hTRa1 RTH Abstract

Thyroid hormone receptors (TRs) contain nuclear localization signals (NLSs) and nuclear export signals (NESs), which allow them to undergo nucleocytoplasmic shuttling. Mutations in TRs have been associated with Resistance to Thyroid Hormone Syndrome (RTH). This proposal examines two separate mutations in the THRA gene, which encodes a major subtype of TR, called TRa1, that causes RTHa. These mutations were found in two patients who exhibited hypothyroidism and hypercalcemia with severe bone malformations. One mutation leads to an amino acid change from alanine to serine at position 263 (A263S) in TRa1, and the other mutation changes asparagine to tyrosine at position 359 (N359Y). Both amino acid substitutions are located near known NESs in TRa1. I will characterize how these amino acid mutations influence the intracellular localization of TRa1, and use structural models to understand structure-function relationships.

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A Computational Model of Sensory Integration in the Insect Antennal Lobe

The overall aim of this project is to investigate via computational modeling the neural basis for multisensory integration within the insect antennal lobe (AL). The insect AL lies near the sensory periphery of the insect olfactory system and is well known to be the first brain region to substantially process odor information. Recent studies show that the AL not only responds to odor information encoded by airborne chemicals, but also to mechanosensory information in the form of wind speed and pressure. This phenomenon, as of yet, has received little attention. The relatively simplistic architecture of the insect AL makes it an excellent model for studying sensory integration, as well as for investigating plausible network mechanisms underlying the phenomenon. Finally, the anatomy and physiology of the insect AL is analogous to that of the olfactory bulb in mammals, and therefore findings may provide insight into mechanisms of sensory integration in a wide range of species.

Update 3/20: Introduction to Summer Research Project

Dear all, I am thrilled to announce the commencement of my summer research project on early-twentieth-century Chinese constitutionalism. I wish you enjoyed the following introduction of my project and discussion of the topic’s historical significance.

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