School of Medicine

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  • Aurelie Tomczak

    Aurelie Tomczak

    Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Immunity Transplant Infection

    Bio Dr. Aurelie Tomczak received her Diploma (M.Sc.) in Applied Computer Science from Bielefeld University in 2005, and her Ph.D. from the Technical University Dresden (Germany) in 2011, where she worked in the Structural Bioinformatics group of Dr. Maria T. Pisabarro on the development and application of a structure-based computational approach to identify novel remote human chemokine homologs.
    After receiving her PhD, Dr. Tomczak successfully applied for a grant to fund her postdoctoral research project in Dr. Philip Murphy's laboratory at the National Institutes of Health, where she worked on the experimental characterization of the chemokine-like proteins she identified in her PhD by combining Immunology, Computational and Structural Biology approaches.

  • Kensuke Toyama

    Kensuke Toyama

    Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Cardiovascular Medicine

    Current Research and Scholarly Interests Several neuronal diseases such as ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke and vascular dementia are associated with cerebral vascular injuries or pathologies. Cerebral vascular injuries cause blood brain barrier (BBB) disruption/dysfunction and BBB dysfunction is significantly associated with neurological diseases. Therefore, an understanding of the molecular mechanisms regulating BBB permeability and disruption is required for establishing efficacious therapeutic strategies.

    There is currently a paucity of data available regarding the molecular mechanism of BBB dysfunction. microRNAs are small non-coding RNAs that regulate gene expression by targeting mRNAs. microRNAs have been implicated in the development and progression of various diseases, such as vascular disease. However the role of microRNAs on BBB breakdown or permeability remains unclear. We aim to determine the role of candidate microRNAs in BBB breakdown and consequently establish novel prevention and therapeutic interventions.

  • Cawa Tran

    Cawa Tran

    Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Genetics

    Current Research and Scholarly Interests The key to understanding mechanisms that mediate cnidarian-dinoflagellate symbioses is to do experiments that target functional questions. With my background and training in developmental and larval biology, along with the lab group?s success of inducing Aiptasia to spawn in the lab, I see great opportunities to look at larvae and their specificity with certain strains of Symbiodinium and how might that progress through settlement and metamorphosis. Analysis of the transcriptomic changes between symbiotic and aposymbiotic larvae, and when larvae are exposed to different symbiont types, would provide immense information on specificity that could be different from the specificity seen at the adult stage. This study will contribute to our understanding of coral-dinoflagellate symbiosis in relation to early life history and physiology. I was previously trained at the Kewalo Marine Laboratory in Honolulu and received my Ph.D. from the University of Hawaii. Prior to that, I obtained a B.A. in Integrative Biology from UC Berkeley. A native of San Diego and a lover of both the Pacific and the Bay Area, I greatly enjoy the outdoors, the ocean, the arts, and I do creative writing on the side.

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