IMV Executive Assistant
tel. (612) 624-1926
fax. (612) 625-1108
18-242 Moos Tower
515 Delaware St. SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455
Phone: (612) 626-5582
B.S., University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill
Ph.D., University of Wisconsin - Madison
Postdoctoral Research: Ohio State University
Bone biology and bone cancer; Osteoimmunology; Bone metabolic disorders associated with HIV infection and antiretroviral therapy
Bone is often thought to be a tissue that does not change once it is formed. However, bone is very dynamic and is constantly being remodeled. In healthy individuals, bone formation and resorption are in balance. Osteoporosis, which affects ten million people in the United States and puts at risk another thirty-four million Americans, is a result of the uncoupling of bone formation and resorption. Other diseases such as breast and prostate cancer or multiple myeloma cause changes in bone density indirectly through the action of tumor cells. Women with advanced breast cancer almost always develop bone metastases. Bone metastases are usually associated with bone pain and an increase in the susceptibility to fractures thought to be a result of the breakdown of bone caused by the presence of tumor cells. Other diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis can also result in bone loss. Our lab has general interests in the cell signaling between the two types of bone cells that are involved in bone remodeling – osteoblasts (i.e., cells that form bone) and osteoclasts (i.e., cells that resorb bone) – and how perturbation of this signaling can lead to bone or bone-associated disease.
Osteoimmunology studies the interface and crosstalk between the skeletal and immune systems. In particular, osteoimmunology studies the shared components and mechanisms between the two systems, which include the ligands, receptors, signaling molecules and transcription factors. The bone marrow is important for the proper development of the immune system, and has important stem cells that maintain the immune system. Cytokines produced by immune cells (e.g., RANKL, M-CSF, TNFa, interleukins and interferons) can also have important effects on regulating bone homeostasis. The balance between bone modeling and remodeling can be perturbed during chronic inflammation, which can lead to bone metabolic disorders as well as bone pain. We have a particular interest in osteoimmunology as it relates to rheumatoid arthritis, HIV infection, and periodontal disease.
Metabolic disorders associated with highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) regimens are becoming increasingly important in the chronically HIV-infected population that has access to therapy. Clinical observations have revealed a strong correlation of bone density loss in HIV-infected individuals during HAART, particularly in conjunction with the antiretroviral drug tenofovir – a nucleotide analog that inhibits HIV reverse transcriptase. We are interested in understanding how tenofovir affects bone mineral density and to apply this knowledge for the identification of biomarkers and for developing adjuvant therapies to reduce bone mineral density loss during HAART.
'Wisc-e-sota', a Joint UMN-UW Virology Training Grant Symposium was first held on Friday, Sepbember 20th, 2013 at the Uniiversity of Wisconsin-La Crosse, Cartwright Center. This was the inaugural collaborative symposium of the NIH T32-supported virology training programs at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. Talks and poster sessions were presented by students, postdocs and faculty. The second UMN-UW Virology Training Grant Symposium will be held in the Fall 2014. Details to follow.
The 2014 IMV Symposium will be held on May 12, 2014 and Mark Denison (Vanderbilt) and Bert Semler (UC-Irvine) will be the Keynote Speakers. Click on the link below to register and submit abstracts.
Read about bacteriophage phi 29 and why it matters.
Explore nearly a century's worth of discovery in the field of virology at the University of Minnesota.
"This Week in Virology" from professor Vincent Racaniello.