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Cheryl Walker Lab

Projects

Master
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Training Program in Precision Environmental Health Sciences

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The goals of this training grant are to provide an outstanding opportunity to cross-train diverse biomedical scientists (pre- and post-doctoral) with the knowledge, skills, and experience needed to be effective precision environmental health researchers in GxExD fields who significantly impact human health.

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Incorporating the Microbiome into DR2 Activities to Inform Health Outcomes

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The goal of this project is to obtain data through testing that will provide a better understanding of the role of the microbiome on post-disaster health outcomes, help in identifying microbiome-based biomarkers of environmental exposure(s) and/or their effects on health, and improve disaster research response (DR2) activities in response to the next unexpected flood-related disaster.

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Tumor Suppressor Localization and Function at the Peroxisome

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The overarching hypothesis of this proposal is that the peroxisome is an important site for functional interaction between the TSC and ATM tumor suppressors, and that this interaction plays a key role in maintaining peroxisomal homeostasis by regulating selective autophagy of peroxisome (pexophagy).

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Methyltransferase Contributions to Genomic Stability and Cancer

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This project will compare a novel bifunctional activity of SETD2 to act as a methyltransferase for histones as well as microtubules involved in mitotic spindle formation. We propose to examine the relationship of SETD2 mono-allelic and bi-allelic deficiency to patterns of genomic instability and explore opportunities to target this deficiency as a therapeutic strategy for SETD2 mutant cancer.

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Gene X Environment Interactions in the Pathogenesis of Uterine Fibroids

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The goal of this application is to characterize epigenomic alterations induced in myometrial stem cells by early life EDC-exposures and understand the relevance of these changes to fibroid risk.

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Epigenetic Entrainment: A New Driver for Evolutionary Change

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This grant will support identification and characterization of new dual-function chromatin-cytoskeleton remodelers and explore how this new class of proteins participate in evolution.

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New Target for Chromatin Remodeler Defects in Cancer

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This Outstanding Investigator Award will support studies in the Walker lab to identify how mutations in chromatin remodeler genes affect both their chromatin and cytoskeletal remodeling activities.

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Rosetta Stone for the Tubulin Code

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This proposal is centered around post-translational modifications (PTMs) of microtubules that direct the function of these important cytoskeletal elements – what is now commonly referred to as the Tubulin Code. We seek to understand how the code is encrypted by known PTMs and discover new modifications that participate in this code. By studying diverse cell types and adopting a multi-pronged, interdisciplinary approach, we will significantly advance our understanding of how the Tubulin Code regulates cell function in both health and disease

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Gulf Coast Center for Precision Environmental Health

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The Houston-Galveston area is home to over a dozen Superfund sites and a hub for the petrochemical industry. It is also home to the Texas Medical Center, the largest medical center in the world. Thus, both the need and opportunity for the Gulf Coast Center for Precision Environmental Health (GC-CPEH) to be a focal point and catalyst for impactful EHS research, multi-directional communication with local communities, and the engine driving translation of precision environmental health research advances to improve human health, is exceptional.