Pharmacology

Laurie Eckert

Mentor: Jonathan Doorn, PhD

Year Entered Into Program: 2007-2012

PhD Institution: Department of Environmental Health, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH

Affiliations

  • Medicinal and Natural Products Chemistry Graduate Program

Research Description

The precise role of glia (e.g. microglia) in Parkinson’s disease-related neuronal death is currently unknown but is hypothesized to be significant based on previous studies. The Doorn lab is interested in determining the role of the endogenous neurotoxin, 3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetaldehyde (DOPAL), in Parkinson’s disease. Glial cells have been shown to metabolize dopamine, but the amount of DOPAL they produce via MAO oxidative deamination of dopamine is unknown, along with further metabolism of DOPAL via ALDH. My research involves investigation into the toxicity and metabolism of these dopamine metabolites via glia and activation of these cells (i.e. microglia) by such toxic intermediates.

Publication(s)

Rees, J.N., Florang, V.R., Eckert, L.L., and Doorn, J.A.:  Protein reactivity of 3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetaldehyde, a toxic dopamine metabolite, is dependent on both the aldehyde and the catechol. Chem Res Toxicol, 22, 1256-1263, 2009.  PMCID: PMC2717024 [Available on 2010/7/1] Henze, M., Hart, D., Samarel, A., Barakat, J., Eckert, L., and Scrogin, K.:  Persistent alterations in heart rate variability, baroreflex sensitivity, and anxiety-like behaviors during development of heart failure in the rat.  Am. J. Physiol. Heart Circ. Physiol. 295:H29-H38, 2008.  PMID: 18456727  

Award(s)

  • NIH T32 Pharmacological Sciences Training Grant, 2008-2010
  • Executive Council of Graduate and Professional Students Travel Award, 2009
  • Graduate Student Senate Travel Award, 2009
  • Winner, Poster Merit Award, Graduate Student Poster Session, Carver College of Medicine Research Week, 2009
  • Poster Merit Award, Univ of Iowa, 10th Annual Stud Interdiscioplinary Hlth Res Poster Session, 2009
  • Finalist, Collegian Innovation 7 Leadership, Iowa Women of Innovation, 2009
  • 1st place, oral presentation, Biological and Health Sciences Category, 12th Annual James F. Jakobsen Graduate Conference, March 2010
  • 1st place, oral presentation, Biological and Health Sciences Category, 12th Annual James F. Jakobsen Graduate Conference, March 2011
  • Center on Aging Poster Merit Award, 11th Annual Stud Interdisciplinary Hlth Res Poster Session, Univ of Iowa, 2010
  • Recipient, AFPE Predoctoral Fellowship (2011-2012)
  • Usha Balakrishnan Prize for Best Poster, 2010
  • Graduate Student Senate Travel Award, 2010