The COBRE CMADP was created in July 2012 to encourage basic research scientists to develop and implement new enabling technologies for the study of biological pathways and processes related to disease. By providing mentor support and infrastructure, the Center also seeks to enhance the ability of junior investigators to compete independently for NIH individual research grants and other external peer-reviewed support.
The Center is organized and directed out of the Ralph N. Adams Institute for Bioanalytical Chemistry in conjunction with the Higuchi Biosciences Center. CMADP is directed by Susan M. Lunte, Ralph N. Adams Distinguished Professor of Chemistry and Pharmaceutical Chemistry and director of the Adams Institute for Bioanalytical Chemistry. Dr. Lunte is assisted by Co-Investigators, Blake Peterson, Regents Distinguished Professor of Medicinal Chemistry and Erik Lundquist, Professor of Molecular Biosciences. Dr. Peterson is an internationally recognized researcher in the development of novel fluorescent probes and chemical tools for studies of drug delivery, transport, and control of protein function. Dr. Lundquist is an Professor of Neuroscience in the Department of Molecular Biosciences and is an expert on genetics and the use of model organisms for the study of neurological disorders.
Assisting these investigators in guiding the progress of the Center are the External Advisory Board (EAB), the Internal Advisory Board (IAB), steering committees for each core facility, and an internal evaluator (Robert Hanzlik, Professor of Medicinal Chemistry and Director of the COBRE Center in Protein Structure and Function at KU).
Four specific aims guide the research at the Center:
- Specific Aim 1: Provide an empowering administrative and core structure that facilitates the successful implementation of research projects on the development of enabling technologies for the study of disease processes
- Specific Aim 2: Produce enthusiastic junior faculty with competitive independent research programs through personal mentoring, internal and external reviews of proposals, and short courses;
- Specific Aim 3: Promote scientific interactions among investigators, mentors, core leaders and interested scientists through monthly meetings, workshops and an annual symposium
- Specific Aim 4: Grow the scientific infrastructure in the State of Kansas for the Molecular Analysis of Disease Pathways through the continued support of new junior investigators, advertisement of the capabilities of the cores to potential users and renovation of space to house core facilities
In order to support and encourage these types of interactions, the Center features three core facilities in addition to the Administrative Core. These are:
- the Genome Sequencing Core (GSC) for next-generation sequencing technologies, experimental design and analysis of sequence data,
- the Synthetic Chemical Biology Core (SCBC) for design/synthesis of small molecules and peptides (especially fluorescent and other tagged molecules) and bioassays of molecular probes, and
- the Microfabrication and Microfluidics Core (MMC) for the production of unique microfabricated devices for studying genetically modified organisms and biological pathways.
The following projects have been chosen based on their relevance to the theme of the proposal and the credentials of the young investigators:
Current Research Projects
- A non-canonical quorum sensing regulator of virulence in Burkholderia pseudomallei, Josephine Chandler, Molecular Biosciences, University of Kansas
- Alternative functions for γδ T cells in the immune response to Mycobacterium, Jodi McGill, Diagnostic Medicine/Pathobiology, College of Veterinary Medicine, Kansas State University
- Understanding the mechanobiology of stem cells in a microengineered 3D cardiac tissue environment with cardiomyopathy, Arghya Paul, Chemical & Petroleum Engineering, University of Kansas
- Microfluidic single-cell analysis of cancer exosomes, Yong Zeng, Chemistry, University of Kansas
Current Pilot Projects
- Microfluidic engineering of immunogenic exosomes for personalized cancer vaccine, Mei He, Biological & Agricultural Engineering, Kansas State University
- An integrative platform for cell-resolution analysis of the acute-to-chronic transition in bacterial pathogens, J. Christian Ray, Molecular Biosciences, Center for Computational Biology, University of Kansas
Past Research Projects (2012-2015)
- Morphogenetic effector networks in the Ciona notochord, Michael Veeman, Biology, Kansas State University
- Identifying mRNAs associated with a synaptogenic calcium-mediated pathway, Brian Ackley, Molecular Biosciences and Neuroscience, University of Kansas
- Functional analysis of Ewing Sarcoma proteins EWS/FLI1 and EWS in zebrafish, Mizuki Azuma, Molecular Biosciences, University of Kansas
- Probing Lipid-Protein Interactions in Biological Self-Assembly, Prajna Dhar, Chemical & Petroleum Engineering and Bioengineering, University of Kansas
- Neurotransmitter Interactions on sub-second timescales, Michael Johnson, Chemistry and Neuroscience, University of Kansas
Past Pilot Projects (2013-2016)
- Pathology, host defense and population of Drosophila innubial Nudivirus, Robert Unckless, Molecular Biosciences, University of Kansas
- Mechanisms of genome instability induced by transposable elements, Justin P. Blumenstiel, Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, University of Kansas
- Transcriptomic analysis of disease pathways in animal models of Tourette syndrome, Marco Bortolato, Pharmacology & Toxicology, School of Pharmacy, University of Kansas
- Multicellular evolution by reprogramming cell cycle regulation, Bradley Olson, Division of Biology, Kansas State University
- Single wall carbon nanotube platforms as near-infrared fluorescent sensors, Shenqiang Ren, Chemistry, University of Kansas