B.S., Tecnológico de Monterrey ITESM, Biotechnology (2012)
Ph.D., Rice University, Biochemistry and Cell Biology (2019)
Richard Frock, Postdoctoral Faculty Sponsor
Research focused on elucidating the mechanism of DNA repair in cells.
Gene expression in mammalian cells results from coordinated protein-driven processes guided by diverse mechanisms of regulation, including protein-protein interactions, protein localization, DNA modifications and chromatin rearrangement. Regulation of gene expression is particularly important in stress-response pathways. To address the need to monitor chromosomal gene expression generating a readily detectable signal output that recapitulates gene expression dynamics, we developed a gene signal amplifier platform that links transcriptional and post-translational regulation of a fluorescent output to the expression of a chromosomal target gene. We generated a multiplex reporter system for monitoring markers of the unfolded protein response, a complex signal transduction pathway that remodels gene expression in response to proteotoxic stress in the endoplasmic reticulum. By recapitulating the transcriptional and translational control mechanisms underlying the expression of a target gene with high sensitivity, this platform provides a technology for monitoring gene expression with superior sensitivity and dynamic resolution.
View details for DOI 10.1038/s41589-020-0497-x
View details for Web of Science ID 000518737700001
View details for PubMedID 32152542
The design of materials for regenerative medicine has focused on delivery of small molecule drugs, proteins, and cells to help accelerate healing. Additionally, biomaterials have been designed with covalently attached mimics of growth factors, cytokines, or key extracellular matrix components allowing the biomaterial itself to drive biological response. While the approach may vary, the goal of biomaterial design has often centered on promoting either cellular infiltration, degradation, vascularization, or innervation of the scaffold. Numerous successful studies have utilized this complex, multicomponent approach; however, we demonstrate here that a simple nanofibrous peptide hydrogel unexpectedly and innately promotes all of these regenerative responses when subcutaneously implanted into the dorsal tissue of healthy rats. Despite containing no small molecule drugs, cells, proteins or protein mimics, the innate response to this material results in rapid cellular infiltration, production of a wide range of cytokines and growth factors by the infiltrating cells, and remodeling of the synthetic material to a natural collagen-containing ECM. During the remodeling process, a strong angiogenic response and an unprecedented degree of innervation is observed. Collectively, this simple peptide-based material provides an ideal foundational system for a variety of bioregenerative approaches.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2018.01.033
View details for Web of Science ID 000427100300014
View details for PubMedID 29421552
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC5837816