Dr. Deininger received his A.B. in Chemistry from the University of California at Santa Cruz in 1973. He then carried out doctoral studies with Dr. Carl Schmid at the University of California at Davis on the sequence organization of the human genome, obtaining his Ph.D. in 1978. He carried out postdoctoral studies with Dr. Theodore Friedmann at UC at San Diego working on sequencing the polyoma genome, followed by a year with Dr. Frederic Sanger at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, England studying EBV.
In 1981 he took a faculty position in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at LSU Medical Center where he reached the rank of professor in 1990. He spent a year on sabbatical in 1989 with Dr. Charles Stiles at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard School of Medicine. He also served as the Founding Director of the Laboratory of Molecular genetics at the Ochsner Medical Foundation.
He took the position as Associate Director of the Tulane Cancer Center at Tulane University Health Sciences Center in 1998, Interim Director in 2007, and Director of the Cancer Center in 2009. Dr. Deininger has published over 100 papers on the subject of the human genome. He also serves as an executive editor of Analytical Biochemistry, andserves on the boards of several other journals, and has served on NIH, DOD and NSF grant review panels. Dr. Deininger is a member of the Tulane Center for Aging.
The primary theme of his research is genetic instability in the human genome. This is not only a critical issue in carcinogenesis, but also in a number of genetic disorders. Dr. Deininger's laboratory has carried out extensive analysis of the mobile elements in the human genome to understand their mechanism of spread throughout the human genome. The lab is continuing to study the mechanism of mobile element amplification in the human genome and its impacts in human disease. They have identified proteins that interact with SINE RNA molecules and are therefore likely to participate in the amplification process. Ongoing studies are also being conducted on the impact of mobile elements on human genome diversity and also making assessments of their influence in carcinogenesis. In addition, in collaboration with Dr. Keats at LSUHSC, research is being done to study the triplet repeat instability associated with Freidreich's Ataxia, and a minisatellite repeat that is associated with Ushers Syndrome. Both of these diseases affect the Acadian population at a higher than normal rate. More recently, his laboratory has expanded studies into the genetic and environmental contributions to the instabilities associated with human repetitive elements. This includes studies into the influence of genotoxins on recombination between Alu elements that will contribute to genomic deletions and amplifications. In collaboration with Xavier investigators, the laboratory is looking at both the genetic and environmental influences on both insertional mutagenesis of mobile elements and the genetic influences on recombination between Alu elements.
Tulane Cancer Center Program Member
Genetic instability in the human genome
Genetic instability and cancer
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