Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Life Sciences Commons

Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

PDF

Theses/Dissertations

Virginia Commonwealth University

Discipline
Keyword
Publication Year

Articles 1 - 30 of 656

Full-Text Articles in Life Sciences

The Role Of Mindfulness In Self-View Investment: Neural And Subjective Indicators, Hadley Rahrig Jan 2019

The Role Of Mindfulness In Self-View Investment: Neural And Subjective Indicators, Hadley Rahrig

Theses and Dissertations

Self-concept is strongly influenced by beliefs about one’s personal psychological attributes, and these beliefs are held with varying degrees of confidence and consequence. Hence, it is investment in self-views of those attributes that helps to regulate and maintain stable self-concept. Self-view investment is relevant to numerous self-related functions, but high self-view investment can also contribute to maladaptive self-views. Theory suggests that mindfulness cultivates a less personal, more objective perception of one’s thoughts, emotions and behaviors, and training in mindfulness has been shown to alter self-referential processing. The current pilot study (N=21) investigates the possible role of dispositional ...


Manufactured By Nature: Growing Generatively Designed Products, Mohammad Jawad Jan 2019

Manufactured By Nature: Growing Generatively Designed Products, Mohammad Jawad

Theses and Dissertations

Mass production and assembly lines are yesterday’s manufacturing methods. They have exhausted Earth’s resources and limited the possibilities of design in terms of both form and material, prompting designers to search for new processes. A new generation of making includes biomimicry-inspired technologies such as 3D printing and parametric simulation, which have transformed the production paradigm. Utilizing nature as industry, this thesis explores the possibility of “growing” designed objects by employing nature’s own processes and resources. It integrates bio materials, generative design and additive manufacturing to produce objects for a post-industrial world. The project outcomes employ natural minerals ...


Response And Recovery Of Syntrophic And Methanogenic Activity To Saltwater Intrusion In A Tidal Freshwater Marsh Soil, David J. Berrier Jr. Jan 2019

Response And Recovery Of Syntrophic And Methanogenic Activity To Saltwater Intrusion In A Tidal Freshwater Marsh Soil, David J. Berrier Jr.

Theses and Dissertations

Tidal freshwater wetland soils contain large amounts of organic carbon, some of which is mineralized to carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) by a diverse consortium of anaerobic microorganisms that includes fermenters, syntrophs, and methanogens (MG). These microbial groups are tightly linked and often rely on cooperative interspecies metabolisms (i.e., syntrophy) to survive. Environmental perturbations can disrupt these interactions and thus alter the rates and pathways of carbon cycling. One environmental change of particular concern in coastal wetlands is sea level rise, which can result in increased episodic saltwater intrusion events into these ecosystems. These events cause ...


The Increased Frequency Of Micronuclei Seen In Women With A History Of Childhood Sexual Abuse Reflects More Numerical Than Structural Acquired Chromosomal Events: A Discordant Identical Co-Twin Study, Kaitlyn M. Dochelli Jan 2019

The Increased Frequency Of Micronuclei Seen In Women With A History Of Childhood Sexual Abuse Reflects More Numerical Than Structural Acquired Chromosomal Events: A Discordant Identical Co-Twin Study, Kaitlyn M. Dochelli

Theses and Dissertations

Childhood sexual abuse (CSA) is a stressful life experience with lasting/far-reaching health and psychopathological consequences. Our laboratory recently identified a significantly increased frequency of acquired chromosomal anomalies (assessed using the cytokinesis-blocked micronucleus assay) in adult female twins exposed to CSA when compared to their unexposed co-twin. The primary aim of this study was to evaluate potential mechanism(s) underlying the observed increases in levels of micronuclei in an expanded group of 90 female identical twins (61 CSA+ females and 29 CSA- females [including a total of 27 MZ co-twin pairs]) using fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) methodologies, with PNA ...


Eternal Enemies, Or Incidental Encounters? Structure And Patterns Of Interspecific Killing In Carnivora, Tor G. Bertin Jan 2019

Eternal Enemies, Or Incidental Encounters? Structure And Patterns Of Interspecific Killing In Carnivora, Tor G. Bertin

Theses and Dissertations

Lethal interactions between carnivorans (interspecific killing) may influence their population dynamics, behavior, and other important aspects of their ecology. In this study, I expand upon previous research on the broad-scale patterns of interspecific killing in Carnivora (Palomares & Caro 1999, Donadio & Buskirk 2006) with a greatly expanded dataset (inclusion of scat and stomach data and more intensive sampling of the literature), and suggest avenues for future research. While like previous studies, I found a positive effect of relative body size between killer species and killed species on the likelihood of forming a killing interaction, I failed to find evidence that this ...


Planting Density Effects On The Growth Of Dune Grasses., Audrey Kirschner Jan 2019

Planting Density Effects On The Growth Of Dune Grasses., Audrey Kirschner

Theses and Dissertations

Coastal dune vegetation plays a key role in dune formation and stabilization through sediment trapping and erosion control. To restore degraded dunes, revegetation of dune building species is critical. Planting density has been found to effect growth of marsh species, with closer plantings alleviating stress through facilitation. As coastal dunes are high stress environments, it is expected that dune species may also exhibit facilitative interactions based on the Stress Gradient Hypothesis. Therefore, planting grasses in clumped configurations may lead to more successful dune revegetation. The objective of this research was to determine how planting density affects the growth of two ...


Molecular Targets Of Psychedelics And Their Role In Behavioral Models Of Hallucinogenic Action, Hiba Z. Vohra Jan 2019

Molecular Targets Of Psychedelics And Their Role In Behavioral Models Of Hallucinogenic Action, Hiba Z. Vohra

Theses and Dissertations

Psychedelics are a subset of hallucinogenic drugs that exert their characteristic effects through agonist activity at the serotonin receptor 2A (5-HT2A). In this study, I aimed to characterize the modulatory role of the metabotropic glutamate subtype 2 receptor (mGluR2) in the 5-HT2A-specific rodent model of hallucinogenic action, head-twitch response (HTR). Secondly, I aimed to explore if 5-HT2A agonist-induced deficits in prepulse inhibition (PPI) of the startle response, an additional model of hallucinogenic action, could be produced in mice. Though 5-HT2A agonist-induced PPI deficits, which represent interruptions in normal sensorimotor gating, have been described in both ...


Characterizing Water Quality And Hydrologic Properties Of Urban Streams In Central Virginia, Rikki Lucas Jan 2019

Characterizing Water Quality And Hydrologic Properties Of Urban Streams In Central Virginia, Rikki Lucas

Theses and Dissertations

The objective of this study was to characterize water quality and hydrologic properties of urban streams in the Richmond metropolitan area. Water quality data were analyzed for six urban sites and two non-urban sites. Geomorphological surveys and conservative tracer studies were performed at four urban sites and one non-urban site to describe intra- and inter- site variability in transient storage, channel geomorphology, and related hydrologic parameters. Urban sites showed elevated concentrations of nitrogen and more variable TSS concentrations relative to reference sites. Urban channels were deeply incised with unstable banks and low sinuosity. Little Westham Creek exhibited the greatest transient ...


Effect Of Manipulation Of Notch Signaling Pathway On Neural Stem Cell Proliferation In The Hippocampus Following Traumatic Brain Injury, Seung L. Kim Jan 2019

Effect Of Manipulation Of Notch Signaling Pathway On Neural Stem Cell Proliferation In The Hippocampus Following Traumatic Brain Injury, Seung L. Kim

Theses and Dissertations

Effect of Manipulation of Notch Signaling Pathway on Neural Stem Cell Proliferation in the Hippocampus Following Traumatic Brain Injury

By Seung L. Kim A thesis statement submitted for degree requirement in Mater of Science Virginia Commonwealth University, 2019 Advisor: Dong Sun, MD. PhD. Department of Anatomy & Neurobiology

The Notch signaling pathway is known as a core signaling system in maintaining neural stem cells (NSCs) in embryonic development and adulthood including cell proliferation, maturation, and cell fate decision. Proliferation of NSCs persists throughout lifespan in neurogenic niches and is often upregulated following neurological insults including traumatic brain injury (TBI). Therefore, NSCs ...


The Role Of Kras In Mechanosensing In Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer, Krista M. Powell Jan 2019

The Role Of Kras In Mechanosensing In Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer, Krista M. Powell

Theses and Dissertations

Lung cancer is the number one cause of cancer related death worldwide, with more than 1.6 million fatalities each year. Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) accounts for 80-85% of all lung cancers, with KRAS being one of the most prevalent oncogenic driver mutations. Therapeutic approaches for KRAS-mutated NSCLC have been extensively explored due to the US National Cancer Institute RAS Initiative, but methods of directly targeting KRAS or downstream effectors, such as MEK, still have poor results. Previous reports have shown that KRAS-mutated NSCLC activate distinct receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs) depending on the epithelial or mesenchymal state. Epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition ...


Determination Of Optimal Parameter Estimates For Medical Interventions In Human Metabolism And Inflammation, Marcella Torres Jan 2019

Determination Of Optimal Parameter Estimates For Medical Interventions In Human Metabolism And Inflammation, Marcella Torres

Theses and Dissertations

In this work we have developed three ordinary differential equation models of biological systems: body mass change in response to exercise, immune system response to a general inflammatory stimulus, and the immune system response in atherosclerosis. The purpose of developing such computational tools is to test hypotheses about the underlying biological processes that drive system outcomes as well as possible real medical interventions. Therefore, we focus our analysis on understanding key interactions between model parameters and outcomes to deepen our understanding of these complex processes as a means to developing effective treatments in obesity, sarcopenia, and inflammatory diseases.

We develop ...


Methods For Joint Normalization And Comparison Of Hi-C Data, John C. Stansfield Jan 2019

Methods For Joint Normalization And Comparison Of Hi-C Data, John C. Stansfield

Theses and Dissertations

The development of chromatin conformation capture technology has opened new avenues of study into the 3D structure and function of the genome. Chromatin structure is known to influence gene regulation, and differences in structure are now emerging as a mechanism of regulation between, e.g., cell differentiation and disease vs. normal states. Hi-C sequencing technology now provides a way to study the 3D interactions of the chromatin over the whole genome. However, like all sequencing technologies, Hi-C suffers from several forms of bias stemming from both the technology and the DNA sequence itself. Several normalization methods have been developed for ...


Nutrient Uptake Among Urban And Non-Urban Streams Within The Piedmont Physiographic Province Of Virginia, Joseph T. Famularo Jan 2019

Nutrient Uptake Among Urban And Non-Urban Streams Within The Piedmont Physiographic Province Of Virginia, Joseph T. Famularo

Theses and Dissertations

To assess how urbanization impacts stream nutrient uptake, a series of instantaneous (i.e. slug) nutrient additions were conducted in 3 urban and 3 non-urban streams during open and closed canopy conditions. Single additions of N, P, and combined additions of N and P were performed at each site. These data were used to test the hypothesis that high N:P concentrations in urban streams would result in P-limited conditions, and to assess differences in nutrient uptake kinetics (i.e., the relationship between uptake and concentration) between urban and non-urban streams. The results show that there were no consistent differences ...


Genome-Wide Systems Genetics Of Alcohol Consumption And Dependence, Kristin Mignogna Jan 2019

Genome-Wide Systems Genetics Of Alcohol Consumption And Dependence, Kristin Mignogna

Theses and Dissertations

Widely effective treatment for alcohol use disorder is not yet available, because the exact biological mechanisms that underlie this disorder are not completely understood. One way to gain a better understanding of these mechanisms is to examine the genetic frameworks that contribute to the risk for developing this disorder. This dissertation examines genetic association data in combination with gene expression networks in the brain to identify functional groups of genes associated with alcohol consumption and dependence.

The first study took advantage of the behavioral complexity of human samples, and experimental capabilities provided by mouse models, by co-analyzing gene expression networks ...


Embryonic Stem Cell-Derived Exosomes Increase The Antiproliferative Activity Of Doxorubicin In Breast Cancer, Alexander M. Hirsch Jan 2019

Embryonic Stem Cell-Derived Exosomes Increase The Antiproliferative Activity Of Doxorubicin In Breast Cancer, Alexander M. Hirsch

Theses and Dissertations

The field of cancer research has grown immensely in recent decades and has led to a better understanding of the causes of the disease, as well as greatly improved treatment for various types of cancers, especially breast cancer. One of the most effective treatments involves the chemotherapeutic drug doxorubicin (DOX). DOX is an effective tool against all types of breast cancer, especially against triple negative breast cancer. However, DOX causes adverse side effects that include damage to the heart and skeletal muscle, particularly above specific cumulative doses. Recent evidence suggests that embryonic stem cell-derived (ES) exosomes, nanoscale extracellular vesicles that ...


Translational Insights Into The Genetic Etiology Of Mental Health Disorders: Examining Risk Factor Models, Neuroimaging, And Current Dissemination Practices, Jessica L. Bourdon Jan 2019

Translational Insights Into The Genetic Etiology Of Mental Health Disorders: Examining Risk Factor Models, Neuroimaging, And Current Dissemination Practices, Jessica L. Bourdon

Theses and Dissertations

Psychiatric genetics is a basic science field that has potential for practical application and effective translation. To date, translational frameworks utilized by this field have been linear (e.g., sequential) in nature, focusing on molecular genetic information. It is proposed that non-linear (e.g., socio-ecological) frameworks are a better way to immediately translate non-molecular genetic information. This dissertation explored the translation of psychiatric genetic information in two ways. First, a survey was sent to academic stakeholders to assess the state of the science regarding the translation of genetic information to the clinical care of mental health disorders. Findings from this ...


Eralpha Isoforms Modulate The Tumorigenicity Of 24r,25(Oh)2d3 In Estrogen-Responsive Cancer, Anjali Verma Jan 2019

Eralpha Isoforms Modulate The Tumorigenicity Of 24r,25(Oh)2d3 In Estrogen-Responsive Cancer, Anjali Verma

Theses and Dissertations

Over 200,000 cases of breast cancer are diagnosed every year. Nearly 20% of these patients supplement their diets with some form of vitamin D. This high frequency of vitamin D supplement use may be due in part to research suggesting that cancer patients with higher serum vitamin D3 levels have better prognoses than patients with low serum vitamin D3. However, double-blind clinical trials on the efficacy of vitamin D3 supplementation in breast cancer have been inconclusive. A recent meta-analysis showed evidence of reduced cancer recurrence in patients taking vitamin D3 supplements who had ‘estrogen receptor ...


The Role Of Sphingosine Kinase 2 In Alcoholic Liver Disease, Eric K. Kwong Jan 2019

The Role Of Sphingosine Kinase 2 In Alcoholic Liver Disease, Eric K. Kwong

Theses and Dissertations

Alcoholic liver disease (ALD) is one of the most common liver diseases worldwide characterized by the accumulation of lipids within the liver, inflammation and the possibility of progressing to cirrhosis and liver failure. More importantly, there are currently no effective treatments for ALD and liver transplantation remains the only therapeutic option for end-stage liver disease. Previous studies have shown that ALD is a result of a combination of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress, lipid metabolism dysregulation and inflammation. It has been previously reported that alcohol disrupts gut microbiota homeostasis and causes increased endotoxins that contribute to the pathology of ALD. However ...


Phenotypic Characterization Of Pnpase Mutation And Overexpression In C. Elegans, Brian J. Hur Jan 2019

Phenotypic Characterization Of Pnpase Mutation And Overexpression In C. Elegans, Brian J. Hur

Theses and Dissertations

PNPase, polynucleotide phosphorylase, is a multifunctional exoribonuclease protein with 3` terminal oligonucleotide polymerase activity. Coded by the PNPT1 gene, the protein is associated with mitochondrial homeostasis and functions as a possible target for cancer therapy. In this study, C. elegans was used to investigate the effect of mutation and overexpression of pnpt-1, the gene that encodes PNPase. It was determined that two specific mutations in pnpt-1 did not affect PNPase expression nor did they produce deleterious phenotypes that affected polycistronic transcript accumulation or ROS production. Creation of a stable overexpression model was achieved through Fusion PCR. However, different transgenic strains ...


The Role Of Irf1 In The Brain And In Adaptive Responses Of Astrocytes, Andrew Hoskins Jan 2019

The Role Of Irf1 In The Brain And In Adaptive Responses Of Astrocytes, Andrew Hoskins

Theses and Dissertations

In neurodegenerative diseases, the CNS becomes inflamed through activation of pathways, including the NF-B pathway. Some of the therapies for those diseases target neuroinflammatory pathways. Here, we explore the mechanisms for the upregulation of a subset of genes following a restimulation of the NF-B pathway. We discover that this upregulation occurs independent of IRF1 expression and type 1 interferon signaling. A knockdown of IRF1 using siRNA and an inhibition of JAK proteins using inhibitor AG490 both had no effect on priming. A secreted factor was found to upregulate the expression of both this subset of genes and genes encoding pro-inflammatory ...


Facilitative And Competitive Tradeoffs Between Morella Cerifera Seedlings And Coastal Grasses, Michael N. Sinclair Jan 2019

Facilitative And Competitive Tradeoffs Between Morella Cerifera Seedlings And Coastal Grasses, Michael N. Sinclair

Theses and Dissertations

Morella cerifera is a rapidly expanding native shrub on the Virginia barrier islands which displaces other native coastal species and may interrupt normal sediment dynamics. Barrier islands are considered stressful environments with low nutrients, high solar load, and frequent drought and salt exposure; facilitation often dominates in stressful environments according to the Stress Gradient Hypothesis. The objective of this project was to understand the importance of species interactions with grasses on the growth and physiology of M. cerifera at the seedling life stage through both field and lab experiments. Grasses provided ~1.3°C insulation to shrubs during winter freeze ...


Evaluating Predixcan’S Ability To Predict Differential Expression Between Alcoholics And Non-Alcoholics, John E. Drake Jr Jan 2019

Evaluating Predixcan’S Ability To Predict Differential Expression Between Alcoholics And Non-Alcoholics, John E. Drake Jr

Theses and Dissertations

PrediXcan is a recent software for the imputation of gene expression from genotype data alone. Using an overlapping set of transcriptome datasets from postmortem brain tissues of donors with alcohol use disorder and neurotypical controls, which were generated by two different platforms (e.g., Arraystar and Affymetrix), and an additional unrelated transcriptome dataset from lung tissue, we sought to evaluate PrediXcan’s ability to impute gene expression and identify differentially expressed genes. From the Arraystar platform, 1.3% of matched genes between the measured and imputed expression had a Pearson correlation ≥ 0.5. Our attempt to replicate this finding using ...


Spatial Genetic Structure And Local Adaptation Within And Among Foxtail Pine (Pinus Balfouriana Subsp. Balfouriana) Populations Located In The Klamath Mountains, California, Rebecca D. Piri Jan 2019

Spatial Genetic Structure And Local Adaptation Within And Among Foxtail Pine (Pinus Balfouriana Subsp. Balfouriana) Populations Located In The Klamath Mountains, California, Rebecca D. Piri

Theses and Dissertations

Foxtail pine (Pinus balfouriana) is a subalpine conifer endemic to California, notably separated into two disjunct subspecies. Previous studies have described the northern subspecies,Pinus balfouriana subsp. balfouriana,as having an uncommonly high level of genetic differentiation and no discernible spatial patterns in phenotypic variation. This study seeks to characterize the spatial genetic structure and patterns of selection of the northern subspecies (Pinus balfouriana subsp. balfouriana) using genome-wide data and to identify the influence of ecology and environment on the unique genetic patterns. I show that genetic differentiation among populations is much less than previously estimated (FST= 0.000644 ...


Chemical Characterization Of Pseudognaphalium Obtusifolium By Gas Chromatography - Mass Spectrometry (Gc-Ms) To Assess Potential Therapeutic Phytochemicals And Toxicological Concerns Using Simulated Use Conditions, Regina Ballentine Jan 2019

Chemical Characterization Of Pseudognaphalium Obtusifolium By Gas Chromatography - Mass Spectrometry (Gc-Ms) To Assess Potential Therapeutic Phytochemicals And Toxicological Concerns Using Simulated Use Conditions, Regina Ballentine

Theses and Dissertations

Chemical Characterization of Pseudognaphalium obtusifolium by Gas Chromatography – Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS) to Assess Potential Therapeutic Phytochemicals and Toxicological Concerns Using Simulated Use Conditions

By Regina Ballentine

Virginia Commonwealth University, 2019

Director: Sarah C. Rutan, Professor, Department of Chemistry

Currently, there is an increasing demand for natural therapies and herbal products to treat various ailments. It is generally believed that natural therapies have fewer side-effects than traditional western medicine; however, they are often used in different strengths and formulations without consistency of the levels of target compounds or knowledge about toxicity. Due to this growing trend, a comprehensive chemical evaluation of ...


Influence Of Environmental Features On Spermatophore Placement In Spotted Salamanders (Ambystoma Maculatum), Megan A. Kuechle Jan 2019

Influence Of Environmental Features On Spermatophore Placement In Spotted Salamanders (Ambystoma Maculatum), Megan A. Kuechle

Theses and Dissertations

Successful reproduction in salamanders is driven by behavioral, environmental, and temporal interactions among adults. While much of our understanding of salamander mating systems is based upon either courtship behavior of both sexes or aspects of female choice, the decisions made by males regarding where to place spermatophores is much less quantified. In this study, we mapped male spermatophore placement in the spotted salamander (Ambystoma maculatum) with respect to ecological and spatial locations within a vernal pool complex in Charles City County, Virginia. The overall goal was to use the spatial and ecological placement of spermatophores to determine if individuals deposit ...


Regorafenib Enhances Lethality Of Sildenafil And Curcumin In Colorectal Cancer Cells, Kervin Benjamin Owusu Jan 2019

Regorafenib Enhances Lethality Of Sildenafil And Curcumin In Colorectal Cancer Cells, Kervin Benjamin Owusu

Theses and Dissertations

In the United States, more than 130,000 people will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer (CRC) each year and an estimated 50,000 people will die from the disease. Standard of care (SOC) therapies for CRC combine multiple cytotoxic chemotherapeutic drugs. These combinations have varying degrees of effectiveness and can often result in significant patient morbidity. For second recurrence patients, the multi-kinase inhibitor, regorafenib, is an approved agent, but is often poorly tolerated at current doses. In the current study, we propose to develop therapeutic regime of combining agents with modest toxicity profiles: curcumin and sildenafil with regorafenib. Using clinically ...


Evaluation And Adaptation Of Live-Cell Interferometry For Applications In Basic, Translational, And Clinical Research, Kevin A. Leslie Jan 2018

Evaluation And Adaptation Of Live-Cell Interferometry For Applications In Basic, Translational, And Clinical Research, Kevin A. Leslie

Theses and Dissertations

Cell mass is an important indicator of cell health and status. A diverse set of techniques have been developed to precisely measure the masses of single cells, with varying degrees of technical complexity and throughput. Here, the development of a non-invasive, label-free optical technique, termed Live-Cell Interferometry (LCI), is described. Several applications are presented, including an evaluation of LCI’s utility for assessing drug response heterogeneity in patient-derived melanoma lines and the measurement of CD3+ T cell kinetics during hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. The characterization of mast cells during degranulation, the measurement of viral reactivation kinetics in Kaposi’s Sarcoma ...


Spatial Learning And Memory In Brain-Injured And Non-Injured Mice: Investigating The Roles Of Diacylglycerol Lipase-Α And -Β., Lesley D. Schurman Jan 2018

Spatial Learning And Memory In Brain-Injured And Non-Injured Mice: Investigating The Roles Of Diacylglycerol Lipase-Α And -Β., Lesley D. Schurman

Theses and Dissertations

A growing body of evidence implicates the importance of the endogenous cannabinoid 2-arachidonyl glycerol (2-AG) in memory regulation. The biosynthesis of 2-AG occurs primarily through the diacylglycerol lipases (DAGL-α and -β), with 2-AG serving as a bioactive lipid to both activate cannabinoid receptors and as a rate limiting precursor for the production of arachidonic acid and subsequent pro-inflammatory mediators. Gene deletion of DAGL-α shows decrements in synaptic plasticity and hippocampal neurogenesis suggesting this biosynthetic enzyme may be important for processes of normal spatial memory. Additionally, 2-AG is elevated in response to pathogenic events such as traumatic brain injury (TBI), suggesting ...


Using The Frog Epidermis To Uncover Desmosome Function And Regulation In The Developing Embryo, Navaneetha Krishnan Bharathan Jan 2018

Using The Frog Epidermis To Uncover Desmosome Function And Regulation In The Developing Embryo, Navaneetha Krishnan Bharathan

Theses and Dissertations

The desmosome is one of the major cell adhesion junctions found in the epithelia, heart, and hair follicle. Described as a “rivet” that hold cells together, it provides these tissues with the integrity to withstand the tremendous forces they face in everyday life. Defects in this junction can lead to devastating diseases where patients are susceptible to skin infections and cardiovascular defects. Limited treatments exist for diseases of the desmosome, and strategies do not target all symptoms. Therefore, delineating the function and regulation of desmosomes is of paramount importance for the development of prevention and treatment strategies. The Xenopus laevis ...


Investigating Smoke Exposure And Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (Copd) With A Calibrated Agent Based Model (Abm) Of In Vitro Fibroblast Wound Healing., James A. Ratti Jan 2018

Investigating Smoke Exposure And Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (Copd) With A Calibrated Agent Based Model (Abm) Of In Vitro Fibroblast Wound Healing., James A. Ratti

Theses and Dissertations

COPD is characterized by tissue inflammation and impaired remodeling that suggests fibroblast maintenance of structural homeostasis is dysregulated. Thus, we performed in vitro wound healing experiments on normal and diseased human lung fibroblasts and developed an ABM of fibroblasts closing a scratched monolayer using NetLogo to evaluate differences due to COPD or cigarette smoke condensate exposure. This ABM consists of a rule-set governing the healing response, accounting for cell migration, proliferation, death, activation and senescence rates; along with the effects of heterogeneous activation, phenotypic changes, serum deprivation and exposure to cigarette smoke condensate or bFGF. Simulations were performed to calibrate ...