Department of Medicine Research Seminar Series

Thursday, June 14, 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

Watch it LIVE!

About the Speakers
Christina Laukaitis, MD, PhD

Dr. Laukaitis’ research has focused on genetic and environmental risk factors that predispose individuals to cancer in order to treat neoplasia before cancer develops with an emphasis on people at high risk for breast and other cancers due to mutations in BRCA1, BRCA2, APC and mismatch repair genes. In her lab, they seek explanations for high-risk families without identified mutations. She has experience working with WBF and UDCA sample genotyping and interpreting genetic data that influences cancer risk. In addition to this research, she won an $800,000 grant in late 2016 from the Wallace Research Foundation 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. With research partners from the Division of Rheumatology, she has since received two additional smaller grants related to that research.

Promoted to associate professor last fall, Dr. Laukaitis joined the faculty at the UA College of Medicine – Tucson in 2008. 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.

Among her honors and recognitions, Dr. Laukaitis was a member of the COM-T Learning to Lead Faculty Leadership Program (2014-15), named Researcher of the Year by the Arizona Chapter of the American College of Physicians (2013), among the Arizona Daily Star's “40 under 40” up-and-coming professionals (2011), winner of the Yellen Distinguished Young Investigator Award at the UA Cancer Center (2011), and chosen to participate in the Alliance for Academic Internal Medicine’s T. Franklin Williams Scholars Program in Washington, DC (2011). In addition, she was a visiting researcher at Oxford University and winner of the American Medical Women’s Association’s Janet M. Glasgow Award (Summer 2003).

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. And she has contributed to several scholarly book chapters and monographs and 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.

Paul Langlais, PhD​
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).


University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson, Room 5403
1501 N. Campbell Ave.
Tucson, AZ 85724


Banner – University Medical Center South, Conference Room 3030
2800 E. Ajo Way
Tucson, AZ 85713