Anicca Harriot is a Biochemistry & Molecular Biology PhD Candidate at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. Her research focuses on mechanotransduction – the science of how mechanical stresses and physical forces affect cell signaling and function. Anicca plans to expand her work in the field of aging to explore the effects of long duration space missions on the human body and hopes to someday venture out into the final frontier for herself. Anicca is also the Chief of Community Development for #VanguardSTEM: Conversations for Women of Color in STEM, a non-profit dedicated to providing resources for women of color and non-binary people of color in STEM.
"Form follows function: exploring disease altered structures in skeletal muscle"
Structure and function are inextricably linked in biological systems. This is exemplified in skeletal muscle, whose functional performance is defined by stereotypic cylindrical shape of the muscle fibers within the muscle, as well as the highly ordered arrangement of contractile proteins within each muscle fiber. In muscular dystrophy and in aging, alterations in contractile protein structure and muscle fiber shape are evident. In both aging & dystrophy, work by our group has sought to determine (A) the prevalence of these alterations, (B) how these alterations impact the muscle function, and (C) the mechanisms by which these alterations arise. Our results confirm reports that both diseased and aged muscle have a low percentage of muscle fibers with altered shape. In contrast, we find a high percentage of muscle fibers with altered contractile protein structure. New evidence from our group and others suggests that deficits in muscle repair following injury may underlie the structural changes in contractile proteins that then predispose the alterations in muscle fiber shape. Given that these structural changes predispose the muscle to contraction injury which accelerates muscle pathology, our goal is to identify mechanisms that can be targeted to suppress their occurrence.
Thursday, September 19, 2019 at 4:15pm to 5:00pm
3203 Southeast Woodstock Boulevard, Portland, Oregon 97202-8199
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