Research Roundup: May 2021

GCB News

Research Roundup: May 2021

Here are summaries of a selection of the papers published by GCB faculty in May 2021:


Ashley Chi and team explored the connection between low-carbohydrate diets and androgen deprivation therapy, which is the standard, first line treatment for metastatic prostate cancer. Read more 


The outcome of liver injury is dictated by factors that control accumulation of myofibroblastic hepatic stellate cells (MF-HSCs) but there are no therapies that specifically block this process. Ashley Chi was part of a team that investigated whether MF-HSCs and liver fibrosis could be safely reduced by restricting the cysteine/glutamate antiporter xCT. Read more 

Matthew Hirschey was part of a team that test the effects of low levels of ultraviolet C-induced irreparable mitochondrial DNA damage during early development in C. elegans. Read more

Tim Reddy and team demonstrated that therapeutic interventions that increase the expression of CFTR may improve the efficacy of CFTR modulators. A better understanding CFTR regulatory mechanisms could uncover novel therapeutic interventions for the development of cystic fibrosis therapies. Read more   


Akkermansia muciniphila is a prominent member of the gastrointestinal (GI) microbiota. Higher levels of A. muciniphila is associated with leanness and am lower risk of developing obesity and diabetes. Lawrence David was part of a team that isolated and characterized 71 new  A. muciniphila strains from a cohort of children and adolescents undergoing treatment for obesity. Read more 

New Methods and Models

Xiling Shen and team developed a comprehensive peripheral nerve atlas to use to interrogate the neural circuitry and selec targets for neuromodulation. This novel high-resolution nerve atlas provides a potential roadmap for future neuromodulation therapies and other investigations into the neural circuits which drive homeostasis and disease throughout the body. Read more 

Greg Crawford was part of a team that leveraged a well validated model of human brain development based on in vitro culture of primary human neural progenitors to study the functional effects of genetic variation on chromatin architecture during neurogenesis. Read more

Xiling Shen was part of a team that included several researchers from the Duke Center for Applied Genomics and Precision Medicine that created an interactive web database that helps explore and quickly analyze user-uploaded GWAS summary statistics. The database generated novel hypotheses to explain the pathophysiology of common diseases. Read more 

Transcription factors

Raluca Gordânand team designed a high-throughput quantitative assay to capture the genomic binding profiles of competing transcription factors in a cell-free system. Read more 

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