mater. 2:3490-3500.

Sahiner, M., Blake, D.A., Fullerton, M.L., Suner, S.S., Sunnol, A.K., and Sahiner, N. (2019) Enhancement of biocompatibility and carbohydrate absorption control potential of rosmarinic acid through crosslinking into microparticles. Int. J. Biolog. Macromol. 137:836-843.

Yu., T., Swientoniewski, L.T., Omarova, M., Li, M.-C., Negulescu, I.I., Darvish, O.A., Panchal, A., Blake, D.A., Wu, Q.-L., Lvov, Y.M., John, V.T., and Zhang, D. (2019) Investigation of amphiphilic polypeptoid-functionalized halloysites nanotubes as stabilizer towards oil spill remediation. ACS Appl. Mat. Interfaces 2019 Aug 7;11(31):27944-27953.

Omarolva, M., Swientoniewski, L., Tsengam, M., Igor, K., Blake, D., John, V., McCormic, A., Bothun, G., Ragavan, S., and Bose, A. (2019) Biofilm Formation by Hydrocarbon-Degrading Marine Bacteria and its Effects on Oil Dispersion, ACS Sustain. Chem. Engin. July 29, 2019 https://doi.org/10.1021/acssuschemeng.9b01923.

Tony Hu

Rodrigues,  M., Richards, N., Ning, B., Lyon, C.J., and Hu, T.Y. (2019) Rapid Lipid-Based Approach for Normalization of Quantum-Dot-Detected Biomarker Expression on Extracellular Vesicles in Complex Biological Samples.  Nano Lett. 2019 Jul 25. doi: 10.1021/acs.nanolett.9b02232. [Epub ahead of print]

Zhang, F., Lyon, C.J., Fan, J., and Hu, T.Y. (2019) A cathepsin B-dependent cleavage product of serum amyloid A identifies patients with chemotherapy-related cardiotoxicity.  ACS Pharmacology and Translational Science. 2019, Accepted.

Hua Lu

Lu, H. (2019)  Legends of p53: untold four-decade stories.  J Mol Cell Biol. 2019 Aug 13. pii: mjz079. doi: 10.1093/jmcb/mjz079. [Epub ahead of print]

Zachary Pursell

Pathak, P., Yao, W., Hook, K.D., Vik, R., Winnerdy, F.R., Brown, J.Q., Gibb, B.C., Pursell, Z.F., Phan, A.T., and Jayawickramarajah, J. (2019) Bright G-Quadruplex Nanostructures Functionalized with Porphyrin Lanterns.  J Am Chem Soc. 2019 Aug 14;141(32):12582-12591. doi: 10.1021/jacs.9b03250. Epub 2019 Aug 1.

William Wimley

Wimley, W.C. (2019) Application of Synthetic Molecular Evolution to the Discovery of Antimicrobial Peptides.  Adv Exp Med Biol. 2019;1117:241-255. doi: 10.1007/978-981-13-3588-4_13.


Congratulations to Dr. Tony Hu on his New Paper "Rapid Lipid-Based Approach for Normalization of Quantum-Dot-Detected Biomarker Expression on Extracellular Vesicles in Complex Biological Samples" 
To learn more, visit https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=Rapid+Lipid-Based+Approach+for+Normalization+of+Quantum-Dot-Detected+Biomarker+Expression+on+Extracellular+Vesicles+in+Complex+Biological+Samples

Dr. Tony Hu announcement on published paper


Congratulations to Dr. Hua Lu on his New Paper "Legends of p53: Untold Four-Decade Stories"
To learn more, visit https://academic.oup.com/jmcb/issue/11/7

Lu paper 2019


Welcome Wu-Min Deng

The Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology is pleased to announce that Dr. Wu-Min Deng will be joining our department starting August 1st as a Professor in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and the Gerald & Flora Jo Mansfield Piltz Endowed Professorship in Cancer Research.

Wu-Min Deng, PhD

Dr. Deng received his Bachelor’s degree from Sichuan University in 1991, a Master’s degree from Shanghai Institute of Cell Biology in 1994, and a PhD degree from the University of Edinburgh in 1997. After completing his postdoctoral training at University of Washington, Wu-Min was appointed as an Assistant Professor at Florida State University in 2003.  From there, he was promoted as an Associate Professor in 2009 and a full Professor in 2014.

Using the genetically tractable Drosophila model, Dr. Deng’s research focuses on fundamental questions in cancer biology and developmental biology.  His research topics range from understanding how the tissue microenvironment contributes to neoplastic tumor transformation and progression to studying how growth and tissue homeostasis are regulated during development and tumorigenesis.  The research in his laboratory has led to the development of novel concepts such as tissue “tumor hotspots” and “compensatory cellular hypertrophy,” and publications in high-impact journals. Dr. Deng has received continuous external funding, and was awarded the University Developing Scholar Award in 2010, and the Pfeiffer Endowed Professorship for Cancer Research in 2018.

Dr. Deng has extensive experience in mentoring and teaching. Dr. Deng was a recipient of the University Honors Mentoring Award in 2013. Among the graduate students and postdoctoral fellows trained in his lab, many have moved on to take faculty positions in various institutions.  Dr. Deng has served as an ad hoc member on multiple NIH study sections, and on the editorial boards of Journal of Genetics and Genomics and Scientific Reports. In addition, he has served on numerous departmental and university committees, including the University Council on Research and Creativity, the University Senate, the Promotion and Tenure committee, the Chair Selection Committee, and the Rhodes Scholar committee.


Reposted from Tulane News

Tulane University names leading developer of advanced biomedical diagnostics newest Presidential Chair

July 16, 2019 7:00 AM

Keith Brannon
kbrannon@tulane.edu
504-862-8789
 

Tony Hu, PhDTulane University has named research scientist Tony Hu, PhD, a pioneer in developing advanced diagnostics for personalized medicine, as its second endowed presidential chair.  

To fill presidential chairs, Tulane recruits exceptional, internationally recognized scholars whose work transcends traditional academic disciplines.

Hu joins Tulane University School of Medicine as the Weatherhead Presidential Chair in Biotechnology Innovation and will lead the school’s newly created Center of Cellular and Molecular Diagnosis. He exemplifies the interdisciplinary focus of the presidential professors with a primary appointment in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and secondary appointments in the School of Science and Engineering, School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine and the Tulane National Primate Research Center.Read More

Hu previously served as professor at the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University’s Virginia G. Piper Center for Personalized Diagnostics and at ASU’s School of Biological and Health Systems Engineering. His research focuses on developing and validating highly sensitive blood tests that rely on nanotechnology-based strategies to find previously undetectable biomarkers of diseases. These diagnostics can also be used to develop personalized medicine tailored to a patient’s specific genetic strain of disease.

“Dr. Hu is a visionary whose groundbreaking work developing new methods to find undiscovered markers of disease has the potential to improve countless lives and transform medicine,” said Tulane President Mike Fitts. “He exemplifies the extraordinary ideals we seek in a presidential chair, which is to work across disciplines to pursue discoveries that can make a global impact.”

Presidential chairs are one of Fitts’ top priorities as he seeks to attract some of the world’s most renowned faculty members in areas such as biomedicine, coastal restoration, global health, the humanities and fields yet to be explored. Hu’s chair is funded by the Weatherhead Foundation, an Ohio-based family organization that has generously supported higher education, including Tulane, for decades.

Hu’s research aims to fill current unmet clinical needs for early disease detection, better predictors of disease progression and real-time monitoring of therapy response to improve patient outcomes. He has assembled a diverse research team with backgrounds in biochemistry, mass spectrometry, nanofabrication and biomedical engineering to address these challenges.

Hu will establish the Center of Cellular and Molecular Diagnosis to leverage both new and existing platforms for the improved analysis of diagnostic factors found in liquid biopsy samples, including proteins, nucleic acids and extracellular vesicles, which are tiny particles of material released by living cells. The new center’s mission will be to promote interactions between diverse teams of researchers to accelerate the discovery and clinical development of more effective diagnostic biomarkers.

“One of our priorities at the School of Medicine is to expand opportunities for outstanding translational research that will have a direct impact on clinical care,” said Dr. Lee Hamm, senior vice president and dean of Tulane School of Medicine. “Dr. Hu and his research team are dedicated to giving doctors the advanced tools they need to diagnose diseases much sooner than currently possible, make treatments more effective and improve outcomes for their patients.”

Hu received his PhD in biomedical engineering from the University of Texas at Austin where he focused on developing nanomaterials as biosensors for disease diagnosis. He has published more than 70 journal articles and has received 10 U.S. and international patents in this area since his first faculty appointment in 2011. Three of his innovations have been licensed by US-based companies and are under development for commercialization. His research team has received grant support from the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Defense and the Gates, Johns Dunn and Kostas Cockrell family foundations.

(07/17/19)

Hide this content.


The 2019 George A. Adrouny Lectureship

In spite of bad weather, a responsive group turned out to enjoy an important seminar by Dr. George Alt during the 2019 George A. Adrouny Lectureship and several awards were presented in the first floor auditorium of 1430 Tulane Avenue.

The May 10th event began at 9:30am with opening comments by the George A. Adrouny Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Dr. William Wimley, followed by the presentation of the George A. Adrouny Award for Outstanding Achievement in Medical Biochemistry, presented to Medical student Rafael Tiongco, and presented to Masters student Isabella McCormack by Dr. David Franklin.

This was followed by an introduction of Dr. Frederick Alt of the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center in Boston, Massachusetts.  Dr. Alt’s seminar was titled “The fundamental role of active chromosome loop extrusion in antibody diversification and genome rearrangements”.

This was the 18th year for the seminar.Read More

Frederick Alt received his PhD in Biology from Stanford University in 1977, where he worked with Robert Schimke and discovered gene amplification and genomic instability in mammalian cancer cells. Alt moved to MIT for postdoctoral work with David Baltimore, where he helped elucidate basic principles of recombination in the immune system. His work with David Baltimore included the discovery that production of membrane versus secreted immunoglobulin is achieved via differential RNA processing and the discovery that allelic exclusion of Immunoglobulin (Ig) gene rearrangements is controlled by feedback from protein products. With Baltimore, Alt also elucidated major aspects of the V(D)J recombination mechanism, including involvement of site-specific DNA double strand breaks (DSBs) that are end joined, as well as the discovery of ”N” regions added by terminal deoxynucleotydl transferase (TdT) that provide a major source of antigen receptor diversity.

Frederick Alt has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Medicine (National Academy of Medicine), the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the European Molecular Biology Organization. His cancer biology awards include the American Association of Cancer Research Clowes Award, the Pasarow Foundation Prize for Extraordinary Achievement in Cancer Research, the National Cancer Institute Alfred K. Knudson Award for "Pioneering Contributions that Revolutionized the Field of Cancer Genetics", the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society de Villiers Award, The Katharine Berkan Judd Award from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, the Albert Szent-Gyorgyi Prize for Progress in Cancer Research from the National Foundation for Cancer Research, and the American-Italian Cancer Foundation Prize for Excellence in Medicine. His immunology awards include the American Association of Immunologists (AAI) Huang Meritorious Career Award, the Cancer Research Institute (CRI) Coley Award, and the Novartis Prize for Basic Immunology. More generally, he has also received the Arthur Kornberg & Paul Berg Lifetime Achievement Award in Biomedical Science and the Lewis S. Rosensteil Prize for Distinguished work in Biomedical Sciences. Dr. Alt serves on numerous editorial boards and is Editor in Chief of Advances in Immunology. He also serves on many national and international advisory boards and is currently Chair of the Scientific Advisory Committee of the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. Dr. Alt has mentored over 100 students and research fellows, many of whom have become leaders in immunology, genetics, or cancer biology and he received the American Association of Immunologists Excellence in Mentoring Award and the William A. Silen Award for Lifetime Achievement in Mentoring from Harvard Medical School. The Cancer Research Institute of New York annually presents the Frederick W. Alt Award for New Discoveries in Immunology.

For more information on the George Adrouny Memorial Lectureship and on past seminars, please visit our website at:

https://medicine.tulane.edu/departments/biochemistry-molecular-biology/george-adrouny-lecture

(5/28/19)

Hide this content.


 

Publications, January 1st – March 31st, 2019

The below list represents publications by faculty for the first quarter of 2019. 

David Franklin

Martel, J.L. and Franklin, D.S.  (2019) Vitamin B1 (Thiamine). StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing, 2019 Jan 26.

James Jackson

Shahbandi, A. and Jackson, J.G. (2019) Analysis across multiple tumor types provides no evidence that mutant p53 exerts dominant negative activity.  NPJ Precis Oncol. 2019 Jan 7;3:1. doi: 10.1038/s41698-018-0074-x. eCollection 2019.

Samuel Landry

Moss, D.L., Park, H.W., Mettu, R.R., and Landry, S.J. (2019) Deimmunizing substitutions in pseudomonas exotoxin domain III perturb antigen processing without eliminating T-cell epitopes.  J Biol Chem. 2019 Jan 25. pii: jbc.RA118.006704. doi: 10.1074/jbc.RA118.006704. [Epub ahead of print]

Hong Liu

Hu, L., Huang, H., Hei, M., Yang, Y., Li, S., Liu, Y., Dou, Z., Wu, M., Li, J., Wang, G.Z., Yao, X., Liu, H., He, X., and Tian, W. (2019) Structural analysis of fungal CENP-H/I/K homologs reveals a conserved assembly mechanism underlying proper chromosome alignment.  Nucleic Acids Res. 2019 Jan 10;47(1):468-479. doi: 10.1093/nar/gky1108.

Hua Lu

Wang, H., Liao, P., Zeng, SX., and Lu, H.  It Takes a Team: A Gain-of-function Story of p53-R249S.  J Mol Cell Biol. 2019 Jan 4. doi: 10.1093/jmcb/mjy086. [Epub ahead of print]

Arthur Lustig

Lustig, A.J. (2019)  Towards the Mechanism of Yeast Telomere Dynamics.  Trends Cell Biol. 2019 Feb 11. pii: S0962-8924(19)30006-6. doi: 10.1016/j.tcb.2019.01.005. [Epub ahead of print] Review.

Tianhua “Tim” Niu

Qin, H., Niu, T., and Zhao, J. (2019) Identifying Multi-Omics Causers and Causal Pathways for Complex Traits.  Front Genet. 2019 Feb 21;10:110. doi: 10.3389/fgene.2019.00110. eCollection 2019.

Hee-Won Park

Moss, D.L., Park, H.W., Mettu, R.R., and Landry, S.J. (2019)  Deimmunizing substitutions in pseudomonas exotoxin domain III perturb antigen processing without eliminating T-cell epitopes.  J Biol Chem. 2019 Jan 25. pii: jbc.RA118.006704. doi: 10.1074/jbc.RA118.006704. [Epub ahead of print]

Zachary Pursell

Park, V.S. and Pursell, Z.F. (2019) POLE proofreading defects: Contributions to mutagenesis and cancer.  DNA Repair (Amst). 2019 Apr;76:50-59. doi: 10.1016/j.dnarep.2019.02.007. Epub 2019 Feb 16. Review.

William Wimley

Chen, C.H., Starr, C.G., Troendle, E., Wiedman, G., Wimley, W.C., Ulmschneider, J.P., and Ulmschneider, M.B.  (2019)  Simulation-Guided Rational de Novo Design of a Small Pore-Forming Antimicrobial Peptide.  J Am Chem Soc. 2019 Mar 13. doi: 10.1021/jacs.8b11939. [Epub ahead of print]

Gerlach, S.L., Chandra, P.K., Roy, U., Gunasekera, S., Göransson, U., Wimley, W.C., Braun, S.E., and Mondal, D.  (2019) The Membrane-Active Phytopeptide Cycloviolacin O2 Simultaneously Targets HIV-1-infected Cells and Infectious Viral Particles to Potentiate the Efficacy of Antiretroviral Drugs.  Medicines (Basel). 2019 Feb 28;6(1). pii: E33. doi: 10.3390/medicines6010033.

Guha, S., Ghimire, J., Wu, E., and Wimley, W.C.  (2019) Mechanistic Landscape of Membrane-Permeabilizing Peptides.  Chem Rev. 2019 Jan 9. doi: 10.1021/acs.chemrev.8b00520. [Epub ahead of print]

Kim, S.Y., Pittman, A.E., Zapata-Mercado, E., King, G.M., Wimley, W.C., Hristova, K. (2019) Mechanism of action of peptides that cause pH-triggered macromolecular poration of lipid bilayers.  J Am Chem Soc. 2019 Mar, in press.

(03/21/19)
 


18th Annual George Adrouny Lecture takes place May 10th

The Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology is proud to present the 18th Annual George Adrouny Memorial Lectureship on Friday, May 10th, 2019, at 9:30am in the 1st Floor Auditorium of the Tulane University School of Medicine, 1430 Tulane Avenue.

Fred Alt, PhDThe 2019 featured speaker is Frederick W. Alt, PhD.  Frederick Alt received his Ph.D. in Biology from Stanford University in 1977 where he worked with Robert Schimke and discovered gene amplification and genomic instability in mammalian cancer cells. Alt moved to MIT for postdoctoral work with David Baltimore, where he helped elucidate basic principles of recombination in the immune system. His work with David Baltimore included the discovery that production of membrane versus secreted immunoglobulin is achieved via differential RNA processing and the discovery that allelic exclusion of Immunoglobulin (Ig) gene rearrangements is controlled by feedback from protein products. With Baltimore, Alt also elucidated major aspects of the V(D)J recombination mechanism, including involvement of site-specific DNA double strand breaks (DSBs) that are end joined, as well as the discovery of ”N” regions added by terminal deoxynucleotydl transferase (TdT) that provide a major source of antigen receptor diversity.Read More

Dr. Alt moved to Columbia University in 1982 as Assistant Professor of Biochemistry. He became Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics in 1985 and HHMI Investigator in 1987. At Columbia, his lab established the role of Ig chains in regulating sequential stages of B cell development and discovered that all antigen receptor genes are assembled by a common V(D)J recombinase. They then elucidated a role for non-coding gene transcription in mediating "chromatin accessibility" as means to target the lineage, stage, and allele specific activity of the V(D)J recombinase. His group extended that work to show that, in B cells, IgH class switch recombination (CSR) to particular IgH classes is directed by activation of non-coding transcription units that contain the CSR target sequences. At Columbia, the Alt lab also co-discovered the N-myc cellular oncogene, based on its amplification in human neuroblastomas and he went on to characterize the Myc cellular oncogene family.

In 1991, Dr. Alt moved to Boston Children' Hospital (BCH) and Harvard Medical School as a Professor of Genetics and HHMI Investigator. He also became a Senior Investigator at the Immune Disease Institute (IDI). He was appointed Charles A. Janeway Professor of Pediatrics in 1993, Scientific Director of IDI in 2005, and Director of the Program in Cellular and Molecular Medicine (PCMM) at BCH in 2008. He also became President of IDI in 2010 and continues to serve as director since the merger of IDI with BCH, where it remains the PCMM. At BCH and IDI, Dr. Alt's group confirmed the proposal of Alt and Baltimore that N regions are added by terminal dexoynucleotidyl transferase, demonstrating that TdT is a V(D)J recombinase component. They also discovered that the joining activity of the V(D)J recombinase is carried out by a novel multi-component general cellular non-homologous DNA end joining now known as the major C-NHEJ DSB repair pathway. Subsequently, the Alt lab was involved in the discovery of a number of the first characterized NHEJ component factors and then went on to discover the key role of NHEJ proteins in maintenance of genomic stability.

The Alt lab continues to elucidate many new aspects of the mechanism and control of V(D)J recombination including discovering that this reaction is regulating by a process that allows the initiating RAG endonuclease V(D)J recombination factors to explore directionally within chromosomal loop domains for target substrates. His lab also continues to discover new aspects of the mechanism and regulation IgH CSR and the related process of Ig variable region exon somatic hypermutation. The lab's recent work, based on their development of high through-put methods to study DSBs and chromosomal translocations, have provided major new insights into the mechanisms that contribute to chromosomal rearrangements within the 3D genome of developing lymphocytes and cancer cells or their progenitors. The lab also has used their new approaches to identify a set of genes that recurrently break in neuronal stem and progenitor cells and, thereby, which may contribute to brain diversification and neuropsychiatric diseases and cancer. Most recently, the lab has built on their more basic molecular immunology discoveries on antibody gene assembly to generate innovative new mouse models for testing immunization strategies for eliciting HIV-1 broadly neutralizing antibodies.

Frederick Alt has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Medicine (National Academy of Medicine), the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the European Molecular Biology Organization. His cancer biology awards include the American Association of Cancer Research Clowes Award, the Pasarow Foundation Prize for Extraordinary Achievement in Cancer Research, the National Cancer Institute Alfred K. Knudson Award for "Pioneering Contributions that Revolutionized the Field of Cancer Genetics", the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society de Villiers Award, The Katharine Berkan Judd Award from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, the Albert Szent-Gyorgyi Prize for Progress in Cancer Research from the National Foundation for Cancer Research, and the American-Italian Cancer Foundation Prize for Excellence in Medicine. His immunology awards include the American Association of Immunologists (AAI) Huang Meritorious Career Award, the Cancer Research Institute (CRI) Coley Award, and the Novartis Prize for Basic Immunology. More generally, he has also received the Arthur Kornberg & Paul Berg Lifetime Achievement Award in Biomedical Science and the Lewis S. Rosensteil Prize for Distinguished work in Biomedical Sciences. Dr. Alt serves on numerous editorial boards and is Editor in Chief of Advances in Immunology. He also serves on many national and international advisory boards and is currently Chair of the Scientific Advisory Committee of the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. Dr. Alt has mentored over 100 students and research fellows, many of whom have become leaders in immunology, genetics, or cancer biology and he received the American Association of Immunologists Excellence in Mentoring Award and the Willam A. Silen Award for Lifetime Achievement in Mentoring from Harvard Medical School. The Cancer Research Institute of New York annually presents the Frederick W. Alt Award for New Discoveries in Immunology.

(03/10/19)

Hide this content.


David Franklin

(03/08/19)


Exchange Students visiting Tulane

(03/08/19)


UPDATE:  One Year Masters Students

By David Franklin, PhD

Here is an update of the One-Year MS stats, and where our Graduates stand with respect to reaching their ultimate goals.
 
We have a 100% graduation rate of 75 students since 2012. This obviously does not include our 28 present MS students.
 
88% of our graduates got accepted into at least 1 professional school of their choice (allopathic medicine, osteopathic medicine, dental, veterinary, law, nursing). Many had multiple offers of acceptance. Corey Carney has the record, with over 11 interviews and at least 5 acceptances. I think we should highlight Corey sometime soon, but after he picks which school he will attend in the Fall. I believe Tulane is still in the running.
 
7% of our graduates used their degree to get into the workforce and are gainfully employed. These were generally students who didn’t perform academically in the MS program to a level that would allow me to mentor them for medical school admissions. I instead advised them to use the degree in another fashion, which they did.
 
5% of our graduates are applying, and have been in at least 1 full admissions cycle. I am hopeful that each can get acceptance soon.
 
Not included in these numbers are graduates who have not yet had at least one full admissions cycle. They also don’t include our 28 present MS students.
 
Our MS graduates have been accepted to: Tulane School of Medicine (including one in the PSP program), LSUHSC (New Orleans and Shreveport), LSU School of Veterinary Medicine, LSU School of Dentistry, LSU School of Nursing, University of Queensland / Ochsner Program, Meharry School of Medicine, University of Illinois College of Medicine, University of South Carolina Medicine, University of Southern Alabama, Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine, Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine, University of South Florida Morsani School of Medicine, University of South Alabama Medical School, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Texas A&M College of Medicine, Texas Tech University School of Medicine, Mercer University School of Medicine, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences Medical School, University of Mississippi Medical Center, University of New England School of Osteopathic Medicine, and Touro University Nevada School of Osteopathic Medicine.
 
(02/22/19)
 


SYNERGY 2018 EVENT A MEMORABLE OCCASION

A quack, a queen and a trip around the moon were part of the highlights of this year’s Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (DBMB) Departmental 7th Annual Academic Synergy (AAS) Retreat, held December 12th in Room 111A of the J. Bennett Johnston Building. 

This event was somewhat of a homecoming for former department professor Dr. William Baricos, who retired in 2002.  Dr. Baricos presented a lecture entitled “A quack, a queen and a trip around the moon”, featuring some of our more interesting and colorful chairs from the past.

Following retirement Dr. Baricos researched and wrote Biochemistry at Tulane Medical School: 1834-2010.  This informative history spans the early years of the university, then know as the Medical College of Louisiana.

In addition to the lecture, department chair Dr. Hua Lu provided a review of 2018, giving statistics for the year and many of the highlights, such as the annual retreat and accomplishments in the department.

Over 100 guests attended this year’s annual event and partook of luncheon fare from Cottage Catering, including a “TU” shaped King cake in Tulane colors.

(12/24/18)


 

Special Lifetime Recognition

Congratulations to Dr. Hua Lu, Professor and Chair in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, AAAS Honors Accomplished Scientist as a 2018 Elected Fellow.  The American Association for the Advancement in Science has bestowed upon 416 of its members the lifetime honor of being elected a Fellow in recognition of their extraordinary achievements in advancing science.

On November 27th the Fellows announced that honorees will be recognized at the 2019 AAAS Annual Meeting in Washington, DC, during a Fellows Forum on February 16th.  At that time they will be presented with an official certificate and the AAAS Fellows’ gold and blue rosette pin, the colors which represent their respective fields of science or engineering.

(12/24/18)


 

Jill Barbay receives President’s Staff Excellence Award

Congratulations to Senior Department Administrator Jill Barbay, winner of the Tulane President’s Staff Excellence Award for 2018.  The award was presented by Tulane President Michael Fitts in Jill’s office at the School of Medicine.

The President’s Staff Excellence Awards are bestowed every year to top University staff employees who best represent high achievement in their contributions to the University.  Those nominated will have achieved outstanding success in one or more of the following areas: Increased Productivity, Cost Savings, Enhanced Objectives, and Humanitarianism.

(12/24/18)


 

Publications, September 1st, 2018 - December 31st, 2018

The below list represents publications by faculty for the period September 1st-December 31st, 2018. 

Blake, Diane, PhD

Quesada-González, D., Jairo, G.A., Blake, R.C. 2nd, Blake, D.A., and Merkoçi, A. (2018) Uranium (VI) detection in groundwater using a gold nanoparticle/paper-based lateral flow device.  Sci Rep. 2018 Nov 1;8(1):16157. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-34610-5

Sahiner, N., Sagbas, S., Sahiner, M., Blake, D,A., and Reed, W.F.  (2018) Polydopamine particles as nontoxic, blood compatible, antioxidant and drug delivery materials.  Colloids Surf B Biointerfaces.  2018 Sep 11;172:618-626. doi: 10.1016/j.colsurfb.2018.09.019. [Epub ahead of print]

Sahiner, M., Sahiner, N., Sagbas. S., Fullerton, M.L., and Blake, D.A. (2018) Fabrication of biodegradable poly(naringin) particles with antioxidant activity and low toxicity. ACS Omega, in press.

 

Jackson, James, PhD; Niu, Tianhua, PhD

Ungerleider, N.A., Rao, S.G., Shahbandi, A., Yee, D., Niu, T., Frey,  W.D., Jackson, J.G. (2018)  Breast cancer survival predicted by TP53 mutation status differs markedly depending on treatment.  Breast Cancer Res. 2018 Oct 1;20(1):115. doi: 10.1186/s13058-018-1044-5.

Shahbandi, A. and Jackson, J.G. (2018) Analysis across multiple tumor types provides no evidence that mutant p53 exerts dominant negative activity.   NPJ Precision Oncology, in press.

 

Liu, Hong, PhD

Hu, L., Huang, H., Hei, M., Yang, Y., Li, S., Liu, Y., Dou, Z., Wu, M., Li, J., Wang, G.Z., Yao, X., Liu, H., He, X., and Tian W. (2018) Structural analysis of fungal CENP-H/I/K homologs reveals a conserved assembly mechanism underlying proper chromosome alignment. Nucleic Acids Res. 2018 Nov 8. doi: 10.1093/nar/gky1108. [Epub ahead of print]

 

Lu, Hua, MB, PhD

Lu, H. (2018) New players critical for breast cancer.  J Mol Cell Biol. 2018 Aug 1;10(4):271-272. doi: 10.1093/jmcb/mjy046.

Wang, H., Liao, P., Zeng, S.X., and Lu, H. (2018). It takes a team: Gain- of-function Story of p53-R249S. JMCB, in press.

 

Machado, Heather, PhD

Nelson, A.C., Machado, H.L., and Schwertfeger, K.L. (2018) Breaking through to the Other Side: Microenvironment Contributions to DCIS Initiation and Progression. J Mammary Gland Biol Neoplasia. 2018 Aug 31. doi: 10.1007/s10911-018-9409-z. [Epub ahead of print] Review.

Behbod, F., Gomes, A.M., and Machado, H.L.(2018) Modeling Human Ductal Carcinoma In Situ in the Mouse.  J Mammary Gland Biol Neoplasia. 2018 Aug 25. doi: 10.1007/s10911-018-9408-0. [Epub ahead of print].

(12/24/18)


 

Newsworthy

Congratulations to Dr. Hong Liu, recipient of an Outstanding Achievement in Receiving a First R01 Award, at the SOM Faculty Retreat, Audubon Tea Room, October 30th, 2018.

Congratulations to Shantanu Guha, who won Best Overall Presentation at the Annual BMS Retreat, held at the Audubon Tea Room, October 26th, 2018.

Congratulations to Zane Gray, Research Tech in the Machado Lab, accepted to Tulane School of Medicine.

(12/24/18)


 

Milestones

Congratulations to the following members of the department who are celebrating milestone anniversaries at Tulane.

Diane Blake, PhD
25 Years

Gilbert Estrada
25 Years

Samuel Landry, PhD
25 Years

William Wimley, PhD
20 Years

(12/24/18)