First Ph.D. Graduation from the Hu Lab
Seula Shin recently had her Ph.D. thesis defense with an outstanding presentation! Seula is the first Ph.D. student of Hu Lab and has been an exceptional student during her time at GSBS. Congratulations, Dr. Shin!
New Publication at JEM
Congratulations to Dr. Jiangong Ren, a senior post doc at Hu Lab, for his most recent publication at the Journal of Experimental Medicine. Dr. Ren discovered that Qki is a novel and essential regulator of phagocytosis in CNS resident immune cells, microglia. His work using mice and human brain samples demonstrated that Qki is induced in microglia upon demyelination. Furthermore, loss of Qki in microglia severely impaired their ability to clear myelin debris via phagocytosis. Qki regulated phagocytosis by promoting RNA stability. Depletion of its target, CD36, hindered phagocytosis in microglia and macrophages. Unresolved myelin debris can lead to axon damage and impair remyelination. Dr. Ren`s work provides new insights into the important role of microglia in demyelinating diseases. View the article here.
The CCE Welcomes a New Scholar
Congratulations to Fatma Yasar for being accepted into the Center for Cancer Epigenetics (CCE) Scholars Program. The CCE scholar award was given in recognition for Fatma’s exceptional training and research that is providing exciting insights in the fields of transcriptional regulation and neurodevelopment. Outstanding work, Fatma!
A Most Prestigious Award
A round of applause for Seula Shin for receiving the 2020 President’s Scholarship, an award given to senior GSBS students with outstanding research accomplishments that is regarded as the most prestigious honor for current students. Great job, Seula!
A Thesis Well Defended
Shout out to Yating Li for successfully defending her Master’s thesis this month. Congratulations, Yating!
New Fellowship Awarded to Dr. Hu
For his research and excellence as a scientist, Dr. Jian Hu has been awarded the 2020 Andrew Sabin Family Fellowship, a $100,000, 2-year fellowship awarded to MD Anderson Cancer Center scientists working in groundbreaking cancer research. Our lab would like to extend a special thanks to the Andrew Sabin Family Foundation and to Mr. Andrew Sabin for making this fellowship possible and for their special contribution in making cancer history.
New Publication at JCI
Congratulations to Xin Zhou, a senior post doc at Dr. Hu’s lab, for his recent discovery regarding myelin maintenance and lipid homeostasis, just published this month at the Journal of Clinical Investigation. Zhou demonstrated how quaking (Qki) protein regulated lipid metabolism in myelin-producing cells in the central nervous system by co-activating transcription factors which drive the expression of lipid metabolism pathways. Perturbing this regulator axis caused severe demyelination and early animal demise, which could be significantly ameliorated if animals were treated with drugs that restore the transcription factor activity. Importantly, clinical samples from patients with multiple sclerosis (MS), a human disease characterized by myelin loss, exhibited reduced expression for Qki and downregulation of lipid metabolism gene expression, suggesting that a similar pathology may occur in humans, opening the possibility that these agonists and others like them may have use in MS and MS-like disorders. You can view a summary of the paper presented by Dr. Hu at the JCI and see related posts at other sites here and here.
T32 Fellowship Awarded
We extend a special congratulations to Daniel Zamler for achieving a T32 Training Fellowship (5-T32-CA-186892-04), a nationwide, highly competitive NIH fellowship given to outstanding trainees. Congrats Dan, keep it up!
Jian Hu receives the John P. McGovern Teaching Award
This year, Hu received the John P. McGovern Award for Outstanding Teaching of 2019 at the MD Anderson Cancer Center UTHealth Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. This award is given to faculty nominated by GSBS students in recognition for various attributes, including demonstrating excellence in teaching, fostering independent thinking and caring for student interests and needs. Hu’s acceptance speech can be viewed here.
Cheers to our students!
At the Hu Lab, a hearty round of congratulations is in order for all our students after securing multiple awards this year in recognition of their hard work and promising training, including:
- Seula Shin, for having successfully renewed her Russell and Diana Hawkins Family Foundation Discovery Fellowship from MD Anderson UTHealth GSBS. Seula is the recipient of two prior fellowships at the GSBS, including the Sam Taub and Beatrice Burton Endowed Fellowship in Vision Disease and the Roberta M. and Jean M. Worsham Endowed Fellowship. Additionally, this year Seula received the poster presentation award of the 2019 Korean-American Bio-Medical Symposium, a new addition to her earlier awards, including 2nd place for the Oral Presentation Competition at the 2017 GSBS Student Research Day, and the Outstanding Poster Presentation Award at the 2016 Cancer Biology Program Retreat.
- Fatma Yasar, for receiving the Steve Lasher and Janiece Longoria Graduate Student Research Award in Cancer Biology from MD Anderson UTHealth GSBS. Additionally, Fatma received 1st place and People’s Choice Awards for the Elevator Speech Competition at the 2019 Graduate Student Research Day, and 1st place for the post-candidacy poster presentation at the 2019 Cancer Biology Program Retreat, all provided in recognition for her excellence in communicating science succinctly and across broad audiences. Finally, Fatma is also the recipient of two travel awards this year, the 2019 GSBS Travel Award and the 2019 Cancer Biology Program Travel Award.
- Daniel Zamler, for receiving the Andrew Sowell-Wade Huggins Scholarship in Cancer Research from MD Anderson UTHealth GSBS. Moreover, Daniel was awarded 1st place in the Oral Presentation Contest at the 2019 GSBS Cancer Biology Program Retreat for his high merit in scientific presentation and communication.
- Yating Li, for being awarded the Mercedes-Benz of West Houston Scholarship from MD Anderson UTHealth GSBS. In addition, Yating also shared 1st place in the Shark Tank Competition at the 2019 GSBS Cancer Biology Program Retreat for her scientific ingenuity, business acumen and skillful presentation.
- Joseph Barnes, for being accepted into the UTHealth Center for Clinical and Translational Sciences TL1 Training Fellowship for his promising training in biomedical and translational sciences.