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Theodore Wilson


theodore-j-wilson@uiowa.edu
Mentor: Stefan Strack, Ph.D.
Lab Room: 2-439 BSB
Lab Phone: 319-384-4447

Regulation and expression of Drp1 splice variants

Mitochondrial dysfunction has been implicated in a wide variety of neurological disorders, including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. A key process in proper mitochondrial function is the regulation of fission and fusion events. Dynamin-related protein 1 (Drp1) is a mechanoenzyme that oligimerizes into spiral-shaped structures and uses GTP hydrolysis to physically pinch mitochondria into two. This process is important for both organelle biogenesis and apoptosis.

My research in the Strack lab focuses on alternative splicing events in Drp1 that result in the expression of eight isoforms. We hypothesize that at least one of these splice forms may have neuroprotective effects based on initial phosphorylation and co-localization studies. Manipulation of these splice forms represents potential therapeutic targets for treatment of neurological disorders.

Publications:

Strack S, Wilson TJ, Cribbs JT. Splice-specific targeting of dynamin-related protein 1 to microtubules is regulated by cyclin-dependent kinase phosphorylation. Submitted for review to Journal of Cell Biology, October, 2012.

Wilson TJ, Slupe AM, Strack S. Cell signaling and mitochondrial dynamics: Implications for neuronal function and neurodegenerative disease. Neurobiol Dis. 2012 Jan 24. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 22297163.

Butler DK, All O, Goffena J, Loveless T, Wilson T, Toenjes KA. The GRR1 gene of Candida albicans is involved in the negative control of pseudohyphal morphogenesis. Fungal Genet Biol. 2006 Aug;43(8):573-82. Epub 2006 May 26. PubMed PMID: 16730201.

Abstracts:

Wilson TJ, Cribbs JT, Strack S. Regulation of dynamin-related protein 1 by alternative splicing. Poster presentation at Society for Neuroscience conference, Chicago, Illinois, October 17-21, 2009.



Honors and Awards

  • Brumley Family College Scholarship for "Best Research Scientist". Presented Montana Academy of Science 2007
  • New Researcher Award, Ideas Montana Medicine Conference. 2007
  • Graduate Student Senate Travel Award 2009, 2012
  • Tephly Predoctoral Student Travel Award 2009, 2011
  • Molecular and Cellular Biology Retreat Travel Award. 2010
  • Member, Society for Neuroscience. 2009-present
  • Michael J. Brody Lecture Selection Committee. 2009-2010