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Leonardo Calderon
Ph.D. Student Advisor: Dr. Gediminas Mainelis
Julie Caruth, MD, MPH, FAAFP
Director of Employee Health Services Rutgers-RBHS Employee HealthEOHSI – CROM
Photo of Jose Guillermo Cedeno Laurent MSc, ScD
Jose Guillermo Cedeno Laurent, MSc, ScD
Assistant Professor Rutgers UniversityEOHSI – Environmental and Population Health Bisociences
Jessica Cervelli
Rutgers UniversityEOHSI – Toxicology
Adam Cesmebasi, MD
Resident Rutgers UniversityEOHSI- Clinical Research and Occupational Medicine
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Milton Chandra Das, PhD
Postdoc Fellow Rutgers UniversityEOHSI – Environmental and Population Health Biosciences Division
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Suzie Chen, Ph.D.
Distinguished Professor Rutgers – Ernest Mario School of PharmacyEOHSI – Toxicology

Research Areas

The main interest in my laboratory is to study the molecular mechanisms of melanoma development using a line of transgenic mice (TG-3) generated in my lab several years ago. From mapping studies, we have determined that about 70 kb of host sequences have been deleted by the insertion of the transgene. The host DNA had been deleted from a region of mouse chromosome 10 which is syntenic to the long arm of human chromosome 6. This region of human chromosome 6 has been shown to be highly rearranged in a large number of human nonfamilial malignant melanomas. A combination of techniques were used to identify intron 3 of metabotropic glutamate receptor 1 (Grm1) as the gene disrupted by the insertion of the transgene. The metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluRs) belong to a family of seven transmembrane domain, G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs). Expression of mGluRs is usually restricted to neuronal cells, but the signaling pathways activated by these receptors are widely distributed in both neural and non-neural cells. Mice with null mutations in Grm1 display reductions in hippocampal long term potentiation, and abnormalities of motor coordination and associative learning. In the TG-3 line, we showed that Grm1 is expressed only in ear tumors, but not normal ear as demonstrated by semi-quantitative RT-PCR, Western immunoblots, immunofluorescence and immunohistochemistry. Co-localization of Grm1 and the melanocyte-marker Tyrp-1 was detected only in tumors and not in the normal counterparts. Based on these results, a new transgenic line was generated with targeted Grm1 expression to melanocytes, by using Grm1 cDNA under the melanocyte-specific Dct (dopachrome tautomerase) promoter. Founder of Dct-Grm1 exhibited melanotic tumors on the tail at 7.5 months of age. High levels of Grm1 expression were observed in tail tumors but not in normal tail. Histopathological analysis showed these tumors to be very similar to those of TG-3. These results provide the compelling evidence suggesting the improtance of Grm1 signaling in melanocytic neoplasia.

Together with Dr. J. Goydos at CINJ, we begin to explore the potential role of the aberrant expression of Grm1 in human melanoma development and progression. Our data on human melanoma biopsy samples (7/19) showed expression of Grm1. Grm1 expression was not detected in two benign nevi and one normal skin samples. Similar analyses were also done with 18 human melanoma cell lines, 12/18 of these cell lines showed Grm1 expression, these results were confirmed by immunofluorescence. Co-localization of Grm1 and Tyrp1 (a melanocyte-specific marker) was detected only in lines that also showed Grm1 expression.

Research Highlights

  • Melanoma research
  • Melanoma research from bench to the clinic.

Scholarly Activities

  • 2014 – present Council member of PanAmerican Society for Pigment Cell Research
  • 2011 – present VA Oncology Study Section
  • 2004 – present Member, NCI Special Emphasis Panel
  • 2000 – present Planning and Review Committee for the Annual Retreat on Cancer Research
  • 2004-2010 National Institute of Health Grant
  • 2007-2012 National Institute of Health Grant
  • 2009-2011 State of New Jersey Commission on Cancer Research Grant

Recent Publications

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Linda Christiansen, RN, COHN
Staff Nurse Rutgers UniversityEOHSI – Clinical Research and Occupational Medicine
Tina Cirillo
Rutgers UniversityEOHSI – Clinical Research and Occupational Medicine
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Breann Coffaro
Ph.D. Student Advisor: Dr. Clifford Weisel
Michael Colantuono
Assistant Building Manager EOHSI – Central Administration
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Keith R Cooper, Ph.D.
Deputy Director of Government Relations Rutgers University – School of Environmental and Biological SciencesEOHSI – Toxicology
  • B.S. (Biology), College of William and Mary, 1973
  • M.S. (Marine Biology), Texas A&M University, 1976
  • Ph.D. (Animal Pathology), University of Rhode Island, 1979
  • M.S. (Industrial Toxicology), Thomas Jefferson University, 1981

Research Areas

Xenobiotic metabolism in aquatic animals

Studies are currently examining the effects of endocrine disrupting compounds on finish and bivalve mollusks. The compounds of current interest include dioxin-like compounds and phthalates. The model systems used for these studies include the Japanese Medaka, winter flounder and the American oyster. The research on the finish involves the development of multigenerational studies examining the effects at multiple levels of organization from biochemical to population endpoints. The studies on the American oyster are examining the effects on gonadal development and larval development. Both food web and physiological based pharmacokinetic models are also being developed to better predict chemical movement both in the environment as well as within the organism of concern. The overall research in the laboratory is centered around comparative toxicology.

Research Highlights

  • Toxicity of bisphenol A and its derivatives in the zebrafish embryo model
  • Reproductive neurotoxicity of pyrethroid insecticides
  • Effects of 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (2,3,7,8-TCDD) on gametogenesis

Recent Publications

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Maria Crecenzio, B.S., Ed.M.
Unit Computing Specialist Rutgers UniversityEOHSI – Central Administration
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