News

Murray Lab Members Win Awards at UIHC Pediatric Research Day

 

Three Murray lab members, Allison Momany, Elizabeth Leslie and Leah Biggs received awards for their poster presentations at Pediatric Research Day at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. The awards were given to students based on the ratings of two judges. Leah Biggs and Elizabeth Leslie are both students in the Interdisciplinay Graduate Program in Genetics. More...

 

News

Three Murray lab members, Allison Momany, Elizabeth Leslie and Leah Biggs received awards for their poster presentations at Pediatric Research Day at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. The awards were given to students based on the ratings of two judges. Leah Biggs and Elizabeth Leslie are both students in the Interdisciplinay Graduate Program in Genetics.

Jeff Murray is the advisor to both Leah and Elizabeth. Allison Momany is an undergraduate student in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Iowa.

Leah presented a poster titled “Interferon Regulatory Factor 6 is Necessary for Terminal Differentiation of Murine Keratinocytes.” She completed a characterization of Irf6 null murine keratinocytes, testing whether the proliferation and differentiation defects observed in vivo in Irf6 null embryonic epidermis were inherent to the keratinocytes.

Elizabeth’s poster was titled “Mutation screen and expression analysis implicate ARHGAP29 as a novel candidate gene for nonsyndromic cleft lip/palate.” The identification of genes and variants contributing to risk for nonsyndromic cleft lip and palate is a primary focus of the Murray lab. The poster presented results supporting a role for ARHGAP29 in the pathogenesis of cleft lip and palate.

Allison’s poster was titled “Genetic Variants in TFAP2B in Preterm Infants with Patent Ductus Arteriosus.” Patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) is a heart defect that is a common complication of preterm birth. The poster contained results from sequencing of the TFAP2B gene in infants with and without PDA.

Pediatric Research Day is an annual event dedicated to research in pediatrics. The poster session that Leah, Elizabeth, and Allison presented at was in the evening, following a day filled with talks from prestigious pediatric researchers.


 

Murray Laboratory

 

The Murray laboratory is focused on identifying genetic and environmental causes of complex diseases specifically premature birth and birth defects such as cleft lip and palate. Our laboratory applies methods from a variety of disciplines, particularly those of genetics, molecular biology, embryology and epidemiology to study complex newborn conditions.


Many of our studies are carried out using large populations that include epidemiologic factors associated with craniofacial anomalies or preterm birth. In addition to an on-going cleft-lip and palate and prematurity study involving children from the University of Iowa Hospital we also collaborate with investigators from the Philippines, Denmark, Argentina and Brazil to study these complex diseases. The goals of these studies and collaborations are to provide prevention and better treatment for children with complications due to prematurity or birth defects, not only nationally but also world-wide.


In addition to the studies described above, Jeff Murray’s lab is also home to the Institute for Clinical and Translational Science’s Genetics and Genomics key function.  The lab serves as a resource to junior investigators interested in conducting pilot-projects involving a genetic component.  We provide consultative services as well as DNA processing and storage on a pilot project basis.  For more information visit ICTS Genetics and Genomics.


Graduate students and postdoctoral fellows in the lab serve in leadership roles for these projects and have primary responsibility for project design and implementation. We are strongly committed to providing opportunities for students in the classroom, the laboratory, and the field to develop their interests and expertise in the application of genetic tools to understand human disease.