The research in my lab is primarily concerned with understanding the effects of dietary genistein and other nutriceuticals (and exercise) on intestinal function. Genistein is an isoflavonic phytoestrogen found naturally in soy, and a known activator of the CFTR chloride channel. Cystic fibrosis (CF) is an inherited disease in which epithelia are adversely affected by loss of proper CFTR function (i.e. sweat duct, pancreas, vas deferens, airway and intestine). \We have shown that consuming dietary genistein increases basal and cAMP-mediated chloride secretion in female wild-type (Wt) murine jejuna and in the well established DeltaF508-CF mouse dietary genistein eliminates the dependence of CF mice for laxatives. Current work is aimed to evaluate how genistein mediates benficial effect on survival and weight gain in CF mice. We have shown that diabetic/obese ob/ob mice have significantly reduced jejunal basal chloride secretion, and furthermore, we demonstrate that consuming genistein-diet will rescue this deficit in basal secretion via influences on intestinal ion transporters. Recent work in my lab is aimed to evaluate the influence of genistein and exercise in mice fed a high-fat/high-sugar (HFHS) diet, a model of diet-induced diabetic obesity, known to lead to Alzheimer's like pathology. In this model we are examining the gut brain axis. Current studies in the lab are aimed at determining the mechanism(s) of action of genistein on intestinal function in Wt, CF, ob/ob and HFHS-fed mice, and importantly understanding the sex-dependent differences observed.
Meet our incredible AZCOM leadership team and learn about the various roles that make up our department.
As faculty in the Department of Physiology at MWU, we have the dual mission of providing physiology education and conducting high quality scientific research.
Department of Physiology
Graduate Studies Faculty with Joint Appointments
Jointly Appointed College of Graduate Studies Faculty
The annual Kenneth A. Suarez Research Day brought out the best of Midwestern University’s student and faculty research on both campuses. The Midwestern University Research Committee (URC) and the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs (ORSP) sponsored the event on two separate days which included nearly 300 research posters, presentations, keynote addresses from leading scientists, and a virtual poster hall.
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the pathogenesis of this disease ( Traka et al., J Neurosci. 2008 ); the Wdr81nur5 mouse model for cerebellar ataxia, mental retardation and quadrupedal locomotion syndrome (CAMRQ2; Traka et al., J ... that the CNS has a robust innate capacity to repair myelin damage and restore neuronal function upon inducing oligodendrocyte cell loss ( Traka et al., Brain 2010 ). Moreover, we recently used the DTA mouse to show that oligodendrocyte death might be the primary trigger of MS ( Traka et al., Nat Neurosci. 2016 ; Nature Reviews Neuroscience 17, 76, 2016 ). This finding is of fundamental
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