Geneticist and bioethicist Charmaine Royal PhD is an associate research professor in the Institute for Genome Sciences & Policy and the Department of African and African American Studies. She studies the interaction of genomic science and racial identity, particularly as it relates to research, healthcare, and the broader society.
<p>Using a fleet of iron-transport proteins, modeled here as little Pac-Man shapes, the pathogenic bacterium Neisseria gonorrhoeae steals iron from its human host and transports the pilfered metal (orange balls) across the space between its outer and inner membranes. Understanding how the bacterium that causes the sexually transmitted disease gonorrhea obtains this essential nutrient could be key to fighting the disease.
Hearing about the toxic mix of viruses, bacteria and air pollutants we breathe every day would make anyone want to hold their breath.
But the lungs harbor a secret weapon against those warriors of disease.
Graduate school is sometimes a good metaphor for the research process -- feeling one's way along in the dark.
But three women working in the lab of Jo Rae Wright feel like they have an expert guide on both journeys.
In addition to learning a lot about how the goopy lining of the lungs responds to the arrival of a potentially nasty pathogen called Cryptococcus neoformans without overreacting, Scarlett Geunes-Boyer has found her own way as a researcher.
The Molecular and Genomic Vascular Biology lab on the fourth floor of Duke’s gleaming Genome Sciences Research Building II is diverse in both its research questions and the people who are pursuing them.
Duke Medicine Chancellor Victor Dzau has assembled a team of researchers from Greece, China, Chile, Sri Lanka, India and the United States to work together on five projects related to heart tissue, including studies of natural chemical signals that may repair and protect heart muscle.”
One of the many seemingly magical properties of adult stem cells has been their ability to repair and renew heart muscle after a heart attack. But why and how they work is still an open question.
Several pre-clinical studies with mice have documented that adult stem cells create new cardiac muscle cells, replacing an area of the muscle damaged by the loss of oxygen during a heart attack.
When the call came in late March, Louise Markert was ready. Across campus, through the hospital and into the operating room she marched. Nestled inside the sterile plastic container she held close to her body were precious slivers of a living human organ.
Those tiny slices held the promise of life for an innocent baby sleeping just beyond the operating doors. And Markert was the only doctor in the world who could deliver the experimental therapy they represent.
Doing research with a faculty member as an undergraduate was not on Lesley Chapman’s to-do list when she arrived at Duke from rural Clinton N.C. Her high school knowledge of DNA had been limited to the molecule’s double-helix structure. “The only thing I knew about genomics was what we were told on the news,” she said.
But within a year, Chapman was exploring a possible genetic mechanism to control malaria in the lab of Jen-Tsan Ashley Chi, an assistant professor of molecular genetics and microbiology.
Liposomes are tiny capsules made of lipids, the same fatty molecules that make up the membrane of every cell in the body. These synthetic spheres naturally tend to form into hollow capsules around a drop of watery solution.
Researchers first fabricated liposomes in 1965 but needed several decades to give them protection against attack by the body’s immune system. Today, they're coated in polyethylene glycol, which provides several hours of protection in the bloodstream.