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Dr. Clark

Research Groups

Dr. Michelle A. Clark Research Team:
Molecular Cardiovascular Research

 

Dr. M.A.Clark

Michelle A. Clark, Ph.D.
Professor and Department Chairperson
Pharmaceutical Sciences

 

Cardiovascular research conducted by Dr. Michelle A. Clark and her research team at Nova Southeastern University’s College of Pharmacy is focused on delineating the molecular pathways that are involved in blood pressure control. This research encompasses pharmacology and neuroscience, specifically determining the role of the renin-angiotensin system (RAS) in the control of hypertension and other types of cardiovascular diseases. This interest is addressed by studying receptors for angiotensin peptides, the intracellular mechanisms that respond to receptor activation, and the cellular processes that are evoked by intracellular signaling molecules.  Further, the interaction of the RAS with other systems is also explored.  

Primary focus is on using transgenic rat models of hypertension to determine some of the responses that govern the development of hypertension in rat models.  Research techniques involve using primary cultured brain cells (astrocytes and neurons) and vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) to determine the responses of angiotensin peptides in rat models. The major focus is on the molecular pathways that can be dysregulated in hypertension, and to elucidate targets that can be perturbed to identify causes of the disease. An understanding of the processes that are different in these hypertensive models will provide insight into the pathology and treatment of hypertension as well as other pathologies.

Current Projects

  1. Molecular Pathways of Angiotensin II in in Primary Cultures of Astrocytes
  2. Molecular Pathways of Angiotensin III in Primary Cultures of Astrocytes and Vascular Smooth Muscle Cells
  3. Physiological Relevance of Angiotensin-(1-7) in Primary Astrocytes and Vascular Smooth Muscle Cells
  4. Interaction of the Ang AT1 Receptor (AT1R) and the Cannabinoid Type 1 Receptor (CB1R) in Primary Astrocytes
  5. Interaction of the Ang AT1 Receptor (AT1R) and the Dopamine (D4) Receptor in Primary Cultures of Astrocytes and Neurons
  6. Role of β-Arrestins in Ang II-Mediated Signaling in Primary Cultures of Astrocytes

Current Laboratory Group

Dr. Clark's Research GroupFrom left to right: Shmuel Negussie, Waad Samman, Michelle Clark, Ann Tenneil O’Connor, Michael Dressler

 Research Team Members

Dr. Occonor

Dr. Ann Tenneil O'Connor; Ph.D. in Environmental Biology from University of the West Indies, Jamaica, West Indies.
Researches the interaction of the Ang AT1 Receptor (AT1R) and the Dopamine (D4) Receptor in primary cultures of astrocytes and neurons.

Shmuel Negussi

Shmuel Negussi; Ph.D. candidate.
Researches the role of βarrestins in Ang II-mediated signaling in primary cultures of astrocytes.

Samman

Waad Samman; Ph.D. candidate.
Researches Ang(1-7) on Vascular Smooth Muscle Cells (VSMCs).

Dressler

Michael Dressler; Laboratory Research Assistant.
Manages laboratory operations for Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, provides training to students, laboratory equipment technician.

Former Ph.D. Students

Dr. Haspula Dr. Alanazi

Dr. Dhanush Haspula

Dissertation Title: Pathophysiological Relevance of Astroglial Angiotensin and the Endocannabinoid Signaling Systems in SHRs

Current Location:  Post-doctoral Fellow at University of Wisconsin in the laboratory of Brian Hoffmann, Assistant Professor at Medical College of Wisconsin in the Biomedical Engineering Department.

Dr. Ahmed Alanazi

Dissertation Title: The Proliferative and Proinflammatory Roles of Angiotensin III in Wistar and SHR Cultured VSMCs

Current Location: Assistant Professor at King Saud University, College of Pharmacy, in Saudi Arabia.

Pharm. D. and Undergraduate Students Trained

  • Jason Griffiths, Clavel W. Daley and Melissa Miller (Pharm D. Students) worked in the laboratory to conduct protein analysis by western blotting technique. Their involvement earned the students two poster presentations and an oral presentation in the form of a seminar presentation to the pharmacy faculty.
  • Anthonia Ogbanuffe and Sonia Hossein (Pharm D. Students) spent time in the laboratory conducting protein analysis by western blotting technique. Their involvement earned the students an oral presentation in the form of a seminar presentation to the pharmacy faculty.
  • Boris Lopata and Jeton Shala (Pharm D. Students) worked in the laboratory to conduct mRNA analysis using the rt-PCR method. Their involvement earned them an oral presentation in the form of a seminar presentation to the pharmacy faculty.
  • John Meyers (Pharm D. Student) worked in the laboratory conducting protein analysis for PKC- by western blotting technique. His involvement earned him an oral presentation in the form of a seminar presentation to the pharmacy faculty.
  • Gregory Guillaume and Heronne Pierre-Louis (Pharm D. Students) worked in the laboratory conducting protein analysis by western blotting technique for the JNK protein. Their involvement earned them an oral presentation in the form of a seminar presentation to the pharmacy faculty as well a paper published in Brain Research Bulletin [Clark et al., 2008].
  • Roselynn Chiarello and Jimmy Delaney (Pharm D. Students) worked in the laboratory conducting mRNA analysis by rt-PCR. They were instrumental in standardizing these protocols.  Their involvement earned them two oral presentations in the form of seminar presentations to the pharmacy faculty, a paper published in Neurochemical Research [Delaney et al., 2008], as well as two posters.
  • Yohanna Morejon and Yeney Ramos (Pharm D. Students) were involved in western blotting experiments to determine the effects of angiotensin III on mitogen activated protein expression. Their involvement earned them an oral presentation in the form of seminar presentations to the pharmacy faculty.
  • Melissa Jules, Donya Halcott and Deborah Lolo (Pharm D. Students) were involved in western blotting experiments to determine the effects of angiotensin III on mitogen activated protein expression. Their involvement earned them an oral presentation in the form of seminar presentations to the pharmacy faculty.
  • Hieu Tran and Chinh Nguyen (Pharm D. Students) were involved in western blotting experiments to determine the effects of angiotensin III on mitogen activated protein expression. Their involvement in this project earned them two publications and two poster presentations.
  • Nancy Sarmiento was an NSU Farquhar College of Arts and Science student. She was involved in western blotting and quantitative real time PCR experiments to determine the effects of angiotensin III on JAK/STAT 3 expression in cultured rat astrocytes.  Nancy was doing this research as an independent study. Her involvement in this project earned her a poster at Farquhar College of Arts and Sciences Undergraduate Research Symposium. The poster competed amongst several others; Nancy was the third place winner.  She was also listed as an author in Journal of the Renin Angiotensin Aldosterone System, DOI:1177/1470320314534509
  • Larisa Odessky and Jenny Estrin (Pharm D. Students) were involved in immunostaining of brain cells. Their involvement earned them an oral presentation in the form of seminar presentations to the pharmacy faculty as well as one poster presentation.
  • Melissa Santibanez, Alexa Vyain, and David Harriman (Pharm D. Students) were involved in western blotting experiments to determine the effects of angiotensin II and angiotensin III in cultured MDBAMB231 breast cancer cells.
  • Paras Patel (Pharm D. Student) was involved in western blotting experiments to determine the effects of angiotensin II and angiotensin III on P-38 MAP kinase in cultured rat astrocytes cells.
  • Gavin Fiddler was an NSU Farquhar College of Arts and Science student. He was involved in western blotting experiments to determine the effects of angiotensin II and angiotensin III on MAP kinase pathways in cultured rat vascular smooth muscle cells.
  • Vanessa Matamoros was an NSU Farquhar College of Arts and Science student. She was involved in western blotting experiments to determine the effects of angiotensin II and angiotensin III on MAP kinase pathways in cultured rat vascular smooth muscle cells.
  • Betty Pazhayattil (Pharm D. Student) was involved in western blotting experiments to determine the effects of angiotensin II on angiotensin converting enzyme protein expression in cultured rat astrocytes.
  • Jenny Lee and Nour Samra (Pharm D. Students) were involved in determining the purity of the astrocyte culture.  Q-PCR and western blotting techniques were used to measure the expression of GFAP (astrocyte marker) and markers for oligodendrocytes, endothelial cells and others.
  • Julian Lamptey (Pharm D. Student) was involved in measuring the levels of the Angiotensin type 1 (AT1R) and the type 2 (AT2R) using quantitative PCR (qPCR).  He also worked with Mr. Shmuel Negussie to establish western blotting protocols to measure the protein levels of the receptors as well.
  • Larryn B. Farris (Pharm D. Student) was involved in studying the effects of Ang II on JNK MAP kinase activation in Wistar and SHR astrocytes.

 

Research Associates/Instructors Mentored

  • David Villar - Currently a Professor at the Universidad of Antioquia, Colombia
  • Umadevi Kandalam - Currently an Associate Professor at NSU, College of Dental Medicine
  • Marimuthu Palanisamy - Currently a Quality Control Manager at Fragomatrix Global in India
  • Vudhya G. Yugandhar - Former Research Associate at the Institute for Neuro Immune Medicine at Nova Southeastern University. Current location: India

 

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