Jason Ulrich selected as the paper of the week by the Journal of Biological Chemistry
Thursday, April 04, 2013
Research paper by Jason Ulrich coauthored by Man-Su Kim, Patrick Houlihan, Leonid Shutov, DP Mohapatra, Stefan Strack and Yuriy Usachev selected as the paper of the week by the Journal of Biological Chemistry.
I first became interested in neurobiology and signal transduction as an undergraduate at Quincy University in Illinois. After college, I decided to attend graduate school at the University of Iowa in the Department of Pharmacology. I was interested in investigating neuronal signaling and how neuronal function is compromised in neurodegenerative diseases. Ca2+ is a critical second messenger in a number of neuronal signal transduction pathways that govern learning and memory, development, and cell survival. Neurons couple electrical activity at the plasma membrane to changes in gene expression through Ca2+-dependent transcription factors, such as NFAT. Previous work in Yuriy Usachev's laboratory had elegantly demonstrated the requirement for mitochondrial Ca2+ cycling for activation of the Ca2+/calmodulin- and calcineurin-dependent transcription factor NFAT in dorsal root ganglion neurons. During the course of these studies, the activation of NFATc4 was observed to dramatically differ from that of the other NFAT isoforms. Part of my thesis work involved the investigation of the mechanism by which NFATc4 activation is repressed in central and peripheral neurons. Currently, I am a postdoctoral scholar in David Holtzman's laboratory at Washington University School of Medicine, where I am studying the relationship between synaptic activity and amyloid-β metabolism.
A biography of Dr. Ulrich is available here: http://www.jbc.org/content/suppl/2012/11/01/M112.365197.DCAuthor_profile.
The paper is available here: http://www.jbc.org/content/287/45/37594.full.