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Marian Henderson; Oola Salih

  • Friday, October 7, 2022
  • 2:00 PM–2:50 PM
  • SB 010

Calvin students present research from their summer internships

Gene therapy: Where we are, where we are going, and why it matters

Marian Henderson

Gene therapy is considered a "hot topic" within biomedical science. The field is rapidly progressing from the lab bench to the bedside with more than 2,000 completed clinical trials and more than 20 approved therapies worldwide for a variety of conditions spanning from cancers to monogenic diseases. This presentation will provide an overview of the current state of the field of gene therapy through the analysis of past and present clinical trials, relevant literature, vector patents, and other relevant sources. The goal of this review is to provide the necessary context, information, perspectives, and critiques for the field to advance in an ethical, accessible, safe, and effective manner for all parties involved. (Research conducted at Michigan State University)


Altered gene expression in response to chronic cardiac sarcomere modifications

Oula Salih

Over 64 million individuals are experiencing heart failure, which is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality. Previous research showed an association between increased protein kinase C (PKC) expression, downstream phosphorylation of the sarcomeric protein cardiac troponin I (cTnI) at Ser43/45, and cardiac dysfunction. Cardiac-specific replacement of endogenous cTnI with phospho-mimetic Asp at cTnISer43/45 was achieved in transgenic mice to test whether chronic modification at cTnISer43/45 causes cardiac dysfunction and progression to heart failure. The overall goal of my project is to identify early changes in gene expression that lay the foundation for progressive deterioration in pump function. Ultimately we found that chronic S43/45D decreases pump function but also initiates progressive changes. We also see that there are early changes in mitochondrial gene expression. (Research conducted at the University of Michigan)

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