CENTER FOR PRECISION MEDICINE ANNIVERSARY PARTY
DECEMBER 17, 2018
On December 14, 2018, the Center for Precision Medicine held its first Anniversary Party. Guests were welcomed by the Center leadership and treated with hors d’oeuvres and drinks. Center Director Michael Olivier, Ph.D., summarized accomplishments of the Center and thanked the many people who made the success of our Center possible.
Thank you to all of you who were able to join us for this celebration! We are looking forward to another successful year.
CENTER FOR PRECISION MEDICINE ANNUAL POTLUCK AND GIFT EXCHANGE
DECEMBER 12, 2018
On December 4, the Center for Precision Medicine held their annual potluck holiday party.
Everyone had a great time with wonderful food and drinks, from turkey and ham to a wide spread of foods with an international flair. The luncheon culminated in the “Dirty Santa” Gift Exchange (where one brings an anonymous present and does not only get one in exchange but can claim someone else’s gift, which made for a fun and lively gift “exchange”). Thank you to our administrative staff for the festive preparation and particularly to Linda, who professionally organized the gift exchange and kept things under control, particularly the run for the “spaghetti monster” (colander), apparently the most coveted present of this year’s gift exchange.
Congratulations to our most recent grant awardees!
DECEMBER 11, 2018
Andrew C. Bishop, Ph.D., receives 2018 Innovation Grant Award
Andrew Bishop, Ph.D., Assistant Professor and member of the Center for Precision Medicine, has been approved for the 2018 Innovation Grant Award in the amount of $25,000. His project is titled “Identification and characterization of novel exhaled breath metabolic signatures of lung cancer”. The purpose of the Lung Cancer Initiative’s research program is to further the development of local lung cancer care and research programs across the state, and to encourage continuing involvement in the field of lung cancer. Through the Innovation in Lung Cancer Award, the Lung Cancer Initiative aims to recognize and provide research funding for innovative lung cancer projects that will improve the lives of those diagnosed with lung cancer in North Carolina. Congratulations, Andrew!
DECEMBER 06, 2018
Angelica Riojas, PhD student, awarded Yale Ciencia Academy
Angelica Riojas, PhD student in the Molecular Medicine and Translational Science Program at Wake Forest University, who is conducting her PhD research in the laboratory of Dr. Laura Cox at the Center for Precision Medicine, is one of only 40 doctoral students selected across the United States to participate in the prestigious 2019 Yale Ciencia Academy (YCA). This year-long program will provide her with additional mentoring, peer support and networking opportunities. The program will also help its recipients in developing skills important to further career advancement and for contributing to their communities through science outreach. Congratulations, Angelica!
SEPTEMBER 30, 2018
DR. LAURA COX, DR. MICHAEL OLIVIER, DR. BISWA MISRA, DR. SOBHA PUPPALA, AND DR. ELLEN QUILLEN RECEIVE NIH U19
Center members Dr. Laura Cox, Ph.D. (Assistant Director), Dr. Michael Olivier, Ph.D. (Center Director), and Center members Dr. Biswa Misra, Ph.D., Dr. Sobha Puppala, Ph.D., and Dr. Ellen Quillen, Ph.D. received an NIH U19 grant “Womb to Tomb: Developmental Programming and Aging Interactions in Primates”. This is a collaborative project to study normal aging in primates and the impact of developmental programming on aging and includes scientists from University of Wyoming (Dr. Nathanielsz, Dr. Li, Dr. Jerow), University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio (Dr. Clarke, Dr. DeFronzo, Dr. Fox), and Texas Biomedical Research Institute (Dr. Lanford).
This study addresses, for the first time, the impact of a suboptimal intrauterine environment and fetal growth on aging in primates. An extensive body of research exists on aging and on the influence of developmental programming on offspring health. Human and animal studies show that nutritional and other challenges to developing mammals can alter their life course phenotype and health risk. However, few studies address the mechanisms of programming on life-course aging trajectories. This is in part due to limitations on human suitability for womb to tomb studies, as well as the challenges of conducting long-term studies on multiple organ systems and tissues at multiple times across the life course, to obtain simultaneous, well-controlled data on both systems physiology and molecular and cellular function. Human life span is also a problem for longitudinal approaches. Fortunately, there are animal species that can provide detailed, required life course data. To be able to evaluate which findings are best suited for translation to human aging, it is imperative to study the whole range of experimental species, not just species with short lifespans, relative to humans. There is a particular need for non-human primate (NHP) models to complement the existing rodent data available across the life course. Understanding mechanisms in both NHP and other experimental species will provide a more complete view of the underlying mechanisms, and assist diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of human aging and age-related diseases. Congratulations!
SEPTEMBER 28, 2018
DR. MICHAEL OLIVER (PI) AND DR. HECTOR GUILLEN (CO-INVESTIGATOR) RECEIVE R01 TO DEVELOP A NEW METHOD FOR THE FUNCTIONAL ANALYSIS OF REGULATORY SNPS
Center Director Dr. Michael Olivier, Ph.D., and Center member Dr. Hector Guillen, Ph.D. (Assistant Professor) received a $1.99M four-year grant entitled “HyCCAPP: A new method for the functional analysis of regulatory SNPs” from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences. The project, a collaboration with Drs. Nobrega and Gilad at the University of Chicago, aims to develop a new methodology to elucidate how specific proteins regulate gene expression in promoters of genes, and how these interactions are affected by changes in the DNA sequence. The technology, called HyCCAPP for Hybridization Capture of Chromatin-Associated Proteins for Proteomics was initially developed in collaboration with Dr. Lloyd Smith and his team at the University of Wisconsin as part of a joint Center of Excellence in Genomics Science. The new project will use reporter plasmids, a tool commonly used to study the role of promoter sequence variants on gene expression, to study promoter variants identified in eQTL studies in human cell lines, and use the HyCCAPP technology to identify the proteins that regulate the expression of these genes. This technology will likely be extremely useful to better understand how sequence variants identified in Genome-Wide Association Studies may actually “work”, and provide new insights how genetic changes lead to the development of diseases such as cancer, diabetes, obesity or cardiovascular disease. Congratulations!
September 10, 2018
DR. BETH KERR AND DR. ELLEN QUILLEN RECEIVE ELSA U. PARDEE FOUNDATION GRANT
Dr. Bethany Kerr, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Cancer Biology and Orthopedic Surgery, and Dr. Ellen Quillen, Ph.D., Assistant Professor in the Department of Internal Medicine, Section of Molecular Medicine, and Member of the Center for Precision Medicine, received a one-year grant from the Elsa U. Pardee Foundation. The grant is entitled “Profiling Cell Composition and Methylation in the Bone Pre-Metastatic Niche”. Congratulations, Drs. Kerr and Quillen!
September 6, 2018
DR. ELLEN QUILLEN RECEIVES K01 AWARD
Dr. Ellen Quillen, Ph.D., Assistant Professor in the Department of Internal Medicine, Section of Molecular Medicine, and Member of the Center for Precision Medicine, received a 3-year K01 Award from the National Institute of Aging of the NIH entitled "Integrative Multi-Omic Investigation of Age-Related Changes in Trabecular Bone”. Congratulations, Dr. Quillen!
September 6, 2018
DR. LIANG LIU RECEIVES DEVELOPMENTAL RESEARCH AWARD
Dr. Liang Liu, Assistant Professor in Cancer Biology and Member of the Center for Precision Medicine, received a Developmental Research Award from the MD Anderson Cancer Center Specialized Program of Research Excellence (SPOREs) in Uterine Cancer for his proposal entitled “Mutations in TP53 Underlying Aggressive Endometrial Cancer in African Americans”. Congratulations!
August 20, 2018
DEAN'S RESEARCH SYMPOSIUM
The Center for Precision Medicine and the Section on Molecular Medicine jointly presented the Dean's Research Symposium on August 20, 2018. The Symposium featured 10 presentations on a wide range of current and future research projects predominantly by junior faculty members. More
August 10, 2018
FIRST SUMMER UNDERGRADUATE INTERNS COMPLETE PROGRAM AT THE CENTER FOR PRECISION MEDICINE
On August 10, 2018, our six summer interns completed their 10-week research program in the Center for Precision Medicine with a Poster session. They also presented individual scientific talks. Click here for more information.
TOPS leaders meeting at wake forest University
July 30, 2018
On Monday, July 30, Rick Danforth, the President of Take Off Pounds Sensibly (TOPS), and Dr. Barbara Cady, former President of TOPS and current Advisor to the President of TOPS, visited Wake Forest Baptist Health and the Center for Precision Medicine to participate in the Center for Precision Medicine Obesity Symposium "Obesity Management, Weight Loss, and Prevention”. TOPS is a non-profit weight loss organization that has supported research into the genetics of obesity for the past several decades. Speakers at the Symposium included Dr. Olivier, Dr. Barb Cady, Dr. Joseph Skelton, Director of the Brenner FIT Program, Dr. Kristina Henderson Lewis, Member of the Wake Forest Weight Management Center, and Dr. Barb Nicklas, Member of the Sticht Center for Healthy Aging. The goal of the Symposium was to provide an overview of ongoing obesity-related research efforts last Wake Forest School of Medicine, and explore opportunities how TOPS may be able to assist with some of our ongoing weight loss and management programs, and support research initiatives.
First Center for Precision Medicine Summer Picnic
July 29, 2018
On July 29, 2018, our Center held their first annual summer picnic at Triad Park in Kernersville. Families enjoyed good conversation, many entertaining games, face painting, and a delicious barbecue. Everyone had a good time and in wonderful sunny weather. Hope you will be able to join us next year!
March 18, 2018
Dr. Sobha Puppala's press release on recent publication:
Combating childhood obesity by preventing “fatty liver” in fetus.
Full article: Primate fetal hepatic responses to maternal obesity: epigenetic signalling pathways and lipid accumulation
New Center for Precision Medicine opens at Wake Forest School of Medicine in December 2017
This new Center, lead by Dr. Michael Olivier, expands omics-related capabilities at Wake Forest and complements the expertise in precision medicine in the Comprehensive Cancer Center and other research centers of excellence.
(Click on citation to read publication)