" I received my PhD from the Molecular and Cellular Pharmacology Program at the University of Wisconsin – Madison. While in Madison, in Johannes Hell’s laboratory, I identified novel signaling complexes associated with CaV1.2 voltage gated calcium channel and demonstrated spatio-temporal regulation of the channel via associated adrenergic signaling complex. We published these data in the Journal of Biological Chemistry and in Science. In our PNAS paper we show the molecular mechanism for calcium channel upregulation that likely contributes to the calcium dysregulation in aging neurons correlated to age related neurodegeneration.
As a postdoctoral fellow with Dr. Thomas Soderling (at the Vollum Institute, OHSU), I have characterized the novel signaling complexes associated with calcium/calmodulin regulated kinases, including CaMKK and CaMK1g and identified the role of these kinases during neuronal development, including axonogenesis, activity regulated dendrite/spine formation as well as synaptic plasticity. These data were published as primary and secondary author papers in Journal of Neuroscience, Journal of Biological Chemistry, PNAS and Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience. With my extensive background in neuronal signal transduction, I am now highly motivated to focus research efforts on understanding the histogenesis and dissemination of brain tumors, particularly medulloblastoma and glioma.
As such with the Knight Cancer Foundation’s Career Development Award, I am exploring the role of calcium kinase signaling during medulloblastoma migration. In the coming year, I hope to intensify and focus these efforts, casting a wider net for putative therapeutic targets in Charles Keller’s laboratory. "