News & Highlights
Biomedical Science News & Highlights
Dr. Tejbeer Kaur co-authored a manuscript titled "Models of microglia depletion and replenishment elicit protective effects to alleviate vascular and neuronal damage in the diabetic murine retina" that has been accepted for publication in Journal of Neuroinflammation.
Dr. Jun Xia received a 2-year $120,000 grant from LB595 Cancer and Smoking Disease Research Development Grant Program titled "Mechanism of Lung Cancer risk Gene FUBP1-induced DNA Damage."
Dr. Litao Tao presented "Switch on and off: distal element-mediated activation and silencing of hair cell program" on November 3, 2022 as part of the University of Maryland's IGS seminar series.
Dr. Litao Tao published an article in Front. Mol. Neurosci. titled "CDK2 regulates aminoglycoside-induced hair cell death through modulating c-Jun activity: Inhibiting CDK2 to preserve hearing." doi: 10.3389/fnmol.2022.1013383
Dr. David Smith co-authored a peer-reviewed research article in Pharmaceutics titled “Surface Modification of Biodegradable Microparticles with the Novel Host-Derived Immunostimulant CPDI-02 Significantly Increases Short-Term and Long-Term Mucosal and Systemic Antibodies against Encapsulated Protein Antigen in Young Naïve Mice after Respiratory Immunization.” Doi: 10.3390/pharmaceutics14091843
BMS PhD student Shreshtha Dash, Dr. Jian Zuo, and Dr. Peter Steyger co-authored a peer-reviewed research article in Pharmaceutics titled “Local Delivery of Therapeutics to the Cochlea Using Nanoparticles and Other Biomaterials.” Doi: https://doi.org/10.3390/ph15091115
Dr. Tejbeer Kaur was nominated and received the Young Investigator Award from Creighton University School of Medicine on October 11, 2022.
Shailee Parekh, M2 student working in Dr. Tejbeer Kaur’s lab, gave a poster presentation at the Mini-ARO held on October 10th at CU. The title of her presentation was “Normal Aging Cochlea is Associated with Declining Fractalkine Levels and Increasing Inflammation and Activated Macrophages.”
Dr. Peter Steyger gave a presentation on "Hospital medication-induced hearing loss" as part of Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center’s 2022 ENT Fall Education Series.
Dr. Litao Tao received NIH/NIGMS COBRE funding for 3 years to study Pou4f3 enhancers in hearing loss treatment in August 2022.
Dr. Peter Steyger presented a talk entitled “Mechanisms of Drug-induced Hearing Loss" at the Research Brainstorming virtual meeting on July 29, 2022.
Dr. Tejbeer Kaur received an LB692 New Initiative Grant on “Targeting Cochlear Inflammaging Via Fractalkine to Prevent Loss of Ribbon Synapses in Presbycusis.”
Dr. Litao Tao received a $94,500 grant from the HRP consortium for the project titled “Cross-species epigenetic comparison.”
Dr. Litao Tao had a manuscript accepted in Frontiers in Molecular Neuroscience titled “CDK2 regulates aminoglycoside-induced hair cell death through modulating c-Jun activity.”
Dr. David Smith was a co-author on a poster presentation at the 52nd annual Pharmaceutics Graduate Student Research Meeting that was held at UNMC from June 2-4, 2022 (link: PGSRM 2022 | Pharmacy | University of Nebraska Medical Center (unmc.edu)).
Dr. Tejbeer Kaur was Invited to give a talk in April 2023 at the Center for Hearing and Balance at the John Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland.
Dr. Jun Xia received a 3-year NIH/NIEHS R00 award for the project titled “The Role of Aquaporin 3 In Arsenic-induced DNA Damage and Mutagenesis.”
Madelyn Meredith, 2022 INBRE summer scholar in Dr. Tejbeer Kaur's lab from Doane University, received the Richard Holland Future Scientist Award for third prize in oral presentation at the 20th Annual Nebraska -INBRE conference.
Dr. Jian Zuo and team published research work titled “In Vivo Optogenetics Reveals Control of Cochlear Electromechanical Responses by Supporting Cells” in the Journal of Neuroscience. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2127-21.2022
Dr. Jian Zuo and team published research work titled “Profiling mouse cochlear cell maturation using 10x Genomics single-cell transcriptomics” in Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience. https://doi.org/10.3389/fncel.2022.962106
Dr. Jun Xia co-authored and co-lead the study in the article in Nature Genetics titled "Cross-ancestry genome-wide meta-analysis of 61,047 cases and 947,237 controls identifies new susceptibility loci contributing to lung cancer." doi: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41588-022-01115-x
Dr. Jun Xia received the 2022 Young Scientist Award from The 13th International Conference on Environmental Mutagens and 53rd Annual Meeting of the EMGS.
Shreshtha Dash, PhD student, received Travel Awards for The Midwest Auditory Research Conference in Michigan in June and for Modeling Hearing and Balance Disorders in Mice at The Hear@Jax Workshop in Maine in September.
Dr. Ken Kramer received 2 Golden Apples from the CUSOM Class of 2025 and the Class of 2024.
Dr. Litao Tao participated in an article in Scientific Report titled "GFI1 regulates hair cell differentiation by acting as an off-DNA transcriptional co-activator of ATOH1, and a DNA-binding repressor." doi: 10.1038/s41598-022-11931-0
Dr. Litao Tao participated in an article in Adv Healthc Mater titled "Tri-Layered and Gel-Like Nanofibrous Scaffolds with Anisotropic Features for Engineering Heart Valve Leaflets." doi: 10.1002/adhm.202200053
Rachel Johnson, PhD student in Dr. Laura Hansen’s lab, won best graduate student poster at University Research Week: “Competition of Flower Isoform FWE3 in Cutaneous Squamous Cell Carcinoma Cells”
Patrick Kuwong, Md/PhD student, won first place in the University Research Week Medical Student Competition for his research performed in Dr. Laura Hansen’s lab: “Nanoparticle Delivery of Antioxidant Enzymes Protects From Ultraviolet Radiation Damage & Skin Tumorigenesis”
Justin Rudd, MD/PhD student in Dr. Laura Hansen’s lab, won first place for graduate student poster presentation at the Midwest Student Biomedical Research Forum (MSBRF)
Vijayprakash Manickam, postdoc in Dr. Tejbeer Kaur's lab, has been awarded a Bellucci Postdoctoral Grant from the Translational Hearing Center to start on July 1st
Madeleine Urbanek, undergraduate mentee of Dr. Jian Zuo, was selected to receive the 2022 Outstanding Neuroscience Senior award. Congratulations, Maddie!
Dr. Sarath Vijayakumar was selected to receive the Graduate School’s 2022 Outstanding Graduate Mentor Award. Congratulations, Dr. Vijayakumar!
Sadie Keesler and Kimberly Levine, M1 students working in Dr. Peter Steyger’s lab, have been accepted and funded to participate in the 2022 M1 Summer Research Program
Shailee Parekh, M1 student working in Dr. Tejbeer Kaur’s lab, has been accepted and funded to participate in the 2022 M1 Summer Research Program
Vignesh RA and Dr. Cong Tian, Research Assistant in Dr. Tejbeer Kaur’s lab and Postdoc in Dr. Peter Steyger’s lab respectively, have received travel awards for the 2022 Molecular Biology of Hearing and Deafness Conference to be held in Iowa City in May
Dr. David He and lab published an article in Cell Reports titled “Molecular and cytological profiling of biological aging of mouse cochlear inner and outer hair cells." DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.celrep.2022.110665
Dr. David He and lab published an article in ScienceAdvances titled "Mutation of SLC7A14 causes auditory neuropathy and retinitis pigmentosa mediated by lysosomal dysfunction." DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abk0942
Dr. Tejbeer Kaur was invited to give a seminar at NIDCD/NIH on April 5, 2022. The title of her talk is: "Deciphering Diversity and Function of Macrophages in Cochlear Synaptopathy, Neurodegeneration and Hearing loss."
Jack Diers and Elyssa Pereyra, undergraduate mentees of Dr. Jian Zuo and Dr. Tejbeer Kaur respectively, have been selected as 2022 CURAS SURF awardees for their research projects.
Dr. Tejbeer Kaur has been selected to serve as Chair on the ARO Diversity & Minorities Affairs Committee.
Lauren Barbush won 3rd place at the Big East Undergraduate Research Poster Symposium on March 12, 2022 in Madison Square Garden for her project titled, "Investigating the Therapeutic Potential of Piperlongumine Derivatives for Noise-induced Hearing Loss." Lauren is an undergraduate mentee of Dr. Marisa Zallocchi in Biomedical Sciences.
Lauren Barbush, undergraduate mentee of Dr. Marisa Zallocchi, is a finalist for the 2022 Big East Undergraduate Research Poster Symposium Competition to be held on March 12, 2022 at Madison Square Garden. Her project is titled "Investigating the Therapeutic Potential of Piperlongumine Derivatives for Noise-Induced Hearing Loss."
Dr. Marisa Zallocchi will partake in the DEV2 NIH study section that will be held on February 7 & 8, 2022.
Caroline Pass, MS Student in Dr. Jian Zuo's lab, has been selected for a 2022 MidWinter Meeting Travel Award from ARO to present her research project in San Jose, CA.
Dr. Tejbeer Kaur co-authored research work titled "Programmed Cell Death Recruits Macrophages Into the Developing Mouse Cochlea" published in the journal of Frontiers in Cell and Developmental Biology (https://doi.org/10.1101/2021.09.17.460339).
Dr. Tejbeer Kaur has been invited to serve as scientific reviewer for the for the Hearing Restoration research Program- Focused Research -1 (HRRP FR-1) panel to be held in February 2-3, 2022.
Dr. Vijayprakash Manickam, postdoc in Dr. Tejbeer Kaur’s lab, has been selected for a 2022 MidWinter Meeting Travel Award from ARO to present his research project in San Jose, CA.
Dr. Garrett Soukup, Professor and Director of the Biomedical Sciences MS & PhD programs, is the recipient of the School of Medicine’s 2021 Dedicated Teacher Award.
PhD student, Shreshtha Dash, in Dr. Peter Steyger’s lab has been invited to the National Graduate Student Symposium at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital next spring. Congratulations, Shreshtha!
Neuroscience undergraduate and mentee of Dr. Jian Zuo, Madeleine Urbanek, is the first author of the following paper that has been accepted for publication in the journal Scientific Reports: “Genetic predisposition to tinnitus in the UK Biobank population”.
Dr. Jian Zuo received 1-year NE LB606 DHHS Stem Cell Research Grant Award for a project titled “Cochlear Stem Cells for Hearing Restoration.”
Dr. Brian North received 1-year NE LB606 DHHS Stem Cell Research Grant Award for a project titled “Targeting SIRT2 in Glioblastoma Cancer Stem Cells.”
Dr. Tejbeer Kaur and team lab published an article titled “Innate Immunity to Spiral Ganglion Neuron Loss: A Neuroprotective Role of Fractalkine Signaling in Injured Cochlea” in the journal of Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience. DOI: https://doi.org/10.3389/fncel.2021.694292
MD/PhD graduate student, Justin Rudd (in Dr. Laura Hansen’s lab), was awarded Best Graduate/Professional Student Platform Presentation in Basic Sciences during University Research Week.
Dr. Laura Hansen is the recipient of the 2021 Dr. Robert Heaney Graduate Research Mentor Award presented by the University Research Council during University Research Week.
Dr. Peter Steyger is the recipient of the 2021 University Research Award (Health Sciences) presented by the University Research Council during University Research Week.
Dr. Jian Zuo received a 2-Year Department of Defense (DOD) Award for a project titled “Pre-clinical and clinical therapeutics for noise-induced hearing loss.”
Neuroscience undergraduate and mentee of Dr. Jian Zuo, Madeleine Urbanek, has been awarded the prestigious Clare Boothe Luce Summer Fellowship and Academic Scholarship.
Dr. David He co-authored research work titled “Transcription co-factor LBH is necessary for the survival of cochlear hair cells” in the Journal of Cell Science. DOI: 10.1242/jcs.254458
Dr. David He co-authored research work titled “SCN11A gene deletion causes sensorineural hearing loss by impairing the ribbon synapses and auditory nerves” in the journal of BMC Neuroscience. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1186/s12868-021-00613-8
Dr. Garrett Soukup received an award from the LB692 Nebraska Tobacco Settlement Biomedical Research Development fund for the purchase of research equipment.
Neuroscience undergraduate and mentee of Dr. Jian Zuo, Madeleine Urbanek, has been awarded the prestigious Goldwater scholarship for her research in the hearing field.
Creighton’s Translational Hearing Center, which was established in 2019, has been awarded a $10.8 million grant, payable over five years and competitively renewable up to 15 years, by the NIH-affiliated Centers of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE). Read the Full Story in the News Center
Dr. Tejbeer Kaur received NIH/NIGMS COBRE funding for 3 years to study the Contribution of Macrophages and Fractalkine Towards Degeneration and Repair of Cochlear Synapses.
Dr. Ken Kramer received the Teaching for Tomorrow Award in February from the Creighton University Students Union.
Dr. Sandor Lovas co-authored research work titled “DksA-dependent regulation of RpoS contributes to Borrelia burgdorferi tick-borne transmission and mammalian infectivity” in the journal of PlosPathogens. DOI: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1009072.
Dr. Tejbeer Kaur served as Chair at the Young Investigator Symposium titled “Role of Immune cells in auditory system development, pathology and regeneration” at the ARO 44th MidWinter Meeting.
Dr. Tejbeer Kaur presented at the ARO 44th MidWinter Meeting with her talk titled “Macrophages facilitate repair of damaged ribbon synapses after acoustic trauma” and poster titled “Fate mapping reveals slow turnover of adult cochlear macrophages in steady state and distinguishes resident from recruited monocyte-derived macrophages following acoustic trauma.
Dr. Tejbeer Kaur co-authored research work titled “Dynamic patterns of YAP1 expression and cellular localization in the developing and injured utricle” in the journal of Scientific Reports.
Dr. Brian North received a 2-year NIH R03 award for his project titled “Characterizing upstream regulators of glucosylceramide metabolism for Parkinson’s disease and Lewy Body Dementia.”
MD/PhD graduate student, Jonathan Fleegel, in Dr. Jian Zuo lab has been awarded an NIH F30 predoctoral fellowship for project titled, “Repurposing momelotinib for the prevention of aminoglycoside-induced ototoxicity.”
Dr. Marisa Zallocchi co-authored research work titled “BRAF inhibition protects against hearing loss in mice” in the journal of Sci. Adv. DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abd0561.
Dr. David He received a subaward from OHSU for the project titled “Hair Bundle Structure and Dynamics.”
Dr. Laura Hansen has been invited to serve as a standing member for the NIH Special Emphasis Panel (SEP) on Musculoskeletal, Orthopedic, Oral, Rheumatology, Rehab, Skin.
Dr. David He received a certificate from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders for his service as a member of the Communication Disorders Review Committee from July 2016 - June 2020.
Dr. Sandor Lovas co-authored research work titled “A-dependent regulation of RpoS contributes to Borrelia burgdorferi tick-borne transmission and mammalian infectivity” in the journal bioRXiv. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1101/2020.11.04.367946
Dr. Brian North presented his research titled “Molecular pathways at the intersection of aging and disease” in the Department of Genetics, Cell Biology and Anatomy at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha.
Dr. Jian Zuo and team published research work titled “The immune response after noise damage in the cochlea is characterized by a heterogeneous mix of adaptive and innate immune cells” in the journal Scientific Reports. DOI: 10.1038/s41598-020-72181-6
Dr. Jian Zuo and collaborators published research work titled “Aldh inhibitor restores auditory function in a mouse model of human deafness.” in the journal PLoS Genetics. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1009040
Dr. Laura Hansen and team published research work titled “Targeting 14-3-3e - CDC25A interactions to trigger apoptotic death in skin cancer” in the journal Oncotarget. DOI: 10.18632/oncotarget.27700
Dr. Laura Hansen and team published research work titled “Targeting 14-3-3e activates apoptotic signaling to prevent cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma” in the journal Carcinogenesis. DOI: 10.1093/carcin/bgaa091
Drs. Jian Zuo & Peter Steyger received a 5-year Office of Naval Research (ONR) Subaward on a project titled “Trans-Middle Ear Drug Delivery” (specific aims are to develop an in vitro screening tool to identify therapeutics for non-invasive local delivery to the inner ear via eardrops).”
Dr. David He received a Bellucci Fund Research Grant Award for project titled “SLC7A14 and Syndromic Hearing Loss.”
Dr. Tejbeer Kaur received a Bellucci Fund Research Grant Award for project titled “Role of Macrophages in Damage and Repair of Cochlear Ribbon Synapse.”
Dr. Garrett Soukup received a Bellucci Fund Research Grant Award for project titled “Deciphering pathways of microRNA enforcement of hair cell development and maintenance.”
Dr. Sarath Vijaykumar, in Dr. Jian Zuo’s research group, received a Bellucci Fund Research Grant Award for project titled “Developing Novel Therapeutics for Tinnitus using Gene-Expression Signature.”
Dr. Marisa Zallocchi, in Dr. Jian Zuo’s research group, received a Bellucci Fund Research Grant Award for project titled “Deciphering the Downstream Signaling Cascade Regulated by Integrin Alpha8 in Auditory Hair Cells.”
Dr. Jian Zuo received 1-year funding from Frequency Therapeutics on a project titled “Profile the gene signature of individual cell populations in the cochlea with or without perturbations using single cell RNAseq analysis.”
Drs. Laura Hansen & Sandor Lovas received a 5-year NIH R01 award for their project titled “Targeting aberrant anti-apoptotic signaling for prevention of skin cancer.”
Dr. Laura Hansen received 1-year NE LB606 DHHS Stem Cell Research Grant Award for a project titled “Targeting cancer stem cells for cutaneous SCC.”
Drs. Marisa Zallocchi and Jian Zuo received an SBIR Phase I award from NIH/NIDCD to examine “Therapeutics to prevent aminoglycoside-induced hearing loss.”
Dr. Laura Hansen received 1-year NE DHHS LB506 Award for a pilot project titled “Flower-Win dependent stem-cell maintenance in cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma”
Dr. David Smith co-authored research work titled “Targeted Amino Acid Substitution Overcomes Scale-Up Challenges with the Human C5a-Derived Decapeptide Immunostimulant EP67” in the journal of ACS Infect Dis.
Dr. Tejbeer Kaur co-authored research work titled “Dynamic patterns of YAP1 expression and cellular localization in the developing and injured utricle” in the journal of bioRxiv. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1101/2020.05.06.081323
Dr. Tejbeer Kaur has been honored as a Guest Editor for Frontiers in Neuroscience and Cellular Neurophysiology for a special research topic on Cochlear Neuron and Ribbon Synapse: Development, Degeneration, Repair and Regeneration.
Dr. Tejbeer Kaur was invited to serve as a reviewer for NIH Auditory System Study Section (AuD) in June 2020.
Drs. Pezhman Salehi and Jian Zuo received a 1-year SBIR Phase I award from NIH/NIDCD to examine “Therapeutics to prevent cisplatin-induced hearing loss by transcriptomics.”
Dr. Marisa Zallocchi, in Dr. Jian Zuo’s research group received a 2-Year Department of Defense (DoD) Award for a project titled “Exploring the Beneficial Effects of Quinoline Derivatives after Noise-Induced Damage.”
Dr. Brian North presented his research titled “Characterizing pathways involved in controlling the age-dependent decline of BubR1” at the Keystone Symposium: Intra- and Intercellular Mechanisms of Aging in Vancouver, BC, Canada.
Dr. David He co-authored research work titled “Interaction with ectopic cochlear crista sensory epithelium disrupts basal cochlear sensory epithelium development in Lmx1a mutant mice” in the journal Cell Tissue Res. DOI: 10.1007/s00441-019-03163-y
Dr. Tejbeer Kaur was honored to serve as a panelist for spARO Mentoring Session on Job Search and Independence at 43rd Association for Research in Otolaryngology MidWinter Meeting in San Jose, California.
Dr. Tejbeer Kaur was a presenter and co-presenter in three presentations at the ARO 43rd Midwinter Research Meeting in San Jose, California.
Dr. Brian North received a Saving Tiny Hearts Society and Children’s Heart Foundation Grant Award for project titled “Regulation of the Cardiac Conduction System by BubR1.”
Dr. Brian North received a Curing Kids Cancer and an Andrew McDonough B+ Foundation Grant Award for project titled “Rational combination therapy targeting epigenetic pathways promoting mitotic catastrophe in childhood leukemia.”
Dr. Garrett Soukup co-authored the article review for research project titled “Neurosensory roles of the microRNA-183 family” in the journal Mol Neurobiol. DOI: 10.1007/s12035-019-01717-3
Creighton Researchers Probe Secrets of Skin Cancer
Some of skin cancer’s most closely held secrets are currently being pried loose in a Creighton University laboratory.
During the past six years, Laura Hansen, PhD, and Sandor Lovas, PhD, have monitored two signaling proteins they believe might play a key role in the development of skin cancer.
The results of that research, which was funded by a grant from the state of Nebraska, were significant enough that the National Institutes of Health has provided a five-year, $1.7 million grant to keep the line of inquiry alive.
‘The richness of human experience’: Creighton’s Translational Hearing Center aims to prevent drug-induced hearing loss
When he was 14 months old, Peter Steyger, PhD, contracted bacterial meningitis. Physicians in his native Manchester, England, managed to save his life through a course of aminoglycoside antibiotics, but a side-effect of those drugs robbed him of his hearing.
A Vision for Hearing Research
Creighton’s new Translational Hearing Center seeks significant breakthroughs, buoyed by a gift from the Bellucci DePaoli Family Foundation and a director who, himself, experienced childhood hearing loss.
Read Creighton Magazine (PDF)
Nebraska INBRE Program
Read about the program
Hansen Appointed Creighton Medicine’s Associate Dean for Research
Laura Hansen, PhD, has been appointed associate dean for research in the School of Medicine. In this role, Hansen will provide leadership, guidance and mentorship of research to faculty and staff, oversee internal and external collaborations in research, develop and expand major research programs and monitor research and grant compliance. The appointment was effective August 2019.