Current Students—Zachary Oaks
PhD (4th year)
Department: Microbiology & Immunology
Advisor: A. Perl, MD/PhD
I’m interested in mitochondrial dysfunction in the setting of transaldolase deficiency. Transaldolase is an enzyme in the non-oxidative branch of the pentose phosphate pathway. Transaldolase deficiency results in sperm dysmotility, increased hepatocarcinogenesis, and susceptibility to liver damage from oxidative stress. I am investigating the cause of altered electron transport chain function, reactive oxygen species generation, and mitophagy in this model. The mechanism of these changes are poorly understood and I will be using both mouse models and human cell lines to better understand the etiology of mitochondrial dysfunction in transaldolase deficiency.
Perl A, Hanczko R, Telarico T, Oaks Z, Landas S. Oxidative stress, inflammation and carcinogenesis are controlled through the pentose phosphate pathway by transaldolase.
Trends Mol Med. 2011 Jul;17(7):395-403. Epub 2011 Mar 2. Review.
2010 ACR REF/Abbott Health Professional Graduate Student Research Preceptorship
Dr. Arthur Kornberg (a Nobel prize winner in medicine in 1959) once said, "basic research is the lifeline of medicine." And if I could extend his comment, I would add, "and publication is the lifeline of medical research." I think publishing one's work serves two important roles. The first is to communicate your work to the larger scientific community, and the second is to serve as a landmark for the completion of one aspect of your work, thus providing direction for the future scientific work. As a future physician scientist here at Upstate, I have numerous opportunities to get involved in activities and trainings to improve our skills needed for publications.