Department of Medicine Research Seminar Series

Thursday, May 10, 2018 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm

TOPIC: "The hEDS GENE Study: A Major Gene-Finding Effort for Hypermobility Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome" and "Redefining the Effect of Insulin on Microtubules Thanks to Microtubule-Associated Proteins"
SPEAKERS: Christina M. Laukaitis, MD, PhD and Paul R. Langlais, PhD

Dr. Laukaitis joined the faculty at the UA College of Medicine – Tucson in 2008 and as of last fall was promoted to associate professor.  She is affiliated with the UA Division of Geriatrics, General Internal and Palliative Medicine in the Department of Medicine, the Department of Nutritional Sciences in the UA College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, and the Cancer Biology and Genetics Graduate Interdisciplinary Programs. In addition, she’s director of Genetic Consultation and Counseling Services at the UA Health Sciences Center for Applied Genetics and Genomic Medicine, director of the Molecular Genetic Pathology Fellowship Program in the Department of Pathology at the UA College of Medicine – Tucson, medical education director for the Partnership for Native American Cancer Prevention at the UA Cancer Center and a member of the UA Center on Aging as well as the Southwest Environmental Health Sciences Center at the UA College of Pharmacy.

She has served on multiple committees related to genetic, genomic, molecular and precision medicine research at the UA College of Medicine, UA Health Sciences and the broader UA campus. She, currently, is a member of the college’s Multidisciplinary Endocrine Tumor Board and MD/PhD Program Admissions Committee, organizer of the college’s Genetics & Genomics Grand Rounds, and an ad hoc member of the UA Cancer Center’s Scientific Review Committee. She has contributed to several scholarly book chapters and monographs and has authored or co-authored more than 30 refereed journal articles and 28 abstracts.

Before coming to the UA, Dr. Laukaitis was a fellow in the Division of Medical Genetics at the University of Washington in Seattle. She completed her residency in internal medicine at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Indianapolis, where she was affiliated with the Butler Summer Institute at Butler University. She earned her medical degree from the University of Chicago College of Medicine – Champaign-Urbana Campus. Her doctorate is in cell and structural biology from the University of Illinois. Her bachelor’s degree is in chemistry from Butler University.

Her talk is based on research from an $800,000 grant she received in late 2016 from the Wallace Research Foundation—and two smaller follow-on awards—to study the genetic basis of the joint hypermobility type of Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, a group of inherited disorders that mostly affect the skin, joints and blood vessels.

Dr. Langlais is an associate professor of medicine in the Division of Endocrinology, director of the Proteomics Lab and a member of the Center for Disparities in Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism at the UA Health Sciences. He joined the faculty at the UA College of Medicine – Tucson in 2016, having served previously as an assistant professor and proteomics lab director at Mayo Scottsdale and, before that, as an assistant research professor and director, Center for Metabolic and Vascular Biology Proteomics Lab, Arizona State University—where he also completed a post-doctoral research fellowship. He holds a bachelor’s degree in biology and chemistry from Texas Tech University and a doctorate in biochemistry from the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.

For more than 20 years, Dr. Langlais has performed discovery-based research in the field of insulin signal transduction. He is very proficient at mass spectrometry-based, label-free quantitative proteomics, i.e., adaptation of mass spectrometry to the quantification of protein post-translational modification levels and/or protein expression levels among groups and/or treatments. He is able to explore protein-protein associations via interactome characterization. He has extensive experience in researching the role proteins play in the insulin signal transduction cascade, and how these proteins are regulated by either post-translational modification or by protein-protein interactions. Beyond that, he also specializes in contributing quantitative proteomics experiments to collaborators in need of this technique.

The DOM Research Seminars – launched in September 2016 – pair a junior and senior investigator from different divisions to highlight the breadth and variety of innovative research efforts being accomplished in the University of Arizona, Department of Medicine at the UA College of Medicine – Tucson.

This lecture series occurs on the second Thursday of the month.Each lecture is webcast live via the UA Health Sciences BioCommunications website and archived for viewing later at:
(click on the date to watch).

Watch It Live!



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