Dr. Michelle Duffourc, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor & Director, Molecular Biology Core Facility
Anthony Jackson, Research Technologist
Fritz Prohaska, Research Technician
Education and Professional Background:
Dr. Duffourc received her doctoral degree in Basic Medical Sciences with a specialization in Pharmacology from the University of South Alabama School of Medicine and completed a postdoctoral fellowship in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology from the same institution. In 1998 she joined the faculty at Quillen College of Medicine where she currently is an Assistant Professor of Pharmacology and Director of the Molecular Biology Core Facility. Dr. Duffourc has been honored with the Professor of the Year award from the Biomedical Graduate Program, the Dean's Distinguished Teaching Award in Basic Medical Sciences, and being named to Who's Who Among America's Teachers.
• Control of gene expression in the CNS
• Molecular contributors to neurodegenerative disease
• Novel targets for the therapeutic treatment of neurodegenerative disease
My principle research interest is transcriptional control of neurotrophic factor expression in the central nervous system. Neurotrophic factors are essential regulators of CNS development, with roles in the early patterning of the CNS, determination of neural cell fate, and differentiation of astrocyte lineage cells. In particular, we examine the molecular mechanisms controlling the expression of bone morphogenetic protein 7 (BMP7). BMP7 is a member of the TGF- superfamily originally identified for its ability to induce ectopic bone formation. More recently, numerous reports have indicated that BMP7 has neuroprotective activities and promotes functional recovery in animal models of stroke, traumatic injury and Parkinson’s disease. Further, we have we have found reduced expression of BMP7 in brain astrocytes of human subjects with major depressive disorder (MDD). Since MDD is associated with glial cell loss and BMP7 is gliatrophic, reduced BMP7 gene expression may also play role in the brain pathogenesis seen in MDD. Taken together, these studies demonstrate robust biological effects of BMP7 on the mature brain, with potential therapeutic roles in brain injury, neurodegenerative and psychiatric disorders. Hence, one goal of our research is to characterize the BMP7 promoter region in order to ultimately understand how BMP7 mediates repair and regeneration in the adult CNS.
Active Research funding:
NIH 4 R01 MH 46692 (Ordway, PI)
Noradrenergic System in Depression.
American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (Ordway, PI)
Glumatergic Signaling in the Locus Coeruleus in Depression and Suicide
American Heart Association Grant-in-Aid, (Hoover, PI)
Neurotrophic factors mediate structural and functional remodeling of cardiac cholinergic neurons
NIH 1R15 DK080488-01A1 (Stuart, PI)
Mechanisms by which strength training ameliorates the Metabolic Syndrome
NIH 1 R15 AI078373-01 (Schoborg, PI)
Can Chlamydial Infection Increase Host Mutation Frequency?
Rebrin, Igor, Bailey, Steven W., Boerth, Scott R., Ardell, Michelle D., and Ayling, June E. (1995). Catalytic characterization of 4a-hydroxytetrahydropterin dehydratase. Biochemistry, 34:5801-5810.
Ardell, Michelle D., Makhija, Ajay K., Oliveira, Luanne, Miniou, Pierre, Viegas-Pequignot, Evani, and Pittler, Steven J. (1995). cDNA, gene structure, and chromosomal localization of human GAR1 (CNCG3L), a homolog of the third subunit of bovine photoreceptor cGMP-gated channel. Genomics 28:32-38
Ardell, Michelle D., Aragon, Ileana, Oliveira, Luanne, Porche, G. Erick, Burke, Emily, and Pittler, Steven J. (1996) Subunit 2 of human rod photoreceptor cGMP-gated cation channel is generated from a novel complex transcription unit. FEBS Letters 389:213-218
Ardell, Michelle D., Bedsole, D. Lawrence, Schoborg, Robert V. and Pittler, Steven J. (2000) Genomic Organization of the Human Rod Photoreceptor cGMP-gated Cation Channel β Subunit Gene. Gene 245:311-318
Burrows DL, Nicolaides A, Rice PJ, Duffourc M, Johnson DA, Ferslew KE. (2005) Papain, A Novel Urine Adulterant. J. Analytical Toxicology 29(5):275-295
Mabe, Abigail M., Hoard, Jennifer L., Duffourc, Michelle M., and Hoover, Donald B. (2006) Localization of cholinergic innervation and neurturin receptors in adult mouse heart and expression of the neurturin gene. Cell & Tissue Research 326(1):57-67
Vanover, J., Sun, J., Deka, S., Kintner, J., Duffourc, M. and R.V. Schoborg. (2008) Herpes Simplex Virus Co-infection Induced Chlamydia trachomatis Persistence is not Mediated by any Known Persistence Inducer or Anti-chlamydial Pathway. Microbiology 154:971-978.
Ordway, G.A., Szebeni, A., Duffourc, M.M., Dessus-Babus, S. and Szebeni, K. (2009) Gene Expression Analyses of Neurons, Astrocytes and Oligodendrocytes Isolated by Laser Capture Microdissection from Human Brain: Detrimental Effects of Laboratory Humidity. J. Neuroscience Research. 87(11):2430-8.
Campbell, Sharon E., Whaley, Sarah G., Stimmel, Julie B., Leesnitzer, Lisa, Dessus-Babus, Sophie, Duffourc, Michelle M., Stone, William L., Newman, Robert A., Yang, Peiying, and Krishnan, Koyamangalath. (2009) Gamma Tocopherol Up regulates the Expression of 15-S-HETE and Induces Growth Arrest Through a PPAR γ-Dependent Mechanism in PC-3 Human Prostate Cancer Cells. Nutr Cancer 61(5):649-62.
Stuart CA, Howell ME, Baker JD, Dykes RJ, Duffourc MM, Ramsey MW, Stone MH. (2010) Cycle Training Increased GLUT4 and Activation of mTOR in Fast Twitch Muscle Fibers. Med Sci Sports Exerc 42(1):96-106.